A Disney Princess Guide to Your Not So Happily Ever After


Ok, so this fish-tailed princess doesn’t teach a lot of great lessons in love (drastically changing your body and ditching your friends and family for a guy doesn’t exactly promote a healthy message about body image and self-respect), but one thing we can take away from her fairytale story is how important communication and body language are to dating and someday meeting (and maybe even keeping) that special guy you’ve had your eye on.

Princess Lesson #5 –  Body Language Speaks Volumes

I know, I know - it’s been said a dozen times before, but it’s true. Eric can get to know and fall in love with Ariel even though she’s missing vocal chords (cue the singing seagulls, “kiss the girl, sha la la la la la…”) . Her fun-loving personality still shows through in her lovable quirks (although I wouldn’t suggest brushing your hair with a fork), her facial expressions, and her body language. Give it a try. You might end up feeling like a fish out of water, but even if you flop – maybe you trip or fall over (maybe your boat gets capsized like what happens to Ariel and Eric), you and your guy can always laugh it off. Guys will appreciate that you have a sense of humor and you’re not afraid to laugh at yourself.


I actually empathize a lot with Cinderella – squeezing my feet into those perfect must-have heels and running around campus with a million errands (it doesn’t involve evil demanding stepsisters, but you get my drift). Among other things (like knowing how to put in a hard day’s work and being kind even to those who treat you unkindly), Cinderella teaches us a very important lesson in love.

Princess Lesson #6 - Don’t Try to Be Someone You Aren’t

Between formals and parties, classes and walks around campus, it’s tempting to get dolled up for your guy every day, but don’t overdo it, especially if you start appearing to be someone you aren’t. If a guy is going out with you in the first place, caking on every kind of makeup you own and perfectly curling your hair on every date is only going to put pressure on you to maintain that image. Come that fateful day when you run into each other and you’re wearing your collegiate sweats with your hair tied up in a not-so perfect ponytail, he might not even recognize you right away. And as we learn in the end from Cinderella, the right guy will like you for who you are, not the shoes you’re wearing.


Sometimes our happy endings don’t always work out. As hard as you might try at a relationship, there’s always that thing, big or small, that drives you apart. For Pocahontas and John Smith, there was a lot going against them from the start. Racially and culturally, they were worlds apart (not to mention the whole you’re-stealing-my-land thing). You might not be a chief’s daughter and he may not be a pioneering Englishman, but chances are you’ll find yourself in a relationship where for one reason or another, your individual lives conflict and you have no choice but to part ways. You might go to different schools or be in different class years. He might graduate early or you might decide to study abroad. Sometimes, you just have to accept the fact that you are from two different worlds that can’t possibly coincide and sadly, you need to split up.

Princess Lesson #7 –  Sometimes a Break-up isthe Best Ending

Take a note from Pocahontas. If you end on amiable terms with your boyfriend, don’t let the break-up ruin the great memories you had with him. Remember that time you rolled around in the grass or went canoeing? Learn from the bad moments and treasure the good moments. Take the memories and move on. And if it doesn’t work out, you always have friends to fall back on… even if they areraccoons and willow trees.

With our girly notions of true love and happily ever afters, Prince Charmings and knights in shining armor, guys have a lot to live up to. I think one of the greatest lessons in love we can learn from Princess Aurora, Jasmine, Ariel and others, is that there really is no such thing as a happily ever after. You’ll always fight, you might even break up, and there will be time when you have to cut your guy some slack. All girls may be princesses, but remember: not all guys are Prince Charmings.

YouTube, The Second City Network’s Advice from a Cartoon Princess series