Every Disney Princess Is A Feminist - Yes, Even Snow White

I previously published this piece on Thought Catalog but thought I'd share it here as well.

A lot of people ask me how I can be a hardcore Disney stan and an intersectional feminist at the same time.

Welllll, it’s easy. I love everything about Disney. From the animation style, to the message behind the films, to the imagineering you see at the parks. It’s pure magic. Magic that I believe doesn’t contradict the ideals of intersectional feminism. Intersectional feminism is about empowering all women, and that should include ALL of the Disney princesses. Not just the ones that happen to be fiercely independent and strong.

Typically, the three princesses that often are criticized through a feminist lens are Cinderella, Aurora, and Snow White. They all portray the “damsel in distress” archetype, and from what it seems like, they all crave a man in their life. They’re all white, rather skinny, and they all cling to conventionally feminine traits. To this day, they’ve been criticized in probably about 75,492 thinkpieces on the Internet….and I’m just going to be honest with you here: they don’t deserve it.

Disney
Let’s not forget that Snow White was released in 1938, while Cinderella was released in 1950 and Sleeping Beauty came shortly after in 1959. Not to mention, all of them are inspired by fairytales and folklore from as early as 1697. Therefore, is analyzing these princesses and their stories in 2016 even worth it? These are practically medieval stories. And whether you like it or not, they’re always going to be looked at as iconic considering they’re the only princess movies released while Walt Disney was alive.

While we all love seeing princesses showcase strength, independence, and all-around-badass-ery, is it so wrong for the princesses to be stereotypically feminine?

If we’re shaming Cinderella, Aurora and Snow White for their own choices, I can’t help but ask: Am I not allowed to dream of being loved by a man? Am I not allowed to wear sparkly dresses and prance around a forest? Am I not allowed to bake pies and brush my hair? Is it really shameful to have a few conventionally feminine traits?

Since 1959, we’ve seen much more diversity in both personality, color, culture, and overall outlook on life. We’ve seen passionate Ariel, fierce Jasmine, intellectual Belle, hard-working Tiana, awkward Anna, strong Mulan, spiritual Pocahontas, and much more. When it comes to Disney, both young girls and grown women have so much to look up to and as far as I’m concerned, it’s only up from here.

Disney has been making baby steps towards representation for everybody since the 90s, and I think today, that’s more clear than ever. In 2016, they released TV series Elena of Avalor, featuring a Latina princess and a primarily Latinx cast, and feature film Moana, featuring a Polynesian princess and a full Polynesian cast.

Not to mention the box office hit Zootopia, that hinted at themes of feminism, police brutality, diversity and togetherness.

Don’t get me wrong — I’d love to see more representation and diversity within the Disney company. But these things take time and I’m thrilled they’re making an effort.

Maybe you’ve been dreaming of your wedding your entire life like Snow White or perhaps you’re not interested in a man like Merida. Maybe you’ve had your life handed to you like Anna or maybe you’ve worked for everything you have like Tiana. Maybe you’re a born badass like Mulan or maybe you need a little guidance like Moana. Maybe you want to cry in a corner like Aurora or maybe you want to get shit done like Belle. Maybe you grew up in a broken family like Cinderella or maybe your parents are your best friends like Rapunzel.

Regardless of who you are or where you come from, no one should be invalidating your self-worth and your experiences.

The reason I love the Disney Princess franchise so much is because it shows you that although all women are intensely different, they’re all made of magic. And ultimately, they use that magic to make their own choices and live their happiest life despite all the unfortunate obstacles life throws at them.

The concept that every female character has to be strong and independent is ridiculous. Women are interesting, unique, and far more complex than we could ever imagine.
No matter what Disney princess you identify with the most, one thing is clear: You are valid. And so are they.

Ethereal Interviews: JANUARY 2017 x FRANCIS DOMINIC

Francis Dominic: 
[fran-sis dom-uh-nik] Noun.
Disneyland cast member. 
Self-love enthusiast. 
Instagram king. 
Aesthetic goals.
Basically, the definition of magic. 


If you don't know who he is by now, you're missing out. Thousands have fell in love with Francis and his Instagram account, jam-packed with vivid, colorful photos and even more colorful captions. Most of his followers (66,000 and counting) have come to realize that he's more than just an Instagram feed. It's no secret that many Instagram users are guilty of romanticizing their often bland lives. Francis Dominic, however, simply shows us how magical his life really is. Whether it be in work or in play, his enthusiasm for life encourages us all to find the beauty in the everyday and hold onto our childlike wonder. Through Francis Dominic's eyes, life is simply a fairytale.

Whether you consider yourself a fan of Disney, California lifestyle, or if you just want a daily dose of positivity and aesthetically pleasing photos...you should do yourself a favor and follow him. 

