Things Ariel Taught Me

Ariel.  In 1989, she was who every young girl wanted to be.  This Little Mermaid proved that if you work hard and play your cards right, you can have your cake and eat it too… on a boat, with your Prince and fireworks.  Complete with a little emotional growth learned along her road to happiness, she is living-cartoon proof that you can achieve everything you want out of life, circumstances be damned.

Let’s face it: even now, I want to be her – drop-dead gorgeous, amazing hair, can sing like you wouldn’t believe, owner of the perkiest boobs EVER, former undersea Princess, rule breaker, trouble maker, problem solver, Prince-marrier and just naive enough to be cute.  Even though for most of the movie she didn’t speak, if you really listen, this redhead speaks volumes.

All these years later, I’ve realized Ariel schooled me on some very important tips on growing up:

– Never show up late to a party your parents are throwing.  Hell will break loose and you’ll be blamed.

– You don’t have to be satisfied with the status quo: it’s okay to push the envelope, just remember to watch out for sharks.

– One cavern can hold a lot of wonders and being a little bit of a hoarder is okay as long as nobody knows about it.  You’re totally screwed if your Dad finds out, though.

– Everyone needs a Dinglehopper.  Snarfblats will get you in trouble.   So will boys.

– Jamaicans are the voice of reason.  Listen to them.

– Love at first sight is never reliable, especially when one of you may have a concussion.

– Always read the fine print on any contract you sign.  Pay extra attention to troublesome clauses that contain specific dates, mentions of “sundown” and/or “kisses of true love”.

– If you like a guy, it’s okay to make the first move.  If you don’t, there’s a chance he’ll marry someone else.

– Persistence is key.  Ambition will get you everywhere.

– Your friends really do have your back.

…and perhaps the most important think Ariel taught me?   Every woman needs her own voice.

Ariel is hitting theaters in 3D September 2013 and I will be first in line.  Until then, if anybody needs me, you’ll find me in my apartment surrounded by my gadgets and gizmos a plenty, my whoozits and whatsits galore, my thingamabobs (I’ve got 20)… but who cares?  No big deal.  I want more.

Image via FanPop

  • Zoe Moorman

    my favourite Disney Princess <3

  • Linda Moore

    What a fabulous piece! Ariel was always my favorite too! And she definitely taught some fantastic lessons. I never go a day without giving my hair a thorough “forking”. 😉 Thanks for this!

  • Liza Baron

    Best article I’ve read in weeks! Bring on The Little Mermaid 3D.

  • Robyn Ann Peterson

    I always had a problem w/ this movie… first off… the ACTUAL Little Mermaid story by Hans Christian Anderson teaches a hard lesson, and one that Disney fails to get across and basically tosses in the garbage disposal… you can’t sell your soul to the devil and get everything you want… but that’s what this Disney movie teaches young girls, and I for one can’t get past that…

    • Jessica Dahle

      Actually, EVERY fairy tale that Disney re-made has been altered to make it more appropriate for younger audiences. For example, in the original “Cinderella”, the step-sisters cut off one of their toes just to be able to fit into the glass slipper. It’s that kind of twisted thing that Disney thought might scare younger children. So if you are offended that they altered the stories so that children can view them, then go read the original books and leave the Disney movies to those who appreciate them…

    • Caroline Duff

      Ariel was my least favorite Disney moving growing up, for many reasons, including:
      1) She turns into a total nitwit when she loses her voice. She goes from being fairly smart and progressive, to be being a simpering idiot. The movie exemplifies the idea that girls cannot have too much agency. You can either walk OR talk, but to do both at the same time? Impossible!
      2) Like most Disney villainesses, Ursula is portrayed as being evil because she is power hungry. Women who actually want agency? They are no good! You do not want to be one of those kinds of girls. All it will get you is Vagina Dentata.
      3) Ariel could have been an Anthropologist! She had the desire, the drive, the ambition to go and learn and explore! But does she do that? No. She goes boy-crazy and gets married. At the ripe old age of 16!! SIXTEEN! Eeew.

