I don't think I have anything to report on, so maybe I'll start talking about Disney princesses again. See, we've been told by two different people (who may or may not be acquainted with each other) that Ariel is a bad role model. We can see the reasoning in that, so we didn't argue the point too much. But then there was the whole controversy about Merida's makeover, and people were like, "Finally Disney gives girls a good role model, and you go and RUIN her!" And we were like, "Huh...?" How is Merida a better role model than Ariel? They're kind of the same person...and yet we find Ariel to be much less annoying.
So of course we have to analyze why. Let's consider the main points.
Both Ariel and Merida like to blow off their parents' schedules and do their own thing. As our friend Gaston puts it, Merida feels like her mother is trying to turn her into someone she's not. I think that's up for interpretation, but as someone who tends to be more like Elinor, I'd say she's trying to educate Merida, so that Merida can more effectively take control of whatever kingdom she ends up ruling. So to me, it looks like Merida is ditching education to pretty much do whatever she wants. On the other hand, Ariel ditches her father's party to go learn more about something she loves--to educate herself about a different culture--showing that Ariel is more globally minded. Point: Ariel.
Both Ariel and Merida make bad deals with witches. Ariel makes a deal with a reputably evil witch, while Merida makes a deal with an unknown witch, but one who seems to be fairly benevolent. On the other hand, the benevolent witch tried to stop Merida about a million times before finally agreeing to do what Merida asked. Ariel was taken advantage of in a moment of weakness. So on the one hand, Merida wins this one for being more strong-willed, on the other hand, she loses for being so determined to take away someone else's freedom (by changing her mother to (as she supposed) fit her own will--meaning she also loses for doing to her mother the same terrible thing she felt her mother was doing to her). Merida was actively trying to hurt someone else (even if she didn't see it as hurting them), while Ariel wasn't thinking of anybody but herself. We'll call this one a draw.
So what makes Merida a better role model? Well, some people say that the main flaw of Disney princesses is that they all end up with a man, and since Merida doesn't, I guess that's what it is? We totally agree that she shouldn't have had to settle for any of those princes, and since she was modeled after a thirteen-year-old, she was too young to have to worry about that anyway. On the other hand, the more I think about this idea that Disney princesses are supposedly toxic to society just because they get married, the more horrified I am that that's a thing. But I kind of feel like I should make that a rant by itself.
Is there something we're missing?
Today I'm thankful for getting back to a somewhat normal schedule, the air conditioning coming on frequently enough to fool us into thinking it's not too hot (we had to give in yesterday and turn the thermostat down to 82), being almost done eating the cookies from Memorial Day, having a pretty good time playing Cranium last night, and it being time to do fun stuff.