The Parable of the Princess and the Frog

March 16th marks the day the new Disney animated feature “The Princess and the Frog” comes to DVD and Blu-Ray.
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I will admit this is one I’ve been anxiously awaiting to add to my video library! Aside from the fact that I’m a mother of girls and the world revolves around Disney princesses at our home, I connected with the message portrayed in this story. Allow me to explain.

Let’s look at Disney princesses in times past.

Snow White – a young teenager, fair and of flawless beauty, flees into the woods from the jealousy of her stepmother, who has ordered her to be killed. She happens on a home of 7 dwarfs and is invited to stay. Once the stepmother learns that Snow White is still alive and still the “fairest of them all”, she decides to track down Snow White herself and “kills” her with a poison apple. Snow White is laid in a glass coffin so as to not hide her beauty, from all the world (7 dwarfs and forest friends). And it just so happens a prince comes travelling into town, is overcome by those rose red lips, kisses them, and they live happily ever after.

Sleeping Beauty – At her birth, she is christened by “good fairies” with beauty, wit, and talent. A wicked fairy curses the baby by stating that in her adulthood, she would prick her finger on a spindle and die. The last “good fairy” reversed the curse by wishing her to “sleep” rather than die – until awakened by true love’s first kiss. Despite her father’s attempt to destroy every spindle in the country, evil prevails and Princess Aurora is entranced one night by a glowing spindle which sends her to her sleeping comatose state. As luck would have it, a gorgeous, hunk-of-a-prince hears of her tale and comes to find her, chopping his way through thorny vines, and battling fire-breathing dragons until finally he reaches the sleeping beauty, kisses her, and they live happily ever after.

Cinderella – A gracious, beautiful young woman, Cinderella is cast into the attic and reduced to slavery by her stepmother once her father passes away. Cinderella of course is still chipper and keeps a positive outlook with the hopes of being swept off her feet by a handsome prince to escape her tragedy and live happily ever after. When all her efforts to attend the royal ball are squashed by her wicked stepmother and stepsisters, Cinderella is visited by a fairy godmother who grants her wish and sends her on her way to the royal palace. Once inside, the prince is entranced by her flawless beauty and immediately goes to her, leaving the other hundreds of available young ladies behind, begging for a chance to be noticed. But these two have met before in a dream! They share a moment on the dance floor, staring into each others’ eyes, singing, and connecting because they’re “in love”. Sadly, the magic has to come to an end and Cinderella rushes from the Prince’s arms, leaving only a glass slipper behind as evidence of her existence. Knowing this is his true love, he searches for her, demanding that every young maiden try it on. Of course, it fits Cinderella’s dainty size 3 foot and they live happily ever after.

Do you see where I’m going with this? The fairy tales of princesses in the past are just that – “fairy tales”. Everything the princess ever wanted is handed to them on a silver platter. Wishes come true – just like that – without any effort.

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Tiana, on the other hand, has a mindset completely opposite of the princess “norm”.  She works for her dreams!  Instead of wishing upon a star for a handsome prince, she wishes for a restaurant because that is a passion of hers and of her late father’s.  But she also knows that in order to achieve it, she needs to work!  I love the lyrics of her song “Almost There”:

“I remember Daddy told me fairy tales can come true.

You gotta make ’em happen. It all depends on you.

So I work real hard each and every day

Now things for sure are going my way”

“There’s been trials and tribulations you know I’ve had my share

But I’ve climbed the mountain, I’ve crossed the river

And I’m almost there. I’m almost there!”

Now, that’s the message I want my girls to learn – that life isn’t handed to you on a silver platter.  It takes some effort.  A little elbow grease; rise and fall; success and failure.  That’s how we grow.  That’s h0w we develop our inner-self and gain knowledge and confidence.  That’s how we have become the mothers we are today.

Now, the other issue is defining that fine line between working and “working too hard” which results in missing out on life.  We’ll save that for another post. 🙂

What are your thoughts?

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