heroine happiness : beyond the disney princess

Disney gets a lot of flack for its ‘princessification‘ of its heroines. Where Disney heros save the day with their bulging biceps and gallant swords, the heroines are often turned in to passive and pretty victims with tiny feet and angelic voices whose only mission is to sit back and be saved by the handsome prince.

But even with the glitter and woodland animals — in order for Disney heroines to reach their happy ever afters they all had to face uncomfortable challenges and find their strength to step in to who they really are.

Traditionally, fairytale heroines are powerful and passionate girls who confront the often mad world head-on to make things right. The heroine’s journey is about leaving the comfort of the status quo (which, in reality, is usually quite uncomfortable) to uncover the magical part of herself that lives beyond the everyday world. It requires braveness and kickassery. Not dwarves and princes.



And fairytales themselves are really templates for personal growth and development.  About discovering who you are, what you really stand for and what you really want. About learning to rise to difficulty, hurt and pain as well as love, laughter and fun. About using fear in a constructive way. About uncovering your magic and talents to fill that hole in the world that only heroine-shaped you can fill.

A heroine is:

  • Fiercely independent. She takes 100% responsibility for her situation…doesn’t wait for permission…or for anyone else to catch up. And her successes or failures ain’t no one else’s business.
  • An action figure – She makes shit happen and isn’t just a legend or victim in her own mind.
  • Capitalizes on her strengths
  • Embraces and re-purposes her “flaws
  • Brave – FYI brave does not mean fearless. Everybody is scared.
  • Instinctual – Connected to her inner wisdom and GPS…making the self-help literature library superfluous.
  • Passionate purpose – She has a driving mission that makes slaying the dragons and escaping the sucking swamps not only doable, but a little bit fun.
  • Playful – She’s a funny chick that keeps it real but doesn’t take herself too seriously.
  • Bad. Ass.

And, of course, adventurous….though not necessarily innately so. But when it becomes glaringly obvious that things need to change — she’s down.

Tell me who your favorite fairytale heroine is and why! 



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