On an average day, you can find Francis at Disneyland, giving guided tours to guests while wearing his red plaid vest and navy blue slacks, or enjoying (and slaying) the parks on his time off while rocking his signature round sunglasses, a choker, and absolutely adorable Mickey ears, usually handcrafted with flowers or sequins from an Etsy shop. (I'm convinced he has an entire closet dedicated to Mickey ears. ✨) 

While his scintillating photos and magical captions tell quite a story, a lot of us are left wanting more. Who is this man behind the photos? There has to be more to him than pixels, right? 

Now, we get to find out. 


1. I think it’s safe to say pretty much everyone adores your Instagram! You have a sparkling, vibrant personality and a such a zest for life. You’re basically the heart eyes emoji IRL. 😍  Not to mention, Disneyland is a huuuuge place of interest. They already employ thousands of cast members, and people from all over the world dream of getting the opportunity to work there. Seeing your journey inspires thousands in countless ways: whether they’re looking for inspiration for their next Disney vacation or fantasizing about getting a call from the casting center. I actually used to work at California Adventure and I gotta admit, seeing your excitement for going to work made my appreciate my job more. How does it feel to be such a big name in the Disney community now?  
It's actually so dang crazy. I didn't expect this at all throughout all my years! I've always loved to take pictures whether it be in my life or at Disney. And once I did the Disney College Program in Florida, my Instagram just started getting more and more followers. I don't know what made them stay. It was either the cute/silly/fun captions, the pictures I posted, or maybe even the absolute tenacity to truly live my life in the most magical way. And if not, all of the above! It's still a crazy feeling. I am so thankful and blessed to be honest and so humbled by the amount of gratitude people show. 




2. Have you ever gotten a rude comment on social media that bothered you? If so, what was it and how did you deal with it? 
People will usually make homophobic remarks. But that's fine, I've handled that my whole life. It's literally a brush off the shoulder. And sometimes what's cool is that my followers will come to my defense. So that's always nice. But I don't focus on negativity so they're also quickly blocked because I don't have time for that one bit.

3. So far, your journey with the Disney company has been absolutely exhilarating to watch. Where would you like Disney to take you in the future?  
I am always looking to better myself and constantly seeking opportunities that will use my talent. I already have such a passion for my job but I would so love to work for Disney's Social Media Team/Marketing Team. That is the dream!

4. A lot of your friends and colleagues have went on to start their own side hustles, whether that be YouTube channels, starting their own business, etc. Do you see yourself ever taking advantage of your influence to go down this path? 
We'll see. 

5. Define what “be yourself” means to you. 
Oh man. That's a hefty question! How I define "be yourself" is being and doing something that truly makes you happy. Once you've reached that moment of being unapologetically yourself. You are there. Have fun with your life! Your style, your interests, your everything you have to offer to the world, make sure it is healthy for you. Be you because that is all the world has time for.



6. SoCal or the Bay area? Why? 
SoCal! It has Disneyland! And also beautiful people and great food. But the Bay Area will always be home. My SLZ-510 Fam will always know how the Bay gets HYPHY! 

7. Let’s just be honest here, you’re like the physical embodiment of positivity. Despite being rather optimistic about life, what’s something you just won’t tolerate?  
Eating a whole piece of gum! It's so selfish! That gum stick is so huge, please, your gum pack will last longer if you just split it with someone or save the other half later. Hahaha! But something I won't tolerate is when I hear people talk about me in a negative spotlight. Especially when all I've done is spread as much positivity and happiness as I can. And literally just living my life. I've had people in my past who've smiled my way and asked how I was doing, but yet, behind my back, they were talking so negatively about me and what I do. So that is where I draw the line.

8. I know this is a ridiculously hard question, but who is your favorite Disney princess, and why? 
RAPUNZEL. That girl left her Tower and got her a man and her dreams. She is the reason why I left The Bay Area and went to work for Disneyland. I went ahead a got "my new dream." 


9. Speaking of Disney princesses, let’s talk about diversity. Since the 90s, the Disney company has been doing their best to showcase cultures from all over the world. More recently, we’ve welcomed Polynesian princess Moana and Latina princess Elena. (who totally should’ve had her own movie!) What culture would you like to see represented in a future princess film?  
I definitely would love a FILIPINA PRINCESSA FILM! They have to do something for the Philippines. We have so much rich history, fairytales, and amazing scenery and food. Our people always mean well and seeing that translated in a Disney Film would be something so amazing!
10. I think someone’s Starbucks order says a lot about them, so...what’s your Starbucks order? ☕
It's simple! A Venti Peach Green Tea with no lemonade. 

11. Thank you for taking the time to answer all these questions! Now as this interview comes to a close, what’s one word of advice you’d like to offer readers? 
Whatever you want to do in life, do it. Work hard for it, it just doesn't come from wishing upon a star, you have to back it up with your undeniable tenacity and passion. Be so good at what you do that people will want you around because of your aura and your drive. Never lose sight of your dreams and remember they too can change. Live your best life and don't let anyone or anybody dim your light. 

Recipe: Vegan General Tso Chik'n Stir Fry With MorningStar Farms®!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DailyVegolutions #CollectiveBias

When I decided to become a vegetarian five years ago, I thought I was going to miss one thing: convenience. Instead of mindlessly walking into any food or grocery establishment and buying whatever sounded good, I had to think about what I was putting inside of my body, you know? I had to say goodbye to all traces of meat. 

