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Monday, November 30, 2015

Disney Princesses: Yearbook Epithets

I thought it would be a cute idea to do an article with something positive about each of the official Disney Princesses in the style of a high school yearbook. Since I am writing this from my opinion, I have labeled them with traits that I find the most positive in a princess/female.

1. Snow White- Most Caring & Kind:
Snow White wouldn't hurt a fly. She is so kind and caring that she doesn't even understand why the animals were trying to attack the evil queen disguised as an old woman. "With a smile and a song" it is clear that Snow White is very nurturing. She immediately takes to the dwarves like a mother to orphans and it's so endearing to watch. Even when she makes an unhappy face, her kindness shines through.

2. Cinderella- Best Virtues:
Cinderella is so dignified and good, even in the face of abuse, that she is just an inspiration to watch. A perfect role model for little girls, she represents everything done right in a girl to me. I love her integrity and how pure she is.

3. Aurora- Best Demeanor: Aurora has always been synonymous with grace in my mind. She has the grace of a ballerina, a regal pose, a soft-spoken voice and very demure behavior. She is modest, never shouts and overall is just so pleasant to watch and listen to. Very inspirational.

4. Ariel- Most Loyal: I know this might sound ironic considering she wanted to leave the sea for land but hear me out. Ariel is very loyal to loved ones as we see her rush in front of a deadly shark to rescue her trapped best friend, Flounder. Granted she kind of forced him to go but she would not leave him behind which I think is very brave and loyal. Furthermore, when Ariel finds out that Ursula is marrying Eric in disguise, she rushes to warn and rescue him without hesitation. This is one of Ariel's best traits.

5. Belle- Most (Balanced) Feminine: Belle symbolizes the best of femininity to me, just like Audrey Hepburn. She is small and petite which is feminine in size and she is also a feminine beauty. Beyond looks though, she has a very feminine personality. She is nurturing, supportive and optimistic as well as accommodating, pleasant and virtuous. She knows her value and respects herself with modesty. She doesn't just submit or acquiesce to any man because he thinks he's great, she makes a man earn it like (I believe) a real woman should. On the other hand, she's not a shrew, spiteful, vindictive or vengeful. She has a balanced mind and outlook with a clear goal to better herself everyday. The fact that she loves reading and wants to travel also shows the balance of her femininity and character.

6. Jasmine- Most Honest: One thing I can actually say that is positive about Jasmine is the fact that she is a pretty honest person. When she ran away (which I don't agree with at all), she did tell her father "Maybe I don't want to be a princess anymore." so she wasn't doing this "out of the blue". When she didn't tell Aladdin that she was the princess, it was to protect herself. Whether Jasmine is right or wrong, she is usually completely honest and I always give credit for honesty.

7. Pocahontas- Most Intelligent: This girl grew up in nature with very few man-made things around her yet when she encountered them, she was curious and wanted to understand instead of just immediately rejecting it. Same with meeting John Smith. She didn't care about the color of skin, she just wanted to learn and share her knowledge. In addition, she wasn't afraid to ask others for advice which is the #1 sign of intelligence. She asked Nakoma, her father and Grandmother Willow all about the "spinning arrow" in her dream. She also thought as deeply as wanting to understand the meaning behind her dreams instead of just tossing it off. She is in my opinion, definitely the most intelligent DP by far and I've read that she was very intelligent in real life too.

8. Mulan- Most Adaptable: Although Mulan may not be the most obedient, the fact that she was able to dig down deep and pull off posing as a man shows that she is certainly adaptable. Males are very different from females so this took a lot of adaption. This is a valuable trait because life isn't always fair and things aren't always equal so it is important that one is able to adapt to not only survive but thrive as well.

9. Tiana- Most Humble: Tiana would never just expect something to happen for, she believes in earning everything she gets. She believes in herself to reach her goal but she is not proud about it. She is honest with others about herself and her struggles. She is very inspirational and I don't expect her humility to leave with her new success.

10. Rapunzel- Most Courageous: Rapunzel spent her entire childhood locked in a tower and it took a lot of courage to leave and explore the world around her. When a criminal thief found himself inside of her isolated tower, she found the courage to defend herself and she even worked a deal in to see the outside world. When this criminal took her to a bar full of far creepier and scary criminals than himself, Rapunzel was also very courageous in her words and actions. It takes a lot of courage to leave the "nest" and it takes a lot of courage to face unknown and scary new things/people yet Rapunzel did it with her head held high. That is a courage that might be underrated by some but certainly not by me, I respect Rapunzel's courage greatly.

