100 Happy Days 9 – drawing princesses

I know I’m late by a day, but I couldn’t find my SD card yesterday and I’d rather take the photographs myself than find images online.

So here’s my sketch of Rapunzel – it looks wonky on the photograph, but I promise it’s not THAT bad in real life:

One of my favourite princesses

I’ve been pinning a lot of game and film characters on my Pinterest, but I have found a particular interest in princess stories at the moment. I still remember the film “A Little Princes” (haven’t had the pleasure of reading the book) when she says all girls are princesses deep down. I do think the idea is rather romantic, and I do accept that a lot of the princess character portrayals in Disney films kinda fail a little at times. But I like to look at the strengths of the girls instead of the negatives.

Snow White, for her time, is quite assertive. Aurora does do a whole bunny-in-headlights vanishing act but, to be fair to her, she’s lied to her whole life, told she’s forbidden to marry the guy she likes, and the bombshell is dropped that she’s a betrothed princess who now has a tonne of expectation on her, not to mention the imminent meeting of the parents she’s not seen since she was a baby. And she’s only 16 in the film! While Snow White is only 14. Cinderella takes her life of servitude with a level of grace and good-humour that I find quite inspiring. She takes so much stick, and just keeps taking it, while still finding the inner strength to keep her spirits up right until she’s pushed too far. Everyone has a limit, after all.

And, once again, bearing in mind the times these films were made, the characters are actually fairly fleshed out. These days we demand more from our characters. And, before my fellow feminists jump on me – what EXACTLY does Prince Charming do, apart from dance, have a stupid name and carry shoes? Snow White’s prince doesn’t even have a name! Only Phillip really does anything much, bless him. I know the princes in Disney films aren’t “meant to be role models” in the same way society seems to want the princesses to be. but I also know the first thing you do to decide if something is sexist is compare men and women in the same context. And I can’t honestly say Charming did half as much as Cinderella. Nameless Snow White Prince doesn’t do anything! Apart from scare doves and kiss girls. How is that a role model? Most boys can do that at 7!

And I’m not just entranced by the princess characters from the franchise, or even from Disney itself. Look at Anastasia! That film’s stunning! And I don’t really like The hunchback of Notre Damme much as a film, but Esmeralda is amazing! I had a doll of her when I was a child. I had an Ariel doll too. Now, there’s a girl who isn’t afraid to fight for what she wants, even if it means leaving everything she knows behind.

I’m going to go watch Enchanted again. I do love that film, it’s silly but, at the same time, really romantic and touching. Bless him, Prince Edward is such a clueless little bobcat!

Kirsty