White Queen

You cannot live your life to please others. The choice must be yours.

I’ve learned over the years that no matter how you choose to live your life, whether you stick with the rules, rebel, or just go with the flow, someone out there is destined to disapprove. But you, my friend, are a unique individual and I encourage you to be proud of that fact. In middle school that can be hard and high school can be even worse because so many people are entirely too judgmental. And you know why that is? Because they’re insecure and plan on making your insecurities even stronger so theirs will be diminished. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really get better as you get older because those people who were ‘haters’ when they were younger will still judge you because they never learned how to survive without severely criticizing others. But don’t get discouraged. There is a bright side:  you learn how to deal with it and allow it to make you stronger. Cliché as it is, it’s true. The more you learn that what others think truly does not matter, the more you can love yourself and everything you enjoy, without giving a second thought to what others’ opinions will be. Be true to yourself; life is so much better when you are. ©

Maleficent

Fools! Idiots! Imbeciles!
Oh, they’re hopeless. A disgrace to the forces of evil.

Maleficent was furious with her crew of goons when they were unable to find Princess Aurora. She was cruel when she shooed them away, calling them names in her disgust. (But what else do you expect from a villain, really?) And yet, I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there, just maybe not with the same response. Someone has asked us to do something, either as a favor or a job, and we were unable to complete the task. Humiliation and embarrassment typically follow and we feel we’ve severely let this person down. The consequences could be great, or perhaps just result in that person not trusting us with a similar task again, but we can’t let this get us down. We must remember that if we tried our darnedest and committed to it 100% and still were unable to accomplish what was asked of us, there was simply nothing else within our power we could have done. And this doesn’t constitute as ‘failure’ either. In my eyes, the only way you can truly fail is by not trying. Attempting to complete something for someone else results in success: in working hard toward a goal, in potentially trying something you’re not fully confident in, and ultimately, in caring for someone other than yourself. And there’s nothing wrong with that. ©

Captain Hook

Captain Hook: [about to lower a bomb into Peter Pan’s hideout]
And now, Smee, to take care of master Peter Pan.
Smee: But, Captain, wouldn’t it be more humane-like to slit his throat?
Captain Hook: Aye, that it would, Mr. Smee. But I have given me word not to lay a finger, or a hook, on Peter Pan. And Captain Hook never breaks a promise.

While the Captain may have been planning a dastardly thing, he does have one redeeming characteristic – he never breaks a promise. Even the most evil of villains sticks to his word. And this is something I think a lot of people are missing these days. Certainly, actions speak louder than words alone, but ‘giving your word’ to someone used to mean a whole lot more. Now people break promises, commitments, and agreements without giving it a second thought. People seem to no longer be held accountable for these actions either, even though it does do a lot of harm: trust is threatened, relationships are damaged, and their character is polluted. So when you promise something to someone, whomever they may be, make sure you mean what you say. While society may not place high value on spoken words, individuals do. Be that person whom people can respect; it really does make a huge difference in how they see you…and how you see yourself. ©

Ursula

The men up there don’t like a lot of blabber. They think a girl who gossips is a bore. Yes, on land it’s much preferred for ladies not to say a word. After all, dear, what is idle prattle for?
Come on, they’re not all that impressed with conversation. True gentlemen avoid it when they can.
But they dote and swoon and fawn, on a lady who’s withdrawn. It’s she who holds her tongue who gets her man.

With Halloween coming up, I thought perhaps some villains might also be able to grant us a little insight and advice. And indeed they can! Ursula is Ariel’s jealous foe and she’ll say anything to get the naive mermaid to believe her – and hand over her beautiful singing voice. This wicked witch manipulates her with all those lies; convincing her that a quiet girl is in fact who will win over a young man. But that’s just not true. Boys may be intimidated by your smarts and go for girls who really don’t have much to say and are more…’physical beings,’ but a real man will respect the fact that you have opinions and thoughts on world goings-on. Be proud of your intelligence, ladies! A young man who really loves you, will love everything about you…including your IQ. ©

Giselle

I’ve been dreaming of a true love’s kiss, And a prince I’m hoping comes with this,
That’s what brings everaftering so happy, And that’s the reason we need lips so much,
For lips are the only things that touch, So to spend a life of endless bliss,
Just find who you love through true love’s kiss…

Giselle exemplifies what it means to be a hopeless romantic. She comes from a fairytale world where princes and seemingly perfect love do exist. Unfortunately, we don’t live in Andalasia – and this is the sole premise of her movie, Enchanted. She discovers the truth about the world we live in and interestingly enough, in the end, chooses to live her life in our reality with the ‘real’ man she fell for: her true love. I think this says a lot about how we should view our own lives. Giselle’s innocence and imaginative wonder allowed her to see our world in a positive light, however still experiencing some hardships. Through her transformation, she had to let go of her fantasy world and with it, her first love, Prince Edward. She truly thought this was the man she was going to marry, but life experiences changed her and opened her eyes to many marvelous things – things she never believed were possible. It’s because all of this that I think we should try and live our lives like Giselle: pure at heart, seeing the best in people, and dreaming of the day we’ll experience our ‘true love’s kiss…’ ©

Tiana

I remember Daddy told me:
“Fairytales can come true. You gotta make ’em happen, it all depends on you.”
So I work real hard each and every day. Now things for sure are going my way.
Just doing what I do – Look out boys, I’m coming through!