11. Merida- Most Athletic: Since I was a tomboy in my youth and still enjoy physical activities today, I admire this in Merida. I always wanted to keep my body healthy by eating well and exercising regularly and it seems Merida agrees. I also have always loved archery so it's awesome to see Merida with her bow and arrow. I also love how she's into horseback riding (I love!) and rock climbing (I like the safer versions). Her athleticism is very fun to watch.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Disney Princesses: Favorite Paintings

One of My Personal Favorites:
Vincent Van Gogh's Japonaiserie After Hiroshige (1887)The picture above is one of my personal favorites, Vincent Van Gogh's Japonaiserie After Hiroshige (1887). I am mixed Japanese and there is so much I love about Japanese culture. I really love the Japanese style here along with the character symbols and I love the use of the colors. I think the little flowers are gorgeous and this painting is overall stunning. 
I love art! I love culture, history, music and I love art. I have done some posts and polls about the Disney Princesses in reference to music, culture and fashion but not art yet so I thought I would do that next. I like to think of the Disney Princesses as "cultured" young women who have manners, etiquette, decent universal knowledge and appreciation for the arts. So, in my theory of the Disney Princesses being cultured, albeit each at their own levels, here are the paintings that I think each Disney Princess would love the most. (I could probably find a Van Gogh for each of them as I absolutely love and adore his work but I tried to keep it more spread out.) 

Snow White: Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa (1505) 
A simple portrait of a simple woman with a simple smile. I think Snow White would like this because I think she would see the beauty in all women and see this "plain face" as very beautiful. I also think she would like the subtle landscapes in the back. 

Snow White: Vincent Van Gogh's Vase With Pink Roses (1890) 
I think Snow White would absolutely adore the beauty of the pure white and soft feminine pink roses. I think she would even like that they are in a vase because they are being held up and secure without hindering any of the beauty. I think she would deeply appreciate this painting as symbolic of her finding love in the prince and being protected, and appreciated for her beauty instead of being hated for it anymore. 

Cinderella: Gerard ter Borch's Dancing Couple (1660) & Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Dance at Bougival (1883)
Her life changed with a beautiful dance at a ball so I think she would admire how these pictures took her back to the beginning of the beauty in her life. I think the first painting would remind her of the Prince bowing to her and asking her to dance while the second would remind her of how happy she was dancing with him and feeling like everything outside of them was a blur.
LEFT: Gerard ter Borch's Dancing Couple (1660) ; RIGHT: Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Dance at Bougival (1883)
Aurora: Auguste Serrure's The Picnic (1903)
Aurora loves the outdoors! It's sometimes easy to forget because she is so proper and graceful but she really does love going for walks in nature. She's also very romantic so I think she would find a picnic in the forest to be a dream date. I think this painting would be a projection of her own daydreams and she would love it for that. 

Aurora: Vincent Van Gogh's Couple Walking in the Trees (1889) 
Not only would this take her back to meeting the love of her life in the forest and going for a beautiful walk in nature, but I think she would really love the coloring here. I think she would love to see the couple between all of the trees and surrounded by the warm and inviting flowers. I think she would find this very romantic and serene.

Ariel: Rene Magritte’s “The False Mirror” (1928)
A bit obscure but I really do think Ariel would like this. I think it would be very symbolic for her of seeing the sky for the first time. I think she would find it mesmerizing. I also think she would like the sky within the eye as it would represent to her that it wasn't just a pretty picture but something new she got to experience. 

Ariel: Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette (1876)
People dancing, people talking and people playing the "snarfblatt". I think she would really love seeing the multiple events/actions going on in this event and appreciate that while everyone is together, they are still doing their own thing. I think it represents her personality well and she would identify with it because she is social but also very much okay with being a loner. 

Belle: Paul Cezanne's Mont Sainte-Victoire (1902) & Vincent VanGogh's Sunset at Montmajour (1888)
I think Belle would absolutely adore landscape paintings of "The Great Wide Somewhere". I think she would love the use of colors in both of these as well as the fact that both show "as far as the eye can see". I think they would remind her of home and travel in the very best ways. 

Jasmine: Georges Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1886) 
I think she would love how relaxed and open the vibe of this painting is. I think she would love the use of the water and sailboats with the grass representing both land and water outside. I think she would love how everyone is freely about, just doing as they please without a care in the world. I think she would also love that there are some pets around freely as well. I think this would be very symbolic for her of what would be peaceful and serene, a deep desire. 

