“I cannot stand Ariel and Jasmine. First of all, they are far too skinny and it is unrealistic and unhealthy. Secondly, both ran away from their loving family despite turmoil in their kingdom. I have no idea how people look up to them and they are both horrible role-models to girls.”
I don’t usually reply to these things but something struck me tonight so here goes.
To the argument that they are too skinny I would like to point out that their body type has less to do with weight and more to do with style. Mermaids and belly dancers (because let’s face it, that’s what Jasmine was modeled after) are easiest to draw with a waspish waistline and exaggerated hips. Yes, it is unrealistic but it isn’t meant to be taken literally. I could go into a whole ‘nother argument over body types in the Disney princess line but that’s for another day. Suffice it to say that yes, there should be more diversity in their body types, but this was the 90’s, these issues weren’t even on the mainstream radar back then.
Secondly to the comment of them running away despite turmoil in the kingdom…I fail to see any turmoil in either of their kingdoms, at least until the villain acts, and that happens after they leave. Ariel’s kingdom was beautiful and peaceful, the only possible threat to it was Ursula. Yes, Ariel’s actions were reckless and led to danger for her kingdom, that I will give you. However she would not have resorted to Ursula’s magic if her father had not been so narrow-minded, so the blame actually falls to Triton. As far as Agrabah goes we see no further turmoil than any average kingdom faces, and certainly nothing that Jasmine could have prevented. Jasmine had no power whatsoever, she was barely able to keep unwanted suitors from marrying her. Her escapades did nothing to harm the city, and in fact likely highlighted the cruelty of the guards.
Finally, there are many reasons both of these princesses have lessons to teach us. I hate the term role-model, I don’t think any one person should be a role-model because everyone has faults. Ariel was reckless and naive, Jasmine was dismissive and took just as many risks as Ariel. Ariel’s positive lessons include following your dreams, not being afraid of other cultures, showing pride in your hobbies and interests, and not letting anyone place her in a box and telling her she had to be this or that. Jasmine also shows us that you should follow your heart and be who you truly are, as well as not being afraid to use your whims to your advantage, breaking other’s binds on yourself, and having pride in who you are and not being ‘just some prize to be won.’
^ amazing, don’t even have to add <3