Celebrating Some Disney Ladies

Happy Friday and Happy International Women’s Day!

While I think every day is a fine time to celebrate the achievements of women in the past, present, and future, I do like today is specifically set aside for it. Let’s hear it for the ladies!

Melissa of Mouse on the Mind and I decided to join forces (once again) to share some of our favorite Disney ladies. I know, I know. There’s always that person who is going to say that the princesses and many of the Disney characters are not upstanding role models  but I tend to disagree. (In fact, THP co-creator wrote an awesome response to that argument back in 2011.)

I think many of these heroines are full of qualities I admire (strength, determination, gusto) and wish for the same things I do (happiness, love, success, acceptance).

Why further delay the fun?

1. Pocahontas

Pocahontas

While not factually accurate, this movie always stirred a lot of feelings in me. A young woman who must choose between her devotion to her family and her culture and also the possibilities of the New World. She fears settling, and being unhappy. It might sound silly but I always feel closest to her when she is singing “Just Around the Riverbend“.

Just around the riverbend
Beyond the shore
Somewhere past the sea
Don’t know what for …
Why do all my dreams extend
Just around the riverbend?

Like many of us, Pocahontas struggles with making the right decision, and following her heart. Not only does she have gorgeous hair and can jump off huge cliffs, but this girl is comfortable enough to weigh her options and make hard choices if she has to.

2. Mrs. Banks from Mary Poppins

Mrs Banks from Mary Poppins

So maybe she could have kept a closer eye on her kids and maybe she could have stood up to her husband a little bit more (she tries), but she was keeping the dream alive: campaigning for the women’s right to vote. I always love the scene where she is frolicking with her wait staff and singing “Sister Suffragette.” Even though the Banks family seems quite old-fashioned and set in their ways, it’s nice to see that Mrs. Banks is willing to stand up for beliefs and womanhood! She was a part of history!

3. Cinderella

Cinderella - Early in the movie

After just watching this movie in the past few weeks, I am overcome with how much Disney has over princess-fied Cinderella. It’s to the point where I didn’t even remember how feisty she could be, or that she even had a personality more than hanging out with her prince and waving at the townsfolk. Her mom is dead, she is very close with her father, he marries a woman who is not even close to how attractive he is, and neither she nor her kids like Cinderella. And then he dies, and her beloved home becomes practically a jail. But Cinderella manages to keep her fight, her sense of humor, and also a little bit of hope. Even after those stepsister bitches pull apart her initial dress for the ball (which is probably one of the worst bullying scenes in Disney animation ever), she doesn’t totally lose her mind. So Cindy gets this third spot for her composure, her positivity, and her way with the animal world.

So what Disney ladies inspire you? I would love to know! Be sure to check out Melissa’s post too!

To all my female readers, go us! Hope you have a lovely glass of wine with dinner tonight.

Posted by

A book publicist who loves writing about Disney and books, and sometimes Disney books.

5 thoughts on “Celebrating Some Disney Ladies

  1. It makes me insanely happy that Pocahontas is in this post. She’s really a great Disney character, and I totally feel the same way about Just Around the Riverbend – that song is too easy to relate to!

  2. I think another under-appreciated strong Disney woman is Nani from Lilo and Stitch. She deals with a really difficult situation with a lot of heart and drive.

  3. LOVE this post! I cannot stand how people try to talk about how the Disney princesses are horrible role models and all the classic movies are degrading towards women. Is it so wrong for little girls to be taught they need to be treated like royalty by men? I don’t think so. Otherwise they take crap and think it is ok.

    Obviously with my blog title Belle has always been the most inspirational princess to me. She is a beauty, obviously, BUT she doesn’t even rely on her looks, doesn’t even seem to notice them. She reads…hello, amazing!? I’ve always been the “weird” girl who reads and she made it okay for me to be me. AND she falls in love based on what is on the inside. If that isn’t the best lesson for all kids, I don’t know what is.

    LOVE this post and this was such a great topic for discussion.

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