Ariel for a New Generation

I briefly considered cropping Brent out, but then came to my senses 

Last week at work one of my chefs made a point to come up to me and tell me he just watched Moana. He knew I would be the perfect person to talk about it w/, and we proceeded to gush over how great it was for the next ten minutes. For the rest of the day, we’d sporadically burst into “you’re welcome!” to the tune of Maui’s song. Don’t act like you don’t know. 

I’ve only seen it once, but the songs frequently come on one of the stations I play at work, along w/ the rest of Disney classics. I don’t know them enough to belt out all the words, but someday I will #goals

The awesome music is only one of the great things about Moana. Another one is how cool Moana herself is. As I was watching it, I found myself thinking “now THIS is a great role model for girls!” over and over.

My favorite Disney movie is The Little Mermaid. Always has been, always will be. My cousin and I would put pillowcases over our legs and scoot around on the floor pretending to be mermaids. We would argue over who was really Ariel and who was the lowly poser Ariel Rose (I don’t know where we got Ariel Rose from, but I’m sure we had some elaborate backstory, the kind only 7-year-old minds could conceive). 

I’m never going to disparage The Little Mermaid. The music? The Jamaican crab? Ariel’s hair? A masterpiece, every second of it. But I watched it recently (b/c of course I own it on Disney DVD) and I was more than a little disappointed in Ariel’s priorities. I get it, I get it, the seaweed is always greener in somebody else’s lake; we always want what we don’t have, teenagers more than anyone. But Ariel was willing to trade in her entire life for someone she didn’t even know! She saw Prince Eric like one time before she was off to the sea witch to get some legs. She mulled it over for barely ten seconds when Ursula went over the fine print before being like, sold, let me sign my life away to this creepy ass octo-human. 

Hmm, this sounds pretty disparaging of one of my favorite movies and practically my entire childhood. 

But seriously, what kind of role model was Ariel? She’s gorgeous w/ a beautiful voice. Did I mention she’s a mermaid? What little girl isn’t enamored by all of that (I kind of still am). But Ariel leaves her father and her sisters and her friends in a heartbeat for some guy she barely knows. I don’t think the whole “girl power” movement had been started yet, but there had to be people out there watching this like what the fuck, Disney. 

Moana is a total 180 from Ariel. She’s brave and strong and family oriented. She’s on a mission to save her island and her people. There’s not a romantic interest in sight; Moana don’t need no man. She’s a positive role model for little girls everywhere. 

Ariel will always be my favorite princess (I mean, she was a princess two-fold b/c her dad was King AND she married a prince, like, come on!) But I think Moana deserves the title of Sea Princess. A title I just made up, so it’s obviously very official.


Yeewuz said…
I don’t think the whole “girl power” movement had been started yet, but there had to be people out there watching this like what the fuck, Disney.

Some light reading for you: