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“Princesses and Flaws”

According to a study at Harvard University, introverts tend to think deeply about matters and even in the relaxed state their minds were more active. I think this rationale would be enough to make sense of this article as you may find it only my perception. Being an introvert and spending less time in social gatherings, I tend to be alone either reading or discovering new things. The curiosity of finding secrets behind the screen always seems fun. On one such day while watching a very famous Disney Movie “Snow White” a particular scene left me with many strange thoughts, yes the triggering ones! So I started to reconfirm my observations and support them with evidence. After all the research I realized that the stories we kept idealizing as the perfect stories with perfect characters and perfect endings were all flawed. The flaws, even being so apparent, seemed invisible. The Disney Princesses that once every girl thought of as perfect role models also had some underlying mental health conditions, they too had some weaknesses.

Let us start with SnowWhite. What do you guys think about when the story becomes depressive? Yes, the moment when she was being attacked by the man, her step-mother sent to kill her. She faced the trauma of nearly facing her own death. After successfully escaping the deadly attack, she started experiencing weird symptoms. At first she has illusions that the deadly forest is attacking her, she is unsafe everywhere. Afterwards, she keeps herself busy with household tasks at the dwarf’s house rather than going back to her own kingdom. Even she avoids telling her story to dwarfs, hence completely avoiding everything related to the trauma she faced. Don’t you think all this is deviant from normal behavior? Well psychologists do think. As the symptoms completely meet the criteria, the character of snow white is diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

So, the next princess on the list will be Ariel, the little mermaid. So you were also the one who believed that mermaids really exist? It’s okay, everything that is unreal in this world is real in our Imagination. Moving forward, just like we humans wanted to become a mermaid our whole childhood, Ariel too wanted to become a human being and have legs. She was so desperate to have legs that she was even hostile towards her father. Her underlying condition is said to be body dysmorphia i.e. being unsatisfied with own body. Another noticeable point is her habit of collecting things and not being able to easily get rid of them. Her ship is filled with numerous useless things. It can be hoarding syndrome (saving everything resulting in unmanageable clutter) or it can be Disposophobia (unable to get rid of things). She was truly a disturbed girl but we as a kid thought that prince is the only solution to all her problems, isn’t it true?

Belle, a brave girl while trying to save her father’s life, fell in love with the beast. “Beauty and the Beast” made us feel that love is unconditional of your appearance, but psychologists have a very different view about her love story. The beast captivated Belle in his dungeon with the intention of getting rid of his curse. After being imprisoned, Belle finds herself emotionally inclined towards the beast. This whole thing is actually a psychological condition called Stockholm syndrome (developing emotional bonds with your own Captor). There is a big chance that the developed feelings are only a defense used to deal with the ongoing situation and trauma of being captivated. We never know whether the love was eternal or just a matter of time.

Anna of Arendelle, always impulsive, messing things up, causing troubles and never being patient in any matter but still the favorite of many little girls. Her impulsivity caused trouble to many around her and she was the same as a child and as an adult. Her condition is likely to be called ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in which the person is always impulsive. When she fell in love with the prince within a few seconds of meeting him, we all thought of it as love at first sight but actually It was her impulsive nature that made her take decisions impetuously.

Now the most important and my favorite one, “Cinderella”. The one I’ve always admired and loved. She was never able to make decisions by herself and always needed approval from others either her step-mother or her animal friends. One such scene when she renewed the dress after the disapproval from her mouse friend. We all thought that she was very lonely and had no choice. But actually she was the one who decided to surrender in front of her step-mother and step-sisters. She was the one who never took stand for herself, instead kept obeying orders to get accepted and every time needed approval, because she was suffering from Dependant-personality disorder.

The list doesn’t stop here. Almost every Disney princess had an underlying psychological condition that we all as a kid never noticed. I personally think we all unconsciously take interest in what we find relatable. When we find a visual representation of our own underlying condition, unconsciously our mind directs us towards it, we find comfort in watching our own story. Most importantly the happy ending acts as reinforcement. What we actually need to pay attention towards is that none of these stories actually provided the true solution to the problems. These story endings were actually the intermissions.

We never know whether the prince kept them happy or not? Whether her impulsivity reduced after she reunited with Elsa? Whether their love was actually love or it was temporary. We stop thinking once we are told that it is “The End” and they stay happily ever after.

While Reality may not be like this and we face disappointments when life doesn’t go like we have imagined. We only want to see what we are being shown, but actually bitter things are being Sugar-Coated and running in generations as the cherry on the top. We need to realize how important it is not to easily digest everything. Just a little attention could tell us the reality.

No single line mentioned in this article aims to belittle the art of fiction but to promote the idea that despite having the same physiology of the brain, human beings differ in their perception. It is very important to realize the value of perception in our life. A little shift to our way of perceiving things and it may do wonders for us.

 

2 Comments

  • Chanda

    March 8, 2024 - 9:07 am

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    Thanks a lot.

  • Carlota

    March 10, 2024 - 5:38 pm

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