A Disney Princess Heart
This post was originally published on my hobby blog, classichiltons.wordpress.org. In honor of the release of Disney Plus, the new streaming service for all things Disney, I'm dusting it off and re-publishing it here!
Once upon a time, they lived happily ever after!
Disney movies, especially the princesses, shaped my childhood. Okay, all right, you got me! They are still an important part of my life.
The first movie I remember seeing in theaters was Snow White when I was four.
I wore “glass” slippers, a tiara, and white elbow gloves at my wedding.
I sang my newborn babies to sleep with A Dream is A Wish, Colors of the Wind, and all the rest of their beautiful ballads.
I have heard many arguments over the years about the dangers our daughters face if they engage too much with princesses. Vulnerability to body issues, gender stereotypes, and the worst offense of all: wishing and hoping to be romanced, saved, challenged, and wanted by a (gasp!) man. Even Disney acknowledges this sort of flat, stereotype (Ralph Breaks the Internet).
I’m not interested in that debate so much. For one thing, it’s important to remember that a Disney Princess is one representation of the very complex beings on this earth known as females. One princess or even all the princesses together cannot represent the entirety of the female heart.
The truth is that anything can become an idol if we give it more attention than God, but if we take the time to look deeper into these culturally relevant icons known as Disney Princesses, we might find they have some spiritual treasures to share.
Aurora, my favorite, is blasted for being a mostly silent Barbie Doll. It’s true, she doesn’t go through any great journey herself. Most of what happens in the film happens to her. Despite that, her story continues to resonate with us because we can all identify as the damsel in distress.
We are all, men and women alike, under a curse. We cannot escape the consequences no matter how many years we spend hidden in the woods.
Briar Rose dreams of someone she can’t name, almost as if she remembers the handsome face of her betrothed peering over her crib. Her heart knows there is more for her, that love and romance are out there waiting.
We also have this longing, even if we don’t admit it. We humans were created for more than this short life on earth.
“He has also set eternity in the hearts of men” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
But when we are faced with the truth, that we are created by and for God and that salvation comes from Him alone, we resist. We are just like Briar Rose, crushed when she learns her royal origins, certain that nothing could be better than dreaming in the forest.
Prince Philip pursues Briar Rose before he knows she is a princess. He doesn’t care where she comes from or what her past may be. He loves her. He slays the dragon and finds the princess sleeping in her tower. The fairies help. In the Disney movie especially, they play the most active role in the plot. But it is His kiss that brings the princess and the rest of the palace back to life. In the end, it is the action of the Prince that matters the most.
There is nothing on this earth that can satisfy our longing for eternity and no one but Jesus Christ can save us from the curse of sin. No matter how much we might aspire to do it ourselves. That is something the Disney Princesses teach us.