When I was a little girl, I used to get so annoyed with watching Disney movies. The damsel in distress was always some white blonde with blue eyes. The villain was always some olive-toned brunette. I would get irritated & say, “Why does the girl who looks like me evil?”
Representation matters, people.
I always felt the “villains” were misunderstood. Maleficent was publically rejected so no wonder she acted out. I would too. Triton fucked over Ursula so she saw an opportunity to fight back. Again, I can see it. And Shere Khan going after Mowgli? He’s a fucking tiger. That’s what they do!
It wasn’t until I was freshly 11 years old when I felt what I assume other children of Aryan races felt by Disney movies. I watched “Beauty & the Beast” & was immediately captivated. Belle was a brunette who loved to read & was judged by everyone else around her. Same, fam. Here was a heroine I could relate to.
The next year or so, Aladdin came out. Another brunette – of color, no less! – but Jasmine was portrayed as this glorified sex kitten to be married off at 16. Sad trombone. Not at all what I was looking for.
But Belle! She & I had instantly connected. I had the Barbie couple set (Again, a Barbie that wasn’t a blonde was huge for me) that I played with nonstop. I watched the VHS so much that it wouldn’t play right. I had books, cassette tapes, sticker books, & any other form of print media I could get my hands on. I started to wear my hair in a low pony with a blue ribbon around it. If I had a blue dress, I would wear it out.
I couldn’t get enough.
But time moved on & new movies came out. Once again, I didn’t relate with any of the characters (until Mulan came out like the badass motherfucker that she is!). Belle is still the one for me. Even typing this out, I have a Funko Pop of Belle in her iconic blue dress on top of my monitor. 🙂
But she is the only heroine in the midst of villains. There are some I still feel a connection towards. Morticia & Wednesday Addams are serious goals even though they’re not technically villains. Megamind & Elsa in “Frozen” speak to my soul like no one else.
Of course, Maleficent is up there really high for me. I felt like she was cast out among the village just for being herself. Then when she shows up for the birth of the new princess, she gets some major attitude. What the fuck, right? She’s venturing out & trying to socialize. And so, she’s like, “Fuck it. Y’all want to be dicks? Fine. Suck on this.” and goes HAM.
God, I LOVE IT! Power, man. It’s like a drug. I can totally see her lashing out & just feeding off of their fear.
Sigh… Just perfect.
Get your revenge, Maleficent. Show them who’s boss.