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 🙂