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Feminist Disney Princesses

International Women's Day

5 Mar 2020

Feminist Disney Princesses We’re Championing This International Women’s Day

We’re putting Disney Princesses to the test for International Women’s Day to find out which ones make the cut as feminist heroes. We asked some of our Moonpig people what they think makes an empowering icon for young women and used their nuggets of wisdom to rank our Princesses to see who did it best. So, without further ado, here we have our top 5 Feminist Disney Princesses!

5. Tiana

“Someone who has achieved what they set out to regardless of what that might be, all whilst being nice, humble, and willing to stand up for what they believe in.” - Danny Nagra, Senior Performance Marketing Manager

Easily one of the hardest working Disney Princesses of them all, when we meet Tiana she is holding down two jobs as a waitress, *including* overtime, all to save enough money to transform an old sugar mill into the restaurant of her dreams. She keeps her feet firmly on the ground despite some pretty crazy distractions: a charming Prince Naveen, talking animals, a terrifying witch doctor and, oh yeah, turning into a frog herself.

She might kiss the Prince and get married in the end, but she never lets go of her dream or her will to make it come true. We also really wish this film was actually real because we want to eat about 100 of her classic New Orleans style Beignets. They look incredible.

4. Pocahontas

“Bravery. Self-belief. Passion. Compassion. Independence but understanding of when you may need someone by your side. Ability to burst into song at any given time.” - Lara Strickland, Social Media Manager

Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon? No? Well, you know who has? Pocahontas. Look, we’re not going to waste any time here, she is a total feminist icon. Period. Boldy independent, intelligent and compassionate, she brings two worlds together. Bravely following her destiny she refuses to give any of it up for a boy. Sorry, John Smith, we would have been upset too.

Oh, and if all that wasn’t enough, she casually gave us one of the greatest Disney songs of all time (in our humble opinion). Omg Pocahontas yes, yes we do want to paint with all the colours of the wind, please teach us how, you absolute goddess.

3. Merida

“Someone not scared of expressing her true self against conventional wisdom and societal pressures.” - Salvador Silva, Senior PPC Executive

Merida boldly carves her own path in life and refuses to be put into a box that she doesn’t fit in. Set against the backdrop of a medieval and magical Scotland, she fights against her family pressure to please just get married like a good girl, stop being so wild, comb your hair and try to be a bit more ladylike. Merida’s rebellion is summarised best by her father King Fergus: “I don't want to get married, I want to stay single and let my hair flow in the wind as I ride through the Glen, firing arrows into the sunset”. You know what, if we were Merida so would we.

She saves her mother’s life by staying true to her authentic self and refusing to wait for the men around her to come to the rescue. She holds onto her independence and creates new traditions, all whilst building an unbreakable bond with her family. Well, they didn’t call the film ‘Brave’ for no reason. She brave.

2. Moana

“Someone who is 50% brave and 50% kind. It's so important to show young women there should always be space for both.” - Holly Rutter, Copywriter

Ranking at number two is the absolute force of nature that is Disney’s first-ever Polynesian Princess, Moana. She takes on a demi-god, outsmarts monsters, returns the heart of Te Fiti and saves the world from darkness. Both emotionally and physically strong (very body-positive) she manages to do what’s right for her island and its people, and fixes a man’s foolish mistake with kindness and understanding. Aaand she goes on her adventure without even the hint of a romantic love interest, which is pretty refreshing if you ask us.

Also she gets a special award for keeping one of the most intellectually challenged sidekicks (Heihei the chicken) alive for the entire movie.

1. Mulan

“A woman who isn't afraid to be herself. One who refuses to stay silent and works to break the stereotypes and stigmas of being a woman in the modern world.” - Jen Mendenhall-Waldorf, Copywriter

Drum roll, please. We have the honour to announce that our top feminist icon of them all, the only, the legendary warrior herself, Mulan. Look Mulan, we saw you climb up that wooden pole with just a piece of rope, a rock and your core, and as someone who sometimes struggles to lift themselves from a chair, we’re impressed.

Despite impossible pressure from her family, her ancestors and heck, her entire country, she isn’t afraid to be herself and follow the voice inside. OK, granted she has to pretend NOT to be herself during most of the film, but through her alter-ego Ping, she is able to challenge gender stereotypes and old fashioned ideas of what a woman should be. Basically, she knows she’s the best swordsmith China has and she’s not going to let a tiny little rule about women entering the army stop her from doing her thang. And in this instance, her ‘thang’ is saving literally the whole of China. No big deal.

We salute you Mulan, you are our hero.

And finally, we are mega excited to watch Mulan single-handedly defeat the Huns all over again in the 2020 live-action Mulan film, in cinemas at the end of March. See you there?