Tomorrow Pixar's first-ever lead female, Princess Merida, hits the big screen in the film Brave. With fairy-tale-inspired movies aplenty (including multiple Snow White flicks) and birthday boy Prince William's own princess Kate in the spotlight, little girls and grown women alike have tiaras on the brain. And sure there are downsides to princess culture, but there are also lessons to be gleaned from these regal ladies. From real-life royalty to Disney characters, let's look at some of the different types of princesses and what we can learn from them (and it's not how to be like Mean Girls).
Brave's Scottish princess, Merida, has been groomed her entire life to prepare herself to marry one of the three clans' first-born sons. But when the potential suitors take part in an archery contest to win her over, the teen royal rebels against her family to shoot for her own hand in marriage. We can appreciate that wild and free Merida wants to make her path in life, and wants to choose whom she'll marry at a time when she's ready.
Photo copyright 2012 Disney
Recently crowned Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, didn't exactly go from rags to riches, but she will be the first middle-class queen. While Kate has been taking her own princess lessons, "Waity Katie" teaches us a lesson in patience and shows that you shouldn't be intimidated by someone you think is "out of your league."
Book-obsessed Belle from Beauty and the Beast knows that being a princess isn't just about sitting pretty, it's also about being interesting and knowledgeable. (This is why she's Buzz readers' pick for favorite Disney princess!)
Fifteen-year-old Mia from The Princess Diaries finds out the dad she didn't know was a prince, so after his death she must decide if she'll leave her normal teen life for the life of royalty. While most of us commoners won't be making this type of life choice any time soon, it is a good reminder that stepping out of our comfort zone isn't easy, but totally worth it.
Buttercup from The Princess Bride isn't afraid to get dirty (or roll down a hill), and she gives up the chance at a royal title for true love.
From charity events to nights out with celebs to club hopping with other royalty to dutifully attending traditional events, fun-loving Princesses (and sisters) Beatrice and Eugenie make it a point to be out on the town. They show that it's all about balance, managing marathons, family obligations, and school while still having a good time.
In The Little Mermaid, Ariel's princess status isn't enough to keep her content; she dreams of the above-water world, love, and feet. Hey, if she can make her dreams happen, anything's possible!
Tired of royal obligations, Aladdin's feisty heroine Jasmine knows what she wants and isn't afraid to go for it, be it freedom or a man.