My Disney childhood wasn't filled with princesses and love stories. It was full of adventures, crazy dances and singing my heart out. The Disney Princess culture gets criticized for it's unrealistic expectations on love and happily ever afters (although Disney is getting better with more recent stories like Frozen). I'm here to tell you how the world of a young girl doesn't have to be all about princesses.
What I remember from watching Disney movies as a child (pretty much the only movies we watched) had very little with finding my true love. I never dreamed about which Disney princess I wanted to be or which prince I wanted to marry. My memories include:
- Shooting a bow & arrow then rocking out in the forest with Robin Hood
- Doing the hula with Timon & Pumbaa
- Singing along to April Showers in our best high pitched voices
- Dreaming about the perfect library and great adventures with Belle
- Floating down a river with Mowgli and Balo
- Dressing up as Meeko for Halloween (and catching my brother singing along to Colors of the Wind in the theater... he'll never live that one down!)
So what did Disney teach me about love?
Well, I found out how powerful the love of a parent can be from Bambi. And The Lion King. Cinderella and Snow White taught me how much joy you can find from the love of animals. Winnie the Pooh taught me that sometimes it can be really hard to love someone, like when they make a mistake. But we learn to love their differences because we know how much they care about us.
From The Princess & the Frog, I realized that love will find you when you stop searching for it. Which is exactly how I met my husband. He is my adventure partner, the Wall-e to my EVE, and he makes my world brighter by how much he supports my ideas and passions (ahem Disney).
Yesterday was his birthday, and my sister and I had so much fun celebrating the amazing person that he is. And that's what I think love should be about.
Two people who think each other are amazing, who love to have their own kind of adventures together.
Even especially if that means watching Disney movies on a Saturday night.