One of my dearest friends, Michaela Leigh, tagged me, along with 31 other amazing women, in a Facebook post the other day with this article and the following script:
“this one is for all the vibrant and ambitious Outlaw Women, Cowgirls, Gunsmoke Gals, and Femme Sharks in my life. your dreams and accomplishments inspire and delight me. may every day be filled with such unbridled joy that all you can do is throw your head back and laugh.”
Entitled “In Defense of Villianesses,” the author brilliantly starts to describe characteristics of powerful, confident, self-assured women.
Then, she applies those characteristics to Disney villianesses.
Here’s some of the examples she used:
- Cruella de Vil
- The Queen from Snow White
- Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove
- Shego from Kim Possible
- Ursula from The Little Mermaid
I eagerly started searching the Internet for quotes and images:
One line stuck out to me instantly:
- ” … Why is it that I can easily remember the faces and voices of female cartoon villains, but if asked about female cartoon heroes, all I can remember is the clothes?”
She’s absolutely right.
And then, towards the end of the piece, she blew me away again:
- ” …How might you laugh if you’d burned every bridge that needed burning, and there was nothing standing in the way of your ambition? How might you look, if the only person you needed to please with your fashion choices was you? It’s delicious and frightening to think about becoming the type of woman that a Disney illustrator would light from below, surrounded by billowing smoke, with your henchmen cowering in the background and every opportunity spread before you. It’s thrilling to imagine a life where your only fear is mortality, and even that can be negotiated out of the way if you know the right people or brew the right potions. It’s wonderful and terrible to think about having that much power, because as we all know, that much power makes you a villainess. …”
Her writing blew my mind.
I grew up admiring the Disney Princesses, especially Belle. I wanted to live in the Beast’s castle and fawn over that gorgeous, amazing, stunning library.
As a child, and then transitioning into a woman, I remember fearing these villainesses.
The Queen from Snow White gave me nightmares for a while.
I pictured Glenn Close as Cruella de Vil for several years.
Maleficent made me instantly cringe.
Ursula gave me goosebumps.
Yzma’s voice sounded like nails on a chalkboard.
But, in a way, Sarah’s right.
Most of the Disney Princesses are portrayed as brave, heroic, ambitious, and determined.
However, the villainesses also have those characteristics.
And they don’t get the credit they deserve.
Like Sarah, I stand in defense of these villainesses.
I still admire Belle, but I admire her for her love of books.
I hope to have children one day, and because of this, I want to show them both sides of these characters. Yes, these women may be portrayed as villainesses, but they’re not all bad.
In fact, some of their qualities are significantly better than those of the princesses.
What do you think?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂
Welcome Laura ! Nice post again !
Ahhh!!! I absolutely love this!!
Excellent post!! I am a huge fan of the Disney Villainess! 🙂
Thank you so much!
Sure thing! 🙂
Wow! Awesome post! Never really thought about this!
Thank you so much!
OMG! Thank you for sharing that article – it’s brilliant! I never thought about the qualities w/which we allow our “villainesses” to be imbued & what they say about women w/ambition, power, & drive to get what they want in life. But, it makes perfect sense – telling women to be quiet homebodies who don’t step outside unless directed/forced by an extreme situation… or rescuer (usually male).
You’re so welcome. I originally didn’t understand why my friend tagged me in the Facebook post. But, once I read the article, it made so much sense! Thanks for commenting!
I couldn’t understand what the point of the article was at first either, but after reading your excerpts I wanted to read the article & after reading the article it’s like “light bulb moment!” Your friend is a smart cookie!
Thanks so much! She’s one of the friends that I’ve known for a very long time – Her mom and my mom met as teachers at the same school in 1983. Her sister came first, then me, then her, and we’ve been friends since 1992.
That’s great!! I have a friend who I’ve been close to since we met in 2nd Grade & she would share something like that with me too. Aren’t old friends the best? 😀
That’s awesome! One of my best friends – Melissa – We’ve known each other for over 16 years now. She’s amazing.
It reminds me of that old song: “Make new friends / but keep the old / one is silver & the other is gold.” 😀
Definitely! Keep those ones close.
Ariel I love the quote you pulled from a song! Which song is it from? If love to write it down. I LOVE it
A quick Google search of those lyrics: The title is “Make New Friends” and it appears to be a Girl Scout song.
Ohh okay sounds good! Thanks!! I may use it as apart of one of m “Thought-Provoking Thursday” posts. Here is one of them: http://www.personallymeblog.com/thought-provoking-thursday-2/
You’re welcome! Happy to help. I love that idea!
You’re welcome! I appreciate your reading my posts, and comments!
Laura beat me to it! 😀
I didn’t even remember that it was a Girl Scout song. It’s funny how the little things stick with ya after so long. 🙂
It sounded familiar, but the light bulb went off when it came up! I instantly had memories of meetings, camp, and cookies!
I’ve never thought of villainess in this way before, and now sense I think of it, it’s so true! The villains are actually quite wise too from the quotes. I think Disney over exaggerates certain roles, when in reality a human is a mix of them all–good and bad
Definitely! I totally agree. Exaggeration is never a good thing. What message are we sending to our children?
I agree! It is a misguided sense of the world. At least there are some messages they can learn from in the films
That’s true! I loved the Disney films as a child, and it continued into adulthood. But, having studied Mass Media in college, I examine movies and film with a more critical eye now.
That can be a positive strength
“A villain is a victim whose story you don’t know”
“Evil queens are the princesses who saved themselves”
Absolutely! Thanks for reading, and commenting!
A really interesting post! I would really appreciate it if you could check out this article I have just written on the evolution of the Disney princess.
You might also like to check out https://scribblesofstageandscreen.com/2015/01/21/a-deficiency-in-despicably-deadly-women/ on a similar topic
Thank you for reading, and commenting! I will definitely check out those links – Thanks for sharing!
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