Most Disney princesses get a bad rap as weak, man-reliant women, but I disagree. There are lessons we can learn from them. Here are some Disney princesses and what we can learn from them about being single.
Snow White (Snow White & the Seven Dwarves) makes me mad when she accepts the apple and takes a bite of it. It doesn’t seem like she was under a spell when she bit the apple, just peer pressure from a suspicious old woman. But from Snow White we can learn to be kind to everyone we meet. The Bible tells us to, “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18, NLT). Exercising kindness is a step towards that peace.
Cinderella (Cinderella) should have left her step-family a long time ago, but that said, I don’t know how hard it would have been for her – a single woman with no money living in that time period – to survive. Then again, the same can be said for single women today. Our time period has its own perils and hurdles. From Cinderella, we can learn to get out of our comfort zones.
Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) is my favorite princess. In Disney’s version, she doesn’t really do anything. Things happen to her and she sleeps through all the action. But that’s why she’s my favorite. There are a lot of possibilities in her story. It’s like the story’s not over yet. There’s more to Aurora that we haven’t seen. That’s what we can learn from her. There are more possibilities ahead. Your story is not over.
Ariel (The Little Mermaid) gets a bad rap for wanting to be human and making the wrong choice to get a man. What I see about Ariel, however, is a young woman who saw the good in people different from her and hated/feared by her kind. From Ariel, we can learn to look past prejudice and also not sell our souls (or voice or any part of ourselves) for “love.”
Belle (Beauty and the Beast) is the Disney princess I relate to the most. She loves reading and her head is usually in the clouds. She doesn’t fall in line with common thought and perception. Though her nose is usually in a book, when needed, she went out into the unknown to do what’s right. To rescue her father. To accept the magic of the castle. To look past the beast. From Belle, we can learn to take our noses out of the book when the time comes and bravely face the adventure before us.
Jasmine (Aladdin) is my least favorite Disney princess because I’ve always found her whiny. She’s a very rich princess with her dad wrapped around her fingers. She also has a tiger for a pet. She’s headstrong. She’s adventurous. But we find her escaping the palace. As annoying as I think Jasmine is, we’ve all been in her place. We’ve all felt like we don’t have any say, power, or control over the circumstances in our lives. This is what we can learn about single life from Jasmine: we have more power than we realize. We just need to find it and wield it. To use it to fight against what’s wrong and fight for our goals and dreams.
Pocahontas (Pocahontas) also looks past the prejudice, hate, and fear of her people for those different from them. She takes it a step further by putting her life on the line. From Pocahontas, we can learn to fight to break down prejudice and cultural/societal divides.
Mulan (Mulan) has an obvious lesson for all of us, single or not: Fight for what’s right. Don’t give up when you face hardships and trials. Don’t give up even if the battle is within, or if it seems like every odd is against you.
Tiana (The Princess and the Frog) is a hard-working woman who gets caught up in a nefarious scheme. I love how entrepreneurial she is, but I did groan when she completely missed true love staring at her in the face because she was too focused on her restaurant. It reminds me of a time in my life when I didn’t want to get married. There were other goals and dreams I wanted to chase after first. But from Tiana, we can learn to be open to love. We singles may go through phases of wanting to marry and wanting to stay single. I have this idea that God loves surprises, and I imagine Him waiting for that moment He can surprise us and remind us that His timing is perfect and supreme. Be open to love and God’s ultimately perfect timing.
Rapunzel (Tangled) expresses the stages we go through when dealing with change. When she leaves the tower, she is torn between feelings of freedom and feelings of betraying her “mom.” It’s a see-saw feeling of “I’ve got this” and “I’m dead.” From Rapunzel, we can learn this: don’t be afraid to go after your dream. Doing so may mean lots of changes and stretching of our souls, but it will be worth it.
Merida (Brave) is so spunky, I adore her. I love when she declares, “I’ll be shooting for my own hand.” That’s what we can learn from her: Be your own hero. Of course, we’ve got a Hero in Jesus Christ. Remember that I am already saved, provided for, blessed, and chosen, helps me rise up to occasions where I might feel lacking. Remember to shoot for your own hand.
Elsa (Frozen) spoke the truth when she told Anna, “You can’t marry a man you just met.” I think there was a collective “Thank you!” from audiences everywhere because of the Disney princesses that rushed to the altar or fell in love after 1 meeting. Although, to be fair, I think Cinderella’s really the culprit. She spent only a few hours with her prince. Everyone else went through adventures together. Still, I get it. There wasn’t much getting-t0-know-you period. But isn’t that what we also do? It may not be a rushing to the altar, but many of us rush into love, into lust, into what the Bible tells us not to do. To “not to awaken love until the time is right” (Song of Solomon 2:7). From Elsa and Solomon, we can learn to wait and be patient.
Anna (Frozen) is resolute in her belief and love for Elsa. From Anna, we can simply learn to be there for our friends. Whether single or married, don’t neglect your community just like Anna had two men vying for her hand (although one turned out to be a jerk), she pursued her sister and didn’t give up.
Moana (Moana) thought her quest was to get Maui to return the heart of Te Fiti, but it was actually her who was meant to do it. Her experiences led up to it. Te Fiti “lost” her identity when her heart was stolen, like Moana’s people “lost” their identity as wayfinders and Moana had to find hers through the quest. We may think our life will turn out one way, only for it to go another. From Moana and God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11, we can learn that our lives have purpose. Maybe you thought you’d be married by now or have a solid career or whatever, but life’s throwing you curve balls. Entrust your life to God and trust that He knows what He’s doing. It will all work out, and what you’re going through right now is paving a path to a more exciting, hopeful, and prosperous future.