Interestingly enough, I didn't have to give up convenience at all. Becoming a vegetarian for me was possible because of MorningStar Farms®. To this day, I still live off of their to-die-for buffalo veggie wings and black bean burgers! I love how MorningStar Farms® is available at all stores in all states, whereas a lot of veggie cuisine / healthier choice brands are only available at upscale or niche health stores. I do a huge chunk of my shopping at Walmart, whether that be for groceries, cleaning supplies, or holiday decor. I even got my TV there! I love how I can pick up MorningStar Farms® products there instead of making an extra trip to another store. Walmart seems to have the biggest variety of their products too...even in value packs! (see below)



MorningStar Farms isn't just for vegetarians, but for anyone who wants to live a healthier lifestyle. My mom eats meat, but still buys MorningStar Farms® products to this day! I remember when I lived back home in Ohio, I would sneak MorningStar Farms® Grillers® Crumbles™into taco night and my dad and brother (both heavy meat-eaters) didn't even notice. 

My boyfriend and I both made our New Years "Vegolutions," one of them being that we would try to eat healthier in the New Year, meaning more veggies and more home cooked meals. We knew this would be hard considering we're both very busy people that prefer convenient, "as-is" meals. Don't get me wrong, I love cooking meals from scratch...but I can't realistically do that every single day. But now...our Vegolutions can come true. Turns out, it is possible to eat healthier without sacrificing convenience. 

With the help of MorningStar Farms® Meal Starters® Chik’n Strips and Great Value™Deluxe Frozen Stir Fry, I created this vegan general tso stir fry recipe! Minimal, vegan, perfect for meal-prep or on-the-go meals, and so easy to incorporate into anyone's lifestyle - whether you're a meat-eater, a vegetarian, or a vegan! MorningStar Farms® is for everyone.



From 1/9/2017 through the rest of January, you can earn $3 on the app Ibotta when you purchase 3 MorningStar Farms® products at Walmart! I will definitely be taking advantage of this offer...I need to stock up! 






Here's all you need:

  • MorningStar Farms® Meal Starters® Chik’n Strips
  • Great Value™Frozen Stir Fry Veggies
  • Great Value™White Rice
  • Your Choice of General Tso Sauce
  • Your Choice of Oil (I used olive)
  • Crushed Red Pepper (optional, for taste)

Tips:

1. I'll be cooking for two people, however, there's enough rice, veggies and chik'n strips for four, so feel free to add more if necessary. 

2. You can easily make your own General Tso sauce with soy sauce, chili flakes, rice vinegar, etc. However, I decided to just buy a bottle of General Tso sauce because I'm all about convenience and simplicity!

3. Keep in mind: you are cooking chik'n, NOT chicken. Because of this, the cooking procedure will be different.  

4. If you wish, you can cook the veggies and the chik'n in the microwave, as the packages suggest. However, because this is a stir-fry, I decided it would be best to cook this stir-fry style.

5. Considering the chik'n and veggies are frozen, you will need to cook just a bit longer.

Now let's get down to business!

Directions:

1. In a small pot, begin cooking your rice on medium heat, considering it'll take the longest to cook. I used 1 cup of white rice and 2 cups of water. Set aside and stir periodically. 



2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil (or your choice of oil) on medium heat. Add chik'n strips.



3. After about four or five minutes, add the veggies. Add more oil if necessary. 


4. Once the chik'n and the veggies are lightly browned, add general tso sauce over the mixture. If you'd like to add any additional seasoning, now is the time to do so! This is when I added the crushed red pepper.


5. Cook for 5 to 7 more minutes or until browned, stirring periodically. Feel free to taste test to make sure your chik'n and veggies and cooked all the way through. 


6. ...Aaaaand you're done! Plate the chik'n mixture on top of white rice and serve. That was ridiculously easy, right?


In addition to stir fry, I love adding MorningStar Farms® Meal Starters® Chik’n Strips to hummus wraps and salads too! Not to mention their crumbles are the perfect addition to any spaghetti sauce. Let me tell you, it takes pasta to the next level!

You can find all MorningStar Farms® products at Walmart in the frozen entrees section, right next to the frozen veggies. It's really easy to find! You'll be able to find your Great Value™Frozen Stir Fry Veggies here as well. They come in a bunch of varieties! Just look for the green packaging:




In the meantime, I'd LOVE to see what recipes and fun ideas you can come up with using MorningStar Farms® products. I'm always looking for new creative ways to incorporate veggie cuisine into my diet!

I wish you all the best of luck on your #DailyVegolutions!

The Playlist Of Us

source unknown

i love it how your fingers levitate
as they switch between the predestined buttons on the radio station,
searching for sound waves that emulate the colors of our mood.

1, 2, 3, 4, 2 again, 5, 6

your fingers silence the static
and you listen to the music through my lips.