Disney Princesses have long been the target of scorn for their characterization that women are defined by beauty, sexiness, and money. The fact that many of these princesses are supposedly girls or teenagers only increases the scorn. Most recently, Princess Merida from Brave had to undergo a quick change (or, more accurately, Disney had to undue changes it had made) because of public outcry over her updated sexy wardrobe. When Merida first debuted in the movie Brave, she gave many people hope that Disney had created a strong female character – one who used wit and brawn to tackle obstacles. Then they sexed her up and folks got mad. Credit to Disney for recognizing their error and going back to what made Merida great.
But listen up my anti-Disney friends; I do want to point out that a certain Disney character already fits the image of a strong woman. She is beautiful, but her beauty is not her overriding characteristic. Yes, her long eyelashes and pretty eyes suggest that she might be another shallow girl, but there is more behind those blues than just a desire to be rich and pretty. Who could I be talking about? Why Daisy Duck, of course.
Yes, Daisy does love Donald and Donald loves Daisy and there isn’t anything wrong with that. Being in love is a beautiful thing and someone loving you is beautiful also, but love isn’t her end and it certainly doesn’t define her. She cares about fitness, empowering her mind, and if she isn’t treated well by Donald, she lets him have it. Not always in the healthiest of ways, but at least she gets her point across. Nobody has a say over Daisy’s life more than Daisy. She walks to the beat of her own drum.
I’m aware that there are some episodes here and there that portray Daisy as a love struck wanderer, but those aren’t the episodes my kids watch over and over again. Kids enjoy seeing Daisy be passionate and strong and letting her wishes be known. The next time you want to throw your hands up in the air because you feel Disney is trying to set feminism back, take a look at Daisy. She is fighting to make her voice heard. I just wish she’d put on some pants.