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Disney princesses are characters that we all know and love. Their stories are woven into our cultural fabric and their songs are tunes that will be sung till the end of time. While the lives of Disney princesses may help us escape reality, we always have come back and reaped what we’ve sown as a society. Climate change is a daunting problem that has been staring us in the face for a long time. This got us thinking: which Disney Princess is the most sustainable?
When you think of Disney Princesses, one of the first to come up is always Snow White. She lives in the woods in a humble footprint hovel. She has friends in the wildlife surrounding her and an ostracized community of hard-working people with various ailments such as narcolepsy, chronic sneezing, mental health, and developmental delay. After thinking about Snow White, I thought that the most sustainable award should probably go to a princess like Cinderella. She lives with only one pair of shoes and the scraps of her step-sisters. With some thought, I realized that none of the princesses have partaken in the evil trappings of fast fashion. They all wear the same dresses every day, year after year. Therefore, I guess that they all have that sustainable trait.
In an attempt to find some legit research on which to base my sustainable princess award, I googled “Disney princess”. I landed on the official Dream Big Princess website and scrolled through the headshots of each wide-eyed princess. There were the usual cloying suspects – Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Ariel. However, there were also many other lesser-known princesses with new empowering slogans like “Find Your Inner Warrior” – Mulan, “Find Your Own Way” – Moana, and “Be Brave” – Merida. It hit me that things really had changed since I was a child watching Sleeping Beauty and dreaming of my own prince charming. One that would land a kiss on my lips and awaken me from my dream-filled state into the real world.
As I scrolled through the princess contestants, my eyes rested on the headshot of Pocahontas. She looked so proud, strong, and beautiful. Her slogan was “Respect the Earth.” Well duh, of course, the most sustainable princess was Pocahontas all along. I feel guilty for not thinking of her right away. My idea of a princess is still trapped in the old-fashion Disney images of vulnerable white women. How could I not have automatically thought of Pocahontas? I guess that’s a question for another day.
About the author: Laura Springsteen is an environmental consultant and a leader in sustainability and environmental compliance. She is committed to continuous improvement, quantifiable results, and building relationships to support the development of successful teams.
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