Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Disney Princess Legitimacy

You can tell it is summer and all the major medieval conferences are now over, because we seem to have entered the silly season of medievalism. Carolingian over at Medievalisms has a post about Disney princesses, in which she evaluates the relative claims of legitimacy of six princesses: Belle, Jasmine, Cinderella, Ariel, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), and Snow White. According to her analysis, the strongest claim of legitimacy can be made by Aurora, "as she is royal by birth, by clear lawful marriage, and by the hinted production of a legitimate heir."

One thing I was confused about, though ... in her analysis, Snow White is in the list of "relatively economically disadvantaged women." Now, I haven't seen the movie for a looooong time, but in the Disney version, wasn't she the daughter of the king, with the villain playing dual roles of "evil stepmother" and "usurping regent?" Or have I conflated Sleeping Beauty and Snow White in my memory?


  1. Snow White gets kicked out to live in poverty... So although she's of privileged background, *relatively* speaking she's less privileged than Jasmine, Ariel and Aurora. And less privileged in her relatives than anyone except Cinderella.

    But so far as I understand inheritance laws (ie, not much), it does seem odd to lump her with Belle and Cinderella, being definitely a princess by birth.

  2. Thanks for the mention, I thought I'd have some fun with Disney :)

    Yes, Snow White is a princess by birth, but seemed to fit in with Belle and Cinderella due to her lack of family support(indeed, the only family being the evil queen step-mother), poverty (rags, etc.), and the fact that in the film there is no talk of her own kingdom or of her own inheritance. When the prince finds her in the end, they go riding off into the sunset of his castle, not hers. Though, yes, it is a good point that she, unlike Belle and Cinderella, is an actual princess by birth. I knew I forgot to elaborate on one of them, thanks :)

  3. Why is it nobody mentions the fact that the only thing Ariel wears for the first part of the movie is a seashell bra? That's right folks, that "fishtail" is her. :)