What? I’m not sure either, so let us see where this is going. I started reading subjectively bad vampire novels last summer in an attempt to show that there is worse things out there then ‘Twilight’. Twilight is pulp culture youth fiction which had the misfortune to become popular, and I say misfortune because now we have the fanfiction “50 Shades of Grey”, which is a whole ‘nother bag of vomit hidden by a bulimic teenager because she doesn’t want my parents hearing me flushing the toilet again and again.
But enough about hypothetical teenagers. Detroit is in currently in it’s infancy of winter, and after warming myself with sweet fermented whatever, I couldn’t get ‘The Little Mermaid’ out of my head. I hadn’t watched in years, so I thought, why not? Movie starts and everything is as I remember it, including my discomfort resulting from Triton’s unusually close relationships with his daughters.
The scene plays out when Ariel sees Prince Eric for the first time, and she goes all gooey-eyed. This is not surprising, as they already established that she has an obsession with the creatures who eat her friends. Eric almost drowns, Ariel saves him, Sebastian squeals,blah blah blah. Then, when her father confronts her with the whole ‘if we’re Poland those guys are Nazi Germany, what’s wrong with you?’ she shouts:
“Daddy I LOVE him!” Yup, the guy she saw once. Then, at the age of sixteen she changes everything about herself, abandoning her family and friends to be with this guy she hardly knows. Who’s not the same species as herself. And, as stated above, boils her citizens ALIVE.
BAM! ‘The Little Mermaid’ is the original ‘Twilight’.
I’d like to mention, Ursula is an amazing villain. She’s robust, overtly sexual, and sardonic. When promising Ariel legs for her voice, the girl causally mentions that she’d never see her family again, to which Ursula says:
“That’s right…But you’ll have your man. Life’s full of tough choices, innit? Hm hm hmm!” Just dripping with sarcasm. Then, as she contiunes with her villain song:
The men up there don’t like a lot of blabber
They think a girl who gossips is a bore!
Yet on land it’s much prefered for ladies not to say a word
And after all dear, what is idle babble for?
Come on, they’re not all that impressed with conversation
True gentlemen avoid it when they can
But they dote and swoon and fawn
On a lady who’s withdrawn
It’s she who holds her tongue who get’s a man
In Disney movies, the villain’s song is used to show the villains motivations, or let the viewer know how the villains morels are corrupted. You know, mustache twirling. But those lyrics up there aren’t Ursula’s views/morels on society. She’s mocking Ariel’s views. In 1989, the villain in a Disney movie made the best commentary on the continuing trope of a woman giving up everything that is herself for a boyfriend, then dismissing it as ‘ true love!’. Ursula, the villain, (and who we, by story-telling standards, should not be rooting for,) is a strong, independent and brazen woman who could give two fucks about what anyone thinks about her. She may be on the heavier side, but she rocks it with feminine up-keep and sensuality. (Plus she loves her pets.) Ariel’s the heroine, and she’s insipid, weak, and even with a voice, I doubt she has very much to say. I mean, the only thing she finds interesting is humans. What is she going to do once she is one? Talk to humans about humans all the time?
Therefore when feeling disgust for the weak, beach-ball heroine that is Bella Swan, remind yourself: This has been the case FOR AGES. So let’s forget about the women who’d do anything for love, and start hanging out with the unleashed, equals which are female villains.