Pocahontas: Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night (1889)
Seriously this is the closes thing I have ever seen to "painting with the colors of the wind". I think Pocahontas would love all of the color here that not only represent the normally unseen wind but also of the moon, stars and town itself. I also think she would very much appreciate it's overall blue tone because I think while she is happy about some of the things that John Smith's culture has to offer her, I think she would also find the destruction of trees for buildings to be a bit bittersweet. (I think she would like the protection from the elements and predatory animals that it provides which is why I say bittersweet, because she would be balanced and see the positives and negatives equally.) 

Mulan: Claude Monet's Nimphee (1926) & Vincent Van Gogh's Almond Blossom (1890) 
Like the beautiful bridge at her home and the gorgeous Cherry Blossom tree, I think she would absolutely love these both and how much they remind her of home, her family and overall being true to herself. She sang a good part of "Reflection" on this bridge and brought back honor with the sword to her father under the tree. She is also deep down a feminine, though not demure or completely feminine, lady so I also think she would love the floral elements of both. 
LEFT: Claude Monet's Nimphee (1926) ; RIGHT: Vincent Van Gogh's Almond Blossom (1890)

Tiana: Claude Monet's Water Lilies (1919)
I think she would not only find these colors to be absolutely beautiful together but I think she would love how such a seemingly simplistic painting could mean so much to her. I think this would absolutely remind her of "Going down the Bayou" and the time she spend learning about love and companionship. I think this would be very representative of the dream she never knew she really needed, a dream of love and deep understanding. I think that she would like this to help remind herself to be humble while also reminding her what that humility brought her, love. 

Tiana: Vincent Van Gogh's Café Terrace at Night (1888)
Tiana's lifelong dream since a child, finally achieved. I think she would love the use of colors of this and feel like it has the best parts of a "New Orleans" feel to it. I think she would like how it blends the business with the open air and sky, especially since she has that rooftop on her own business. 

Rapunzel: Claude Monet's Woman in a Garden (1867) & Georges Seurat's Circus Sideshow (1888)
I think Rapunzel would like the simple serenity of just a girl in a garden. She never got to be outside and I think it would much remind her of the first time that she did and how beautiful the natural colors of everything was. I think she would like the circus painting because I think it would bring her excitement like the "floating lanterns" did. I think she would love the amusement and social gathering involved. I think it would kind of remind her of the "kingdom dance", something fun and social to do.
LEFT: Claude Monet's Woman in a Garden (1867) ; RIGHT: Georges Seurat's Circus Sideshow (1888)

Merida: El Greco's View of Toledo (1599) 
I think Merida would appreciate the beauty in a gray or dark day and I think she would find this overlooking of the entire town to be very beautiful as it would remind her of the high climbs she likes to make in her free time. I also think the dark colors would kind of remind her of her home kingdom. 

Merida: Jackson Pollock's No. 5, 1948 (1948)
Because Merida is such a spontaneous and impulsive character, I think she would really appreciate the seemingly randomness of this style. I think the fact that it looks like it doesn't make sense yet is incredibly representative of life and the universe mathematically, would only make her absolutely love it that much more.

Elsa: Salvador Dali's The Ship (1943)
Of all of the Disney Princesses, I think Elsa is the least comfortable in her own skin. I think she would like a lot of Dali's work because of the distortions, symbolism and double meanings but I think she'd like this one the most. I think she is often overcautious but also very confident in her decisions and judgments. I think she feels like she has the weight of the world on her shoulders, becoming a Queen and taking over an entire kingdom, which is representative of the message in this painting: Pulling an enormous weight. It also could personally symbolize the weight of her parents' death on their ship that bears the enormous weight on her gaining control over her powers. I also think she could superficially identify with it as well because of the sails representing all of the ships coming in to Arendelle full of people who depend on her; the ocean since Arendelle is right next to the water; and the soldier uniform because she is the Queen and must do right by her country.

Elsa: Edvard Munch's The Scream (1893)
"Conceal, don't feel 24/7" will often lead to screaming on the inside and sometimes a blow up of screaming on the outside. I think she would really closely identify with this because I think she would feel like she is often screaming inside. 

Anna: Pierre-Auguste Renoir's The Swing (1876)
I believe we have seen a lot of evidence that Anna really likes swings. She also grew up with a lot of art of people just socializing while she was alone. I think she would like the pretty colors and love the girl on the swing here and identify with it quite closely. 

