Oh my iridescent heart. Today while walking along the beach I heard a quick splash and hurriedly looked for the source. My mind which is always playful hoped I might see the fin of a mermaid. I have always looked for them. I think the quest began shortly after seeing the movie The Little Mermaid. I bought the VHS tape myself, with my money from chores and I considered it a sound investment. I didn’t realize how much it would change my viewpoint.
Ariel spoke to me in ways that most of the other Disney princesses did not. She was from a world surrounded by the ocean, like me. She had an incredible curiosity for discovering new things and places. This reminds me of when I used to look for artifacts in the backyard. I would plot out where to start looking and dig into the dirt searching for items left from a lost world. She wasn’t content in the ocean, she wanted something more for herself. I have always wanted this, “the something more” part. As most movie heroines goes she faced adversity. There was the fact she was a princess with rules to follow, she had the concern of letting down her father, oh and lastly the sea witch.
Ariel was a determined woman. She wasn’t going to let her sea friends stand in her way or let them convince her she couldn’t get what she really wanted. She was a true risk taker. I might also add she was the only one to make risks up to this point in the Disney princess world. Princesses like Belle (1991), and Mulan (1998) came much later. She was in a sense a lot like me. I would stay out all day and night building lean tos out of fallen trees. Playing capture the flag with the boys, racing my bike around the neighborhood like I owned the place. I never let the fact that I was a girl and most of my friends were boys get in my way. I always imagined my adult life would be the same way.
I suppose reality hit hard when I realized how many obstacles life and other people place in your path. I can say on quite a few occasions I have had to deal with the concern of letting down my family. The friends that seem so caring and wonderful, but also want to hold you back from what you really want. Then there are the sea witches. I used plural because I have met more than a handful of those. Ariel gave up everything she knew for something more. There are critics that will say she’s a sell out. I debunk this whole heartedly. Ariel made a choice to leave the known and to make something out of herself. The something in this case just happened to be turning into a human and a prince. She had dreams and she was willing to make the change. That is something I think everyone can identify with; especially girls.
Perhaps the Disney creators when building the character of Ariel had no idea the impact of her on others. Ariel to me as woman who grew up during the 80’s was someone I could respect. She was a rebel but she had a purpose. She wasn’t complacent and she didn’t lay there and wait for someone to rescue her. Ariel rescued herself. That is perhaps the biggest reason she is my favorite. I think that without realizing it she became a modern symbol of strength. She knew who she was and she knew it was now or never. I think in life at times I have been more like her pal flounder who was content to swim along the currents. It may be time for me to shed my fins and discover a new part of the world. ❤️