So I’m sitting here, watching Cinderella on TV and I remember multiple times when people have told me how Disney movies like Cinderella, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, and others have given women today unrealistic expectations for the male species. Well I for one, hope that they haven’t. While I don’t live in the fantasy that one day I will fall in love with a Prince who will rescue me from danger, sweep me off my feet, and take me to live happily ever after by his side in his castle, I do live with the expectations that they guy I fall in love with will possess the other qualities presented in these films.
Cinderella taught me that love needs to be sought after. The Prince didn’t allow anyone to define for him who he could and could not fall in love with, and when he did fall in love, he fought for her. I hold hope that the man I fall in love with fight to stay with me no matter what may fight to keep us apart – whether that be an evil step-mother intent on marrying one of her other daughters away or other things in this world that fight to keep our attention away from each other. I hope that the one I fall in love with will love me like the Prince loved Cinderella. I hope that he loves me for who I am, not where I come from. I hope that he’ll look past my crazy family and see that past circumstances don’t define who I am and who I can be. No one grows up with a perfect family, and maybe my future Prince will see that like Cinderella my past has taught me patience and how to forgive those that hurt you.
Beauty and the Beast taught me that there is no one perfect method for falling in love, that relationships are not easy, and that there will be trials. Although this story taught how appearances aren’t the most important things in a relationship, this story also showed me how love is a gradual process. This was not love at first sight by any means and that doesn’t happen for a lot of people, so I don’t that expectation that I’m going to fall in love at first sight. Rather I expect falling in love to be a gradual process starting with friendship. Belle and the Beast didn’t have a perfect relationship either, they fought, but Belle believed in forgiveness and second chances, and so do I.
Finally, Snow White taught me how my Prince should be someone who shouldn’t be afraid to take initiative and confess his love for me first. While Snow White was singing away at her well wishing for her true love, along came her Prince confessing his love for her. While I don’t want someone to come up to me and state how much they love me without ever going out on a date, I would like for a guy to take initiative and ask me out first. Call me old fashioned, but I’m just not the type of girl to take the first move so I need someone with initiative and Snow Whites prince was that guy.
So while I don’t expect to fall in love with a prince, I do hope to fall in love with someone who will take initiative, fight for me, and learn to fall in love with me in a gradual process where we both make compromises for each other.
So thank you Disney for the multiple lessons your films have taught me!