The Best Disney Role Models for Girls
Female Disney characters have long been exciting for kids, fascinating for critics, and unforgettable by Disney fans. Perhaps depending on your age, you had those one or two characters who really stood out to you. For this generation, perhaps it will be Elsa or Anna from the famous Frozen, or perhaps Rapunzel from Tangled. Disney girls are in movies, on posters, and come as plush toys or dolls.
What effects do these Disney princesses and girls have on viewers, and who, from all of Disney's animated classics, is technically the best role model for our kids - not just our daughters, but anyone who enjoys these films? This article aims to explore the top ten female role models from Disney movies and why.
Meg | Hercules
Meg is a sassy Disney girl with an attitude. She's realistic (if a little pessimistic) about love, and even sings a song about denying she's got feelings for Hercules. She's cheeky, funny, strong, and isn't afraid to speak her mind - arguably a great personality for our kids to imitate.
Best quote: "You know how men are. They think "no" means "yes", and "get lost" means "take me, I'm yours."
Belle | Beauty and the Beast
Belle loves books, and spends all her free time reading. When she's not doing that, she's helping out her father. She isn't prancing around with butterflies or singing about getting married. She's a practical and headstrong young woman, who girls all ages can definitely relate to. Even when the most handsome guy in town asks for her hand in marriage, she rejects it because she doesn't like his personality. Belle is sweet, very likeable, and loves her father very much. Most definitely a Disney girl to look up to.
Best quote: "(Gaston) is handsome all right. And rude, and conceited... Papa, he's not for me."
Mrs. Incredible / Elastigirl / Helen Parr | The Incredibles
Mrs. Incredible, or Helen Parr, isn't really a Disney 'girl', but she was definitely worth a mention. Before marrying Mr. Incredible, her superhero identity, Elastigirl, explains how she loves being a hero. Later on in the movie, she tells her husband how he doesn't have to be strong enough to protect their whole family on his own - he has her. Helen is fearless and believes in her strength, not only as a superhero, but as a wife and mother. Definitely something for viewers to imitate.
Best quote: "Girls, come on! Leave saving the world to the men? I don't think so!"
Nani | Lilo & Stitch
Nani is the older sister of the main female character, Lilo, in Lilo & Stitch. Although not much attention has been paid to her, she's still a great character in Disney and an excellent role model to not only girls, but boys too. She cares about her family and does her best to provide for Lilo, even when Lilo makes life difficult for her with her mischief. Nani is probably around twenty years old, and is she off partying? No, she's at home taking care of the only family member she has left. Definitely worth a mention on this list.
Best quote: "Nobody gets left behind, or forgotten."
Merida | Brave
A headstrong and free-spirited young princess, Merida is a great role model for girls. She very much has her own brain, and even rejects the prospect of marriage by taking on several warriors (and winning). Another Disney film that focuses on the importance of family, and easily made this list.
Best quote: "Our fate lives in us. You only have to be brave enough to see it."
Tiana | The Princess and the Frog
Tiana is a hard-working young lady who wants to use her talents to make it on her own. Tiana may possibly be one of the best role models for girls and young women today.
She sings about living her dream of building her own restaurant and succeeding with her own strength.
Best quote: "I work real hard each and every day... look out boys, I'm coming through."
Pocahontas | Pocahontas
Pocahontas is a native American princess who is strong, adventurous and will do anything to protect her family and her people, even after falling in love with the enemy.
What is really amazing about Pocahontas is what when John Smith is badly hurt and asks her to travel to England with him, she chooses to stay with her family and her people. This hardly ever happens in Disney movies, and it's a powerful testament to how strong her character is.
Best quote: "If you walked the footsteps of a stranger, you'll learn things you never knew you never knew."
Mulan | Mulan
This ancient Chinese myth was brought to life by Disney, introducing a strong and determined young woman who risks her life to save not only her father, but her entire country. More than once she disregards her own safety and bravely works to defend her people. Mulan's personality is also a little clumsy, she's sometimes a little late, and her 'good ideas' sometimes don't really work out. This shows that she isn't perfect - something everyone in the world can relate to.
Best quote: "The flower that blossoms in the face of adversity is the most rare and beautiful of them all."
Who, from this list, is your favourite Disney character?
Esmeralda | The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Esmeralda hits the number one spot on 'the best female Disney role models' list. She is a gypsy girl in Paris, outcast by 'normal' townsfolk and despised by the justice system. She dances on the streets to put bread on the table, can entertain an audience, and, best of all, isn't afraid to stand up for what she believes in. She'll speak her mind and stand up for the less fortunate even if it means certain death. Even when Justice Frolo is about to command her execution, she doesn't waver. Such strength and determination should surely be noticed and imitated by viewers.
Best quotes: "You speak of justice, yet you are cruel to those most in need of your help!"