15 Legit Life Lessons I Learned From Disney Princesses

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In the last few years, Disney princesses have gotten a bad rap – they enforce constrictive gender and beauty norms, have poor racial dynamics, and make you think that it’s a good idea to keep potentially rabid animals as pets.

While all these facts are true – especially the rabid animals part – there’s actually a lot to be learned from Disney Princesses.

If there’s one thing Belle taught bookworms worldwide, it’s that keeping your nose firmly in a book is okay. It widens your mind and keeps you relatively level when you have to deal with a beast that lives in a castle full of talking tableware… or your nosy family.

Ariel wanted to be “part of your world” and spent all her time daydreaming about when it would happen. And guess what – she did make it happen! Albeit by entering into an iffy contract with a scheming seawitch… She dreamed and then she did – a good lesson for the rest of us.  

Whenever Pocahontas was unsure of anything, she sought the advice of Grandmother Willow, an animate tree of unknown origins. Of course, Grandmother Willow could very well be a hallucination, but the point is, whenever Pocahontas needed advice, she asked for it.

When Moana’s village was in jeopardy, she didn’t hesitate. She went out across the waves to seek the demigod Maui, and she did so against the wishes of almost everyone around her. Moana listened to her inner voice, and in doing so, saved her island and the entirety of Hawaii.

Snow White was dumb – we all know this. She trusted the Queen, who tried to get her killed, and then she trusted the Seven Dwarves, who, thankfully, did not turn out to be seven psychopaths. Worst of all, she trusted an old lady with a very shiny apple. If there’s one thing we learned from Snow White, it’s this – don’t take food from strangers. For that matter, just don’t trust strangers bearing gifts. ‘Nough said.

Back in the day, contracts weren’t something people ordinarily thought of. Then along came Ariel and her shortsighted agreement to enter a contract with Ursula. Her naïveté was became a warning for everyone – read the contract thoroughly before you sign it. For that matter, get a second opinion – preferably legal. You’ll thank yourself later.

Cinderella is be the originator of the acronym YOLO (you only live once). Think about it – when she had the chance to go to the ball, did she stop and worry about how much work she had to do and whether Lucifer the cat would finally take the opportunity to eat all her mouse friends? No, she put on that dress, got into that pumpkin, and went to go have her a good old time. When the opportunity strikes, YOLO like there’s no tomorrow.

See that fork on the table beside you? Is it a fork or is it a comb? It all depends on how you use it. Ariel was the queen of taking something and making it work for whatever she needed. Don’t be shortsighted, be imaginative.

You’re a busy girl, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Sure, you could do the next task, or, you could take a nap… Sound tempting? It should. When in doubt, nap it out. Your skin’ll thank you. Just look at Princess Aurora’s. Glowing.

Just ask Merida. It’s easy to want to take the easy way out, but doing so can literally come back in the form of a magical bear to bite you in the tush. So if there’s something you really want, take the time to do it properly.

Mulan’s family wanted her to settle down and get married, but Mulan wanted to take her father’s place in the army. Did the fact that she was a woman stop her? No. Did the fact that she could get executed stop her? No. Did the fact that her hot hot hot commander was a total hard-ass stop her? Triple nope. Mulan saw what she wanted, and she went for it. Simple.

Rapunzel may have been locked away in her tower, but that didn’t mean she was a wilting damsel, oh no. She knew how to give a smart one-two with her trusty frying pan. Rapunzel didn’t take no mess, and you shouldn’t either.

Did Princess Tiana sit around sighing about her dreams of opening the finest restaurant in Louisiana? Nope. She went out and did it. She had an actionable plan and she achieved it step by carefully-planned step.  

Princess Jasmine may be named after a flower, but she certainly isn’t a wilting beauty. She’s perfectly willing to say exactly what she thinks to her father, Jafar, and even that upstart Prince Ali. Jasmine wasn’t going to be silent for anybody.

If there’s one thing every Disney princess knows, it’s that you have to believe in yourself and follow your dreams, no matter how big or small they are. You’re a princess, girl. You can do it.