As a child, like many other children, I enjoyed watching Disney movies and hearing fairy tales, and it is no secret that at least in the 80s and 90s when I was watching them, they were quite gender-targeted.
So, all female leading roles were princesses; I grew up watching Snow White, Cindarella, Ariel, Bell, Jasmine and heard stories about ladies like Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty.
While all of them have different stories, they all end the same; With some prince who gets them out of their pickle and marries them which is the key to achieve happiness ever after.
There are huge problems with that. Because real men, dearest reader, ain’t no princes saving you from nothing.
Also, love doesn’t just smack you in the face; I mean half of these ladies were unconscious when the guy arrived. Evidence suggests that very few couples found love by sleeping, and very few women find a nice young man just by waiting around the house.
The only two proactive ladies putting some real effort into it while dealing with men who resemble actual dudes were Ariel and Belle.
Ariel leaves a life of luxury under water for some prince whose life she saved (way to go Disney!) and her mission is to make him fall in love with her with the added challenge that she can’t speak.
I feel that this is a perfect summary of the many relationships in which women try to have men read their minds, and men being all but human and slightly less intuitive, have no idea what the fuck is going on with women. Eventually he gets it and it works out, as it always does, and one wonders why Ariel never took the time to write a letter and explain herself, but that’s a story for another time.
Belle on the other hand is confronted with the challenging task of turning a beast into a socially acceptable human with table manners and politeness, which women all over the world are trying to do with their men as we speak. She teaches him grooming, proper diet, how to dance and how to be a little less of a hermit, and eventually she does turn him into a prince.
It gives little girls hope that you can change a man, or at the very least make him less hairy and smell nicer.