Like many of you, I grew up on a diet of Tang, Hot Pockets, and Disney movies. I know the words to all of the songs in The Little Mermaid and like you, wished Princess Jasmine was been my mom.
I’ve written about how I now believe Disney secretly hates little girls and seeks to emotionally handicap them before they reach puberty but that didn’t stop me from finally letting my 5-year-old watch Tangled.
Let me first say, I’m not prone to conspiracy theories. That said, I believe that Tangled was co-written and sponsored by the editors of Cosmopolitan magazine.
The film starts off with barely legal size 0 Rapunzel pondering, like all Disney girls do, how to get the heck out of her house. She’s been locked up by an evil witch and like, oh my god, never gets to go anywhere. Like ever. She’d doesn’t even have an iPhone to create an alternative, more romantic Instagramed version of her life with. Triste.
Everyone knows a mom living vicariously through her daughter’s youth and this witch is no exception. Rather than borrow her child’s Wet Seal halter, she literally sucks the vitality out of Rapunzel via a strange hair brushing/singing ritual.
Cosmo Lesson #1: Even if you’ve accomplished nothing, ever, you are special and important. Use your credit cards to finance an adventure!
Like many of today’s entitled youth, Rapunzel has always felt like she was royalty. She firmly believes that her foster mom is keeping her from something amazing. While it’s true that she was kidnapped as a baby, the fact that her parents decided to release paper lanterns every year instead of issuing a formal Amber alert makes me wonder what kind of guardians they would have been anyway.
When the money-hungry eligible male commits breaking and entering, Rapunzel stands her ground and beats him senseless before falling for him later. You may be wondering why so many Disney leading men begin as criminals or unsavory characters. How else will we teach our girls to look past common sense to find the angel within the miscreant?
Cosmo Lesson #3: In trouble? Have you tried sexy?
Cosmo and Rapunzel have come together to teach girls how to get out of future jams. In one scene, our female role model escapes a rapidly escalating situation in a crowded, hostile bar by dancing on tables Paris Hilton style.
Cosmo Lesson #4: India Arie was wrong. You are your hair.
The secret to Rapunzel’s magic is what looks like 25 feet of blond fibrous protein strands. I’m not surprised. TRESemmé, Pantene, and L’Oreal have been drilling the importance of locks into women since “revitilast” was accepted into the American lexicon. I kept expecting animated Rapunzel to turn toward the screen, flip her shiny mane and say, “Because I’m worth it” but it never happened.
At the end of the film, Rapunzel does the unthinkable: lets herself go brunette. Her powers are instantly gone and if not for her royal blood, she’d probably have to settle for a life of holding her best friend’s purse in the club.
I hope to see more media giants like Cosmopolitan producing Disney movies. The sooner our girls learn to be fun, fearless females, the better.
This isn’t the first time Disney has accepted a corporate partner. The Princess and The Frog, a film/PSA about a young black woman in post-Katrina New Orleans struggling to get a small business loan who ends up contracting warts after a paid sexual encounter, was sponsored by the NAACP.
About Bunmi Laditan
Bunmi is a mother, writer, and social media entrepreneur living in Montréal, Canada (by way of California). She has two girls ages 6 and almost 2.