• Georgie Parkin

Disney Taught Lessons You Need to Unlearn (and a few you don’t)

The clock has struck midnight, it’s time to join the real world

I’m sure you are no stranger to the concept of millennial's being somewhat screwed up from their Disney backed upbringings. We’ve all seen the memes, the blog posts and every other outlet available for people to vent about their warped view of love thanks to the one and only Mr Walt Disney.

There are definitely worse things than growing up in a Disney bubble. Waking up to bird song, talking to our pets, dreaming of Prince Charming riding in on a white horse and a fairy godmother magically turning our pj’s into a pretty pink ball gown. Of course it’s horribly unrealistic and eventually that bubble popped and we hit the ground hard. But I still think we had it better than the generation of kids growing up glued to their iPhone and having Instagram accounts at the age of 6. But as pure and magical as it was we have now become the generation of unrealistic expectations and dangerously optimistic views on love.

How do we fix this? We’ll if it hasn’t already, your bubble needs to be popped. The real world is far less enchanting but you’ll get used to it I promise. So here are the disney taught lessons you need to unlearn….

Love will find you

Rapunzel was literally locked up in a tower, having never experienced human contact and one day love just strolls on in. Disney taught us that love will find us, no matter what. But I'm pretty sure if I sit in my room all day painting the walls and braiding my hair my dream man isn’t going to come find me. It would make things a hell of a lot easier if he would though.

Love conquers all

It doesn't matter how mean and scary the villain is, love ALWAYS wins. It defeated Ursula, The Evil Stepmother, The Wicked Witch, Maleficent and even that super scary dude in the Frog Princess. I’m afraid real world villains aren’t so easily defeated. Love is powerful sure but you can’t fight a burglar with it. Go learn self defense.

Prince Charming will come and rescue you

However sticky the situation you get yourself into, right when you’re about to lose faith Prince Charming rides in on his stallion and saves the day. Apparently Walt doesn’t think women are capable of saving themselves so instead has us all locked up in towers waiting for someone to climb up our hair and set us free. That being said, modern Disney is definitely moving away from the male hero. It was Elsa that saved Anna in Frozen after a failed attempt from her man friend. Hopefully today's kids will grow up realising that women can be heroes too and more often than not, men and pretty useless.

And they all lived happily ever after

All you have to do is find the man, conquer some villains and get married. Then you will live happily forever more. This is always the point that Disney films roll the credits. How about the post-marriage fights, the financial struggles, the babies? show us what happens next!

Is it totally okay for a stranger to kiss you whilst you’re sleeping

Snow White was sleeping in the woods when she was kissed by a guy she’d never met. Sleeping Beauty was asleep in a tower when a guy broke in and kissed her. Pretty sure we shouldn’t be teaching the youth that it’s okay for strangers to kiss you whilst you sleep. Ever heard of consent Prince charming!?

If the shoe fits get married straight away

Why are Disney princesses in such a rush to put a ring on it!? Cinderella danced with the guy for one night, he returns her lost shoe then she marries him! In her defense, if a Prince visited me with a glass slipper then asked me to marry him I'd probably say yes. Point is, let’s get to know the guy behind the crown before we agree to spend the rest of our life with him shall we.

Disney has many flaws, yes, but if we look beyond all the questionable teachings and slightly sexist story lines there are actually some very valuable lessons behind the talking mice and sneezing dwarfs.

You can achieve anything - Cinderella was scrubbing floors one day and next thing you know she is marrying a prince. She didn't give up on her dream. She wanted to go to the ball and she made it happen. And thank god she did because she met the love of her life (and married him the very next day).

Find the good in everything - Do you ever see a Disney princess sulking about her crappy life? However evil the villain or small the tower they never stop singing, dancing and talking to small woodland creatures. We should definitely take a leaf out of their books.

A dream is a wish your heart makes - This one is awfully cheesy but growing up on Disney has definitely made me a dreamer. Despite all its flaws, Disney taught us to believe in magic, to wish on stars and chase our dreams no matter what. So maybe millennials are a little unrealistic and sometimes live in a bubble of singing birds and fairy god mothers but if that makes us believers then i’m okay with it. Love is out there, 'Happily Ever Afters' are out there and maybe it won’t happen quite as easily as it did for our princess friends but I’m happy being a modern day Cinderella. Muddling my way through in the real world, saving myself, shopping for my own shoes but still believing in the magic of life and of love.