Anna: Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party (1881)
Anna is such a social butterfly, I think she would love to be surrounded by people who all enjoy each other's company. I think she would adore how happy and relaxed everyone in this photo looks and it would remind her of the times she has ahead of her with Elsa and Kristoff. Also, if she were ever lonely, there are plenty of faces for her to imitate in this single painting.

So what do you think of my selections? Are any of these your personal favorites?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Disney Princess Analysis: "Ariel just left her family for some guy she barely knew."

Okay so I have read multiple places that "Ariel just left her family for some guy she barely knew" and variations thereof. I, coincidentally enough, just watched The Little Mermaid within the last month and remember it very freshly so I would like to contribute my opinion on this matter and correct what the feminazis claim based on a distant memory of the film or ignorance of the details in the story. First though, I would like to remind people: These Disney Princess films do not take place in a modern time and setting. Most of them take place over a 100 years ago and are during a time when most people were dead by 40 and half weren't even making it that long. To put it in perspective, the equivalent of a woman 100 years ago at the age of 13-18 is the equivalent of a woman today more at the age of 18-30. This means women matured quicker, got married younger and dated/courted for a much shorter time, if at all, then now.

A. "She left her family for some guy..."
First of all, it wasn't only for a guy as Ariel had long been wanting to join the surface but Eric was just the tipping point. Secondly, so what if it was just for a man? That is her future family. At some point most women will leave their childhood family to start a new family and that is a normal part of life for most people. But ultimately, she was willing to risk her life for love and happiness because she knew exactly what she wanted. She recognized the importance of the future over the past and refused to be stuck in her present. (Though it should be noted that Ursula truly did manipulate and take advantage of Ariel's youth and naivety.)

1. Ariel had wanted to join the surface long before she saw Eric. She was constantly skipping events to go explore. As Sebastian says under his breath just before the concert near the beginning of the film "If only she'd show up for rehearsals once in a while."
Missing Ariel in Beginning of Film
2. The first we see of Ariel, she is exploring and looking for human items which she collects.
BEFORE ERIC: "Wish I could be Part of that world. What would I give, if I could live outta these waters? What would I pay to spend a day warm on the sand?"
3. When Ariel finds a fork in the sunken ship, neither her nor Flounder have any idea what it is. When Flounder asks her if she does know, she responds "I don't know, but I bet Scuttle will." This implies that she has A) gone to the surface before since Scuttle cant swim & B) she has brought him artifacts to identify before. Both of these things confirm her long-time desire for the human world.
"It's a dinglehopper. Humans use these little babies to straighten their hair out."
4. It takes a lot of dedication to understanding (or joining) the human world to save a fork & pipe from a shark. She literally gets right in front of it's face to save this bag despite her large collection of other artifacts.

Even Sebastian realizes that Ariel would be miserable without pursuing her chance on land which is why he agrees to help her try to get Eric to fall in love with her instead of telling on her to Triton immediately. 
"If we could get that witch to give you back your voice, you could go home with all the normal fish and just be... Just be... Just be miserable for the rest of your life. All right, all right. I'll try to help you find that prince."

B. "Some guy she barely knew..."
I don't know where people get this from at all. Ariel sneaked up to the surface when she saw the fireworks and watched Eric for a LONG time (relative for a film) before she rescues him and is separated by him.

During this entire time of watching Eric, she learned many things about him: 
Grimsby tells Eric that he got him a birthday present and Eric gives him a friendly slap and says "Ah, Grimsby, ya old beanpole, you shouldn't have." To which Grimsby replies with, "I know." but then gives a sly smile clearly showing the positive and somewhat close relationship between the two characters. 

1. He plays an instrument and Ariel loves music.
2. He has a good sense of humor as he was joking with Grimsby, his butler.
3. He is not spoiled or selfish as he has a good relationship with his butler and does not talk down to him at all. He treats him almost like an equal. He even has a little nickname "Grim" for him showing Eric is not an uptight guy. 

Grimsby reveals the statue to which Eric responds, "Uh, gee, Grim... Ha! (clears throat) It's, uh... It's really somethin'." not wanting to offend Grimsby.

4. He is not vain as he was not impressed by the statue of himself.

Grimsby tells Eric that he had hoped the statue would be a wedding present. Eric laughs it off and responds, "Come on, Grim. Don't start. Look, you're not still sore because I didn't fall for the Princess of Glowerhaven, are you?"
5. He is picky with women which means he must value and respect women. He doesn't want to just settle for the "princess of Glowerhaven" or any other woman who is attractive. He wants to fall in love with a woman that he can respect and cherish. ("Oh, she's out there somewhere. I just... I just haven't found her yet.")
6. He is hopeful. He believes that he will find the right girl and that he just hasn't found her "yet".

