Last weekend we had a marathon of Disney movies, and somehow watching Snow White sing for the seven dwarfs really opened my eyes to something. No, I’m not talking about her annoying voice. The female leads in fairytales have changed through time – thank goodness.
The older Disney movies (Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty) have princesses who sing, look good and don’t question their role in life and society. They will do whatever their mean stepmothers or stepsisters, or the village’s witch, tell them to do. Are there even submissive women in general anymore? Heck, I have a hard time getting my daughter to wash her hands before dinner.
Even the male leads have changed. The princes from the movies mentioned above lacked spