So yesterday I read this piece called Why My Kids Will Not Be Watching The Little Mermaid and if you just returned after clicking to read the drivel, you may very well understand why I came away so pissed off. I would've just left a comment but, as you can see, that option doesn't exist.
So instead, I'll just rant.
Her insistence that The Little Mermaid is some horrible plot to destroy the world's children is either insane or the result of piss poor comprehension skills. Let's examine her claims, shall we?
Ariel is an adored, adventurous, smart and kind beauty with an amazing gift -- her voice. Not only is she perfectly slender, naturally curious and socially superlative among the creatures of the sea, she is the king's daughter -- a legitimate princess with social stature.
Yes, she is gifted. As Sebastian says, "she has the most beautiful voice." Know what other gifts she has? An unending curiosity that, despite all attempts by her father, has not faded with childhood. She still looks at the world above and dreams of the life she wants, not the one she has. See, she is more than the one talent everyone can't wait to see (or rather, hear) on stage. Ariel, though, would rather be exploring. Oh, dear, Poseidon forbid a girl goes all Tomb Raider years before Lara Croft. And about that whole being a princess thing? Why don't we ask another Disney princess how she feels about that...
Oh, sure. People who tell you where to go and how to dress... You're not free to make your own choices...You're just...Trapped.
Ariel desires to become something she clearly is not -- a human being. She continues to question her environment (sea of friends), her body (lack of legs) and her happiness, envying us land folk, until she gets what she wants (a man).
Seems like being royalty isn't as kick ass as some would like to believe. Ariel is more than a crown, just like any real world princess. So why can't she aspire to be something else? Does it have something to do, maybe, with her motive? According to the completely wrong post that started this, yes. According to the actual film? Um, that'd be a no.
And let's not forget what she gives up to make her dreams come true.
To achieve her desires, the bubbly redhead gives up her special voice to be part of a society that would not normally accept her in her true form.
Yes, she gives something up. She make a sacrifice - something people do to get what they want. And I'm going to ignore the lack of humans accepting her with a tail because she doesn't get rid of to be liked; the girl wants bloody feet! She even sang about it!
I wanna be where the people are
What would I give if I could live out of these waters?
Okay, back to Ariel's questioning of everything...
A sixteen year old wondering about her place in the world. How unhealthy! No, not really. See, some children do not grow up to be carbon copies of their parents and any grown folks who try to force that to happen are doing their job wrong. And what she wants is not a man. It's legs. Human legs. And everything that comes with them.
Nowhere in Part of Your World does she yearn for a guy. She wants to leave the life she was born into (not that something like that ever happens) and find out what else there is. She has fallen in love with being human from afar, not a human. If anything, she wants away from her overbearing father so she can have an opportunity to grow.
That (Oh, no, no, no, no, no. I can't stand it! It's too easy! The child is in love with a human. And not just any human. A prince!) comes later. After her father throws his hissy-fit, destroys the closest thing she has to her dream and pushes her right into Ursula's tentacles. So, what happens when she and Eric meet?
With a sexy smile, confidence and a cool boat (a cute dog, too), Eric falls in love with Ariel, who has never spoken a single word in his presence. Forget politics, religion and issues of the world -- these two do not discuss anything.
She's right, you know. They don't speak at all until after Ursula-as-Vanessa tricks him. Eric falls head over heels and it take some dark magic to pull him away. It is inconceivable that someone could fall for someone else when there's no talking involved. Seeing what a sweet, amazing, kind, generous person someone is is no way to judge a person. No, you must base it entirely on whether they think the King should reform the tax code or if the local temple is the one true path.
Oh, wait, sorry. Her jaded view of the world affected me momentarily. Sorry about that.
Now, want to know what part really annoyed me?
The moral of the story lies here: change who you are -- not simply to be loved, but also to be accepted by others. Additionally, it portrays men as physically judgmental, only caring about the way a woman looks, bats her eyes and smiles -- that they do not consider any thoughts, feelings or concerns in one's pretty little head.
I must wonder of the writer even watched the damn movie or if she bases her ridiculous claims on the made up crap others have posted. Ariel did not change herself to be loved by others; she changed herself for herself. She wanted to walk the sandy beaches and play in the warm sun long before Eric's boat sailed overhead.
And if you think Eric only liked her for her looks, then why'd he take so long to make a move? Even without speaking, he got to know her and it wasn't until Grimsby, having seen the connection between the two, said very rationally, Eric?... If I may say... far better than any dream girl is one of flesh and blood. One warm, and caring, and right before your eyes.
Oh, look, the old dude saw the kind of person she was. Just as Eric did.
So how did the writer miss it? Does she wrap herself so tightly in her jaded ways that there's no light left? Does she not want children to hope and dream and aspire? Maybe she just wants to pass along her resentment to later generations.
You know, kind of like King Triton tried. And we see how that turned out.