Anonymous asked: What're your opinions on Ariel? Personally, I feel she is given too much credit and when you think about it, her storyline is saying she wants to marry a guy she's never met. I don't feel there's anything special about her movie and it can give some girls the wrong impression.
You just asked me about my favorite princess.
The fantasy of the movie allows us to believe in love at first sight, therefore i’m not bothered by her marrying a guy she hasn’t met. I don’t think he was the catalyst to her turning human— she didn’t strike up a deal with Ursula right after Eric, and in fact had plans to greet him as a mermaid. The catalyst was her father destroying her collection, symbolically her hopes and dreams. I never found Ariel to be selfish- it’s perfectly okay to put your own dreams first instead of how others feel. Ariel never had intentions to harm anyone, she signed the contract to put the spell on herself, (more than I can say about Merida, who I find infinitely more selfish and inconsiderate, as well as just downright uncaring)and didn’t know it was any part of Ursula’s plot. I sort of find Ariel’s desire to be in a different body than her own a sort of metaphor for someone who is trans*, although I never thought that the movie intends it to be so. I can just make somewhat of a connection.
What scares me about people being so critical about Ariel making mistakes is that making mistakes, failing, and sometimes hurting others is all a natural part of growing up, especially as a teenager. I feel like those who seriously criticize Ariel for her mistakes are either afraid themselves of taking risks and stepping outside their comfort zone, or seriously critical of those who do step out and don’t succeed. Throughout life you will make bad decisions and repeatedly fail- what matters is that you don’t have harmful intentions and don’t make the same repeated, harmful mistakes. Ariel doesn’t do this— she apologizes when she realizes the danger she has put Atlantica in. But what I also appreciate about Ariel is that in a film world where female characters are either expected to be a) perfect or b) transform into perfection and atone for their sins by the end of the film, Ariel is unforgivingly flawed and never changes her personality; she remains the same flawed character, which I think is great and sort of a relief for the female viewer. In some ways, I prefer Ariel going after the guy over two people meeting and falling in love over time, because Ariel actively choses to go after Eric. It’s her own agency. And feminism is about women making their own choices. I also often wonder if Ariel would be given such a hard time if a) her plan had succeded instead of failed and b) she was a man. Is Ariel the most progressive Disney princess? No, but she’s given a lot more flack than she deserves.