Tiana had a lifelong dream – to open her own restaurant. Even though it seemed like it would never happen, she never gave up on it. She remembered her father’s words and let those motivate her. She struggled along the way, but eventually her dream came to fruition – turning her ‘Place’ into a ‘Palace.’  Hard work certainly pays off. Dedicating yourself to something you love and working on it everyday definitely increases your chance of success. But this doesn’t mean that it will be easy. You’ll get discouraged, people will put you down, and at some point, exhaustion hits and you need a break. But none of these mean that your dream is unattainable; they’re just obstacles along the way, challenging you to continue doing your best despite them. You can let these setbacks destroy your ambition or you can use them as fuel toward ultimately achieving your goal, ‘it all depends on you.’ ©

Belle

Townspeople:
Look there she goes, that girl is so peculiar. I wonder if she’s feeling well.
With a dreamy far off look. And her nose stuck in a book.
What a puzzle to the rest of us is Belle…

Sometimes people just don’t understand us. They judge us by the way we look, act or choose to live our lives. And when it’s not in correspondence with their expectations, they tend to think negative thoughts. Belle is smart and independent and even though she wonders if there’s “more than this provincial life,” she stays true to herself and what brings her happiness – in particular, reading storybooks. She nurtures the ‘child at heart’ with these fables of “far off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, and a prince in disguise.” She’s very much a young woman who perhaps dreams of finding her own prince someday, but is enjoying where she is in life at every moment. This is what I want to encourage you to do. Continue to find joy in what the world deems ‘childish’ for these are the innocent pleasures people try to rob from us with their judgements. Just because they see it as ‘weird’ or ‘uncool’, who cares? If you love it and it brings you happiness, that’s all that really matters. ©

Ariel

I’ve got gadgets and gizmos a-plenty. I’ve got whozits and whatzits galore.
You want thingamabobs? I’ve got twenty!
But who cares? No big deal. I want more…

A lot of people have heard this lyric and automatically assumed that Ariel was this stuck-up girl who didn’t care about anything she owned and only wanted ‘more’. Honestly, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Ariel has collected and treasured these earthly items for years and has always wondered what it would be like to “live out of these waters.” She’s cherished these artifacts and kept them safe. It’s not that she doesn’t care anymore – she’s just ready to experience something…grand. She’s grown as a person and is ready to move on to bigger and better things. Maturing is a natural part of life, even for a mermaid. And sometimes people assume that because you have lofty goals, you don’t appreciate the here and now. But this isn’t true either. I think dreamers appreciate the present more than anyone because they see the magic in it that others don’t value. They also see every moment as a stepping stone to where they want to be. Each and every accomplishment, whether it is momentous or miniscule, is appreciated by the people with aspirations. They work hard to achieve their dreams and no longer need to wonder, “When’s it my turn?” because they know it will be theirs soon. ©

Jasmine

Aladdin: Your majesty, I am Prince Ali Ababwa. Just let her meet me. I will win your daughter.
Jasmine: How dare you? All of you! Standing around deciding my future. I am not a prize to be won!

You gotta love Jasmine’s strength and determination, especially when standing up to her father in a serious situation. But what really caught my attention was Aladdin’s line – even though he knew she would like him because they had met before, out of context (the way Jasmine’s hearing it because she doesn’t understand the circumstances), this is a really arrogant statement. And unfortunately, this is how some guys act anymore. They think they’re hot commodities, no matter what they look or act like. Personally, I’ve heard some great lines when guys ask me out on dates – we’ll go out to dinner and they’ll talk about how amazing they are, what they’ve accomplished that makes them so great, and how handsome they are (yes, I’m not making this up). I would sit there wide-eyed and amazed, but not in the way they wanted me to be. I couldn’t believe the bravado they displayed, especially when they should be doing just the opposite: wanting to learn about the girl they’re with and complimenting her, and not just to get something from her at the end of the night. That’s what makes Jasmine’s reaction so admirable. She know she deserves better than this and she’s not going to put up with it anymore. And neither should you. ©

Cinderella

“Am I beautiful because you love me? Or do you love me because I am beautiful?”

Hair dye and highlights, perfecting brow stencils, false eyelashes, multiple shades of eyeshadow, thick eyeliner, ultimate coverage foundation and concealer, contouring and blush and highlighting, lip plumpers, pore minimizing moisturizer, facial masks, acne treatments, fake tanner, fake nails, fake boobs, and we can’t forget about the weight loss obsession…no wonder women are so insecure!
Look at this list – there are so many expectations held by young men, and other young women, that we must look a certain way. Clearly, this takes a loooot of time and effort. And in the end, we don’t even resemble our true selves; we are merely a reflection of ‘accepted’ beauty. We’ve become so enslaved to this idea that we’re ashamed of the way we look without makeup on and put ourselves down for the size of our thighs or the shape of our eyes. This insecurity is not only crushing our confidence, but it’s damaging our relationships with others, especially in romantic situations. We start to question, after morphing ourselves to fit the mold, whether or not the guy actually likes ‘us’ or just the facade he sees. Girls, it’s time to wipe off the makeup, eat a cookie, and celebrate life. Let’s start a beauty revolution where we take back the power society has stripped from us and declare ourselves beautiful looking just the way we are!
Are you in? I know I am. ©