I was 19 the year The Little Mermaid was first inflicted on the girls of the world,
so I missed the worst of it, but I watched it again this week with my two little boys
and I’m now convinced this fanciful film has contributed hugely to the burdens of
young women today.
Here are a few of the lessons we picked up from The Little Mermaid:
It’s OK to fight with your parents
How do kids ever learn to argue? Apparently from watching instructional
interpretations like this movie – little Arial flounces, shouts and pouts like a champ,
so if you catch your daughter doing the same thing, well, no damn wonder
It’s OK to wear nothing all day every day but a strapless bikini top
Seriously? I suppose she IS swimming, but some day when her boobs
are resting on her belly button, she’s going to start asking some hard
questions like “why didn’t anyone ever tell me about support straps?” and
“what are these weird age spots on my chest?”
It’s a good idea to do the opposite of what your parents tell you
If your dad tells you stay away from a dangerous place, what you should probably
do is go straight there because at the wizened age of 16, you probably know a lot more
than a mythical character who still has six-pack abs at the age of several millennia old
16 is old enough to choose a mate for life – based entirely on appearance –
and fat people are mean
It’s a good idea to trade your most marketable talent to become
something you’re not
The moment the evil Ursula convinces Ariel to trade her voice FOR A GUY, alarm bells
went off in my head. For this, my mother’s generation burned their bras? For this, women around the world have fought for decades to vote and to have careers and families at the same time? So that old women can convince little girls to surrender their VOICES? The symbolism makes my skin crawl.
But the very best, most important lesson The Little Mermaid teaches little girls?
You’ll know he truly loves you WHEN HE KISSES YOU
By that logic, both of my sons have found lifelong love at least 25 times each – and
they’re only four and six. Why don’t you just tell your daughter that pole dancing is
excellent exercise? Oh, wait – somebody already has.
All those girls who were born in the mid-1980s and saw The Little Mermaid during their
impressionable toddler years are now in their mid-20s. Poor darlings. What hope
can they possibly have?
(Were you permanently scarred by The Little Mermaid? I’d love to hear about it!)