    • Laila Elturk

      I so so agree with you. I did love Ariel when I was young, but when I see the movie now, I feel like she isn’t really an ideal role model for little girls. Disregard your parents completely, even though they may be doing what is best for you, and you will get what you want in the end? It doesn’t matter what kind of trouble you get into, everyone will help you find your way out to your happy ending? I feel like there are better role models out there, even among the Disney princesses. I know someone else responded that Disney has changed many stories to make them more “kid-friendly,” but at least with the others, the message was still intact without the horror involved in the original. With the Little Mermaid, the whole point was missed.

    • Jem Kiggins

      Yeah but its so sad, no child should have to watch that movie/story, is was emotionally damaging for me as a child to watch the movie version of Hans Christian version.

  • Kate Dickenson

    You are so right! im glad im not the only one whose favorite disney princess wasnt cinderalla. i will be right behind you in line for the 3d movie! very exciting news

  • Leah Brannan

    this will always be my favourite disney princess movie. i even went to A PUBLIC fancy dress competition complete with tail, shell bra, sebastian and flounder AND a plastic fork to brush my hair. i didn’t even win! still can’t quite get over that and it was at least 15years ago (i was about 7, i need to find that photo!). as a fellow redhead, i would ask my mum every time i took a bath, “why does my hair get wet in the water but ariel’s stays dry?”. her hair only ever looked wet when she stuck her head above water. that’s enough to confuse any young girl!

    • Gabriela Varela

      in my experience when you’re underwater hair doesn’t really look wet like it does out of water. i find it usually spreads out nicely and goes kind of billowy because the water moves it and separates it rather than it being all stuck together and flat like when you get out of the water.

  • Kayla L. Minto

    Ariel is my Disney Princess hero. I could sing along to “Part of Your World” when I was 3, and could sing every song by heart by the time I was 5. Everytime I start to get into one of my extra cynical moods (love dosn’t exsist, you don’t need love, the world sucks, ect), I just watch “The Little Mermaid”, and all of a sudden, I’m all, “OMC THE WORLD IS RIGHT AGAIN!!” I’m going to go see it in 3D, and sing along at the top of my voice, probably annoying everyone in the theature. What can I say? I’m a little mermaid heart. :)

  • Sara Lynn

    absolutely love this!!!…The Little Mermaid, among my top 3 feel good, feel better movies<33

  • Sharona Tan

    Great article! Very witty and funny. haha loved it.

  • Hernandez Diaz

    ~LOL~That was great I love your article~I recently fell in love with The Little Mermaid about a year and Half ago I had a hankering of watching the movie and owning the Movie it self but it was too late, My Cousin loves The Little mermaid ever since we were little~and I thank her now for introducing me to The Little Mermaid~

  • Chris Negrin

    Great article! Jamaicans are the voice of reason! This is proof that twitter isn’t worthless, I saw my brothers tweet which led me here.

  • Chelsea Oscarson

    I loved this article! Aerial is by far my favorite of all the princesses because of all the things you mentioned.

  • Ashley Alvarez

    Why hasn’t there been an animated spoof of ‘Hoarders’ featuring Ariel??? Girl had SO MUCH SHIT in that cave.

    #1 Ariel moment? When she’s singing on the rock, with the water splashing everywhere behind her. I tried to replicate that move for hours on the sofa in my living room growing up. My poor poor mother.

    • Tyesha McPherson

      Imagine doing it in the bathtub and wetting the entire floor. My poor mother as well, lol.

  • Leah Concepcion

    “Until then, if anybody needs me, you’ll find me in my apartment surrounded by my gadgets and gizmos a plenty, my whoozits and whatsits galore, my thingamabobs (I’ve got 20)… but who cares? No big deal. I want more.” – So funny that I sang it in my head while reading!

  • Jæd Gardner

    Haha I sang it too a little bit, but this was a good read, made me laugh out loud a few times :)

  • Tiffany Towns

    LOL!! love those life lessons. Ariel was always my fav princess

  • Melody Calvert

    The best is Second City’s take on “Messages from a Cartoon Princess”, youtube it, it’s FANTASTIC. I promise you’ll laugh.

  • Federico Andrascik

    the little Mermaid .. with snowwhite my favorites…

  • Lydia Kassinger

    Love this so much!

  • Vicky Shazam

    ugh, this was fantastic!

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