Why Slutty Disney Princesses Aren’t Funny

This post about “If Disney Princesses Went to College” is, on the surface, kinda funny. Like, yeah, Belle (from Beauty and the Beast) would totally be the hot bookworm girl that all the engineering guys are drooling over.

But then it gets strange. And strangely misogynist, and sex-negative, and slut-shamey. So apparently Ariel (from The Little Mermaid) is a slut because… um, I’m not exactly clear on why. Something about her wearing a shell bikini leads to this conclusion: “Yeah, this fire crotch is a ho.” It gets worse. Cinderella apparently is on Xanax when she meets the frat-boy prince (a subtle jab at date rape, or the writer again attempting to be funny?), while Esmerelda (from The Hunchback of Notre Dame) is left out of the list because “gypsies don’t go to school.” Wow, racist much?

I mean, as someone who studies fairy tales – in their “original” oral and literary forms as well as the sanitized stuff we feed kids today – I am all for exploring the latent sexuality that many fairy tales hint at (and in some early iterations, come right out and say: for instance, check out this Italian version of Sleeping Beauty where the king doesn’t kiss her awake, but instead has sex with her!).

However, given that our current cultural climate allows politicians to silence women by calling them sluts? This kind of humor on the internet is simply reinforcing stereotypes that hurt women, so I feel justified in unleashing the feminist rage and attempting to draw people’s attention to the problems here.

Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist.

About Jeana


Jeana Jorgensen, PhD recently completed her doctoral degree in folklore and gender studies at Indiana University. She studies fairy tales and other narratives, dance, body art, feminist theory, digital humanities, and gender identity.