Short Story Sunday

“Anna?” Jane knocked on her friend’s cabin door again. “What’s wrong Anna? You have to come out sometime! OR at least answer your phone!”

“NO! I—I can’t!” Anna stubbornly responded, slamming books around for good measure.

“Why not?”

“Remember Franme’s parting shot?” Anna sighed defeatedly, knowing that Jane would never stop hounding her.

“You mean the light show that FREAK hit you with? Yeah, I remember,” Jane was so frustrated now that she punched her hand like a catcher getting ready for the pitch. Her best friend had gone to take a nap the day before and was now refusing to sen unlock the cabin door. This line of questioning was obviously getting them no where but at least it was a conversation. “Did it make your tummy hurt sweetie? You didn’t grow a tail or fur or anything, right?”

“Well, it definitely did more than we thought.”

SCRAPE! POP! CLICK! CREAK! Anna slowly unlocked and opened the door, preparing to face her nightmare. “I think I know what all that babbling about ‘True Forms’ meant now…”

Jane stood frozen, eyes wide with disbelief and mouth slightly agape. She had gotten exactly what she wanted, her best friend had finally opened the door…too bad it was to show off a brand new pair of glistening, shimmering, butterfly wings!

“I can’t come out Janie,” Anna whispered, “We’re on a ship in the middle of the ocean. There is no where else to hide.” And with a soft click and tumbler, the door was once again in Jane’s baffled face.

Frozen

I want to say first that I was pleasantly surprised by the new Disney movie Frozen. Near the beginning of the movie, when Princess Anna meets her supposed true love and they decide to get married after a few hours of small talk, I balked. I thought “Oh no! Not another movie where the girl is sheltered and then finds true love after the first ten minutes of being outside!” But then the tides shifted and I enjoyed the change of scenery. Plus, there’s a dancing singing snow man who loves summer…who doesn’t enjoy that?

There are some people who have decided to complain that this is another princess movie wherein the heroin(s) are tiny and perky and pretty. That three years locked away from the world after their parents die would probably have had the girls munching on large doses of junk food and lazing about until they couldn’t fit into curtain dresses. (1) These two are obviously not depressed (as witnessed by singing and dancing about). Sad, yes. Naïve and sheltered, check. But depressed…no.

(2) Very few women in the world would look at an artist and seriously say, “When you draw me as this cartoon figure of a princess, please widen my hips to about three times their normal size, add a hanging stomach pooch, and give me tubby feet and chicken wing arms.” Honestly, there is an ideal in every person’s head, male or female. We all know exactly how we want to look and what size we want to be. Even people who are perfectly happy with their body image will tell you that they could probably stand to gain/lose a pound or two, or that they would like highlights or a new tattoo, or even just a new dress.

Would I like to see a cartoon show up with a plus sized princess? Sure, if it works with the storyline. However, can we be completely candid here and agree that an overweight princess probably wouldn’t have done a great job of trudging through the snow to find her new home or older sister? I know I wouldn’t be able to get very far before my thunder thighs and bronchitis made me sit in the cold for a while. (By the way, I feel the same way about Cinderella..who wasn’t fed enough to be tubby; Ariel…a FISH who swam all day {great exercise for keeping svelte}; Aurora…who was kept in a small forest cottage with three gardening fairies; and Belle…whose only parent didn’t make enough to put much food on the table other than home grown organics.)

Perhaps instead of being so concerned that our children will grow up with a skewed view of the world because the princesses in the cartoons are so skinny and helpless (OBVIOUSLY NOT PEOPLE…PAY ATTENTION TO THE MOVIES!! GOOD GRIEF! But that’s another blog really…) maybe, just maybe, we should be focusing on making sure that they find the morals of the story and don’t focus on looks so much. Belle found love with a Beast, evil was triumphed over, and Princess Anna saved herself and her sister by an act of true sisterly love…no kisses required. Too bad she didn’t get to keep the white hair though…I would LOVE streaks like that!

What are your thoughts on the subject?