The storm hits... 
7. Eric is not lazy or just some "pretty boy" as he immediately gets hands-on in trying to help secure the ship.
8. Eric is athletic & loyal & brave as he jumps off the row boat and swims back to the burning ship just to save his dog.

At this point, Ariel knows that Eric is handsome, has a sense of humor, is humble and easygoing, respects women, is hopeful and optimistic, is brave and courageous, is loyal and athletic. At this point Ariel knows enough about Eric to know he is a great catch and lots of women would be intrigued by a man who can be described the way Ariel can describe Eric here. 
Ariel's Reprise Wakes Eric Up: "What would I give to live where you are? What would I pay to stay here beside you? What would I do to see you, smiling at me?"
Now they separate, her father destroys everything she had of the human world and there is nothing for her to remember it by. Whether or not Triton was right or wrong is a separate issue. On point here, is the fact that she already had a innate tendency towards the human world, she met a human male who was a great catch (and she clearly hadn't fallen in love with any mermen) and now she was encountered by those predators out there in the world who wait for moments of weaknesses like this. Unbeknownst to Ariel, Ursula had been watching her and took this opportunity to manipulate her.
Quite A Manipulation Tactic: Eels Kicking Eric's Face Over To Ariel Was Completely On Purpose

Ariel goes to Ursula and gets her legs and a chance to see if Eric would fall in love with her and she gets to learn even more about him than before! 

"That voice. I can't get it out of my head. I've looked everywhere, Max. Where could she be?"
9. Eric is not shallow and super loyal. He clearly thinks Ariel is beautiful as he remembers that the woman who saved him was beautiful. When he sees Ariel, he was playing her song on the flute hoping to see her again. When Ariel cannot speak, he assumes it must not have been her and wants to keep searching for his "mystery girl". (He assumes this since normally the voice would be a good way to match the girl.) Ariel's equal beauty wasn't enough to deter him from his loyalty.

Even after Ariel got legs and spent some time with Eric, he didn't want to let go of his "mystery girl". Poor Ariel had to compete with herself. It took 2 day and nights together plus Grimsby's urging for Eric to even consider letting go of his dream and dating Ariel. 
"Eric? If I may say, far better than any dream girl is one of flesh and blood, one warm and caring and right before your eyes."

10. Eric is very kind and generous. He sees that Ariel must have been through quite an ordeal so he takes her to his palace for food and shelter. He is incredibly respectful and polite to her the entire time.

11. Eric is light-hearted. As they are rowing out for a romantic boat ride, Scuttle is killing the mood with his obnoxious yelling. Eric hears this and says jokingly to Ariel, "Wow. Somebody should find that poor animal and put it out of it's misery."

12. Eric is a perfect gentleman. He spends the entire day catering to her and her desires. He takes her to see the puppets, takes her dancing and even lets her "drive" a carriage for the first time. Throughout the entire day he doesn't even try to make a move on her, he just spends time with her. Then when things do get more romantic, he is still a perfect gentleman. He doesn't even want to try to kiss Ariel without knowing her name first. Since she cannot speak, he actually tries to guess what her name is. He is really trying to be as accommodating to her and respectful as possible. Sure, part of it is shyness but that shyness stems from a place of morals.
"You know, I feel really bad not knowing your name. Maybe I could guess."
13. Eric is just as passionate about his love as Ariel is. As a human, he rows out into the ocean and swims down to try and take on the sea witch so as not to lose his dream girl. As he says to Grimsby while he is rowing out, "I already lost her once. I'm not going to lose it again." He is also smart enough to use the ship in Ursula's self-created tornado/tsunami to kill her and save Ariel's life (as well as every other merperson who was captured by Ursula as her spell was undone once she was dead).

14. Ariel's family didn't mind that she was in love and wanted to leave them and move on, they were concerned with her safety over him being a human. This is why her sisters and father were all happy for her when they realized she was in love and why they were so quick to accept her marriage to Eric once he proved himself by killing Ursula and Triton gave Ariel her legs so she could be with him.
Attina: "Oh, she's got it bad." King Triton: "What? What has she got?" Andrina: "Isn't it obvious, Daddy? Ariel's in love." King Triton: "Ariel? In love?...Oh, who could the lucky merman be?"