A Feminist Fairytale?

Many of you may be planning to catch a movie with the family on Christmas day after filling up on ham, stuffing and pie. I have yet to check out The Princess and the Frog, which presents Disney’s first black princess, but I’ve heard rave reviews from pals who have viewed the film. 

Rose Afriyie at Feministing.com recently wrote an intriguing post on the film stating that despite being a princess tale (which typically promotes “being saved through partnership”) the movie actually has several feminist qualities.  She writes:

As a feminist, I was highly skeptical when I heard about Disney’s first black princess… But as … the reviews came in from trusted peers, I decided to look past the whole princess/amphibian bit to see for myself what the first black princess was really all about.

And… I really enjoyed myself. That’s because the themes of entrepreneurship and division of labor in the household were so crucial to the film it was kryptonite for any red-blooded feminist. The idea that men can and should play a role in food preparation and that women can own their own business while building viable, healthy relationships was so groundbreaking for a movie with the word “princess” in the title. For this, Disney deserves their props.

Click here to read more and if you’ve seen the movie already or catch it over the holiday, please share your thoughts. 


  1. I saw the movie Jan 2. I had read the article/discussion about it with Anika Noni Rose in Essence, in which someone brought up that they liked that Tiara was independent and already had goals, so I wasn’t surprised.

    For the most part, I liked the movie. But on the feminist fairytale note, I’m not sold. SPOILER ALERT: At the end Tiara decided everything she had dreamed about (owning her own business, making her father’s hard work worth it), was meaningless without someone she loved to share it with. Granted, I enjoy my successes more when I celebrate them with parents and friends, and I have enjoyed the congratulations of a significant other, but that message of a husband completing a woman is still there. And doesn’t that go back to the “Why are so many successful black women still single?” discussion we’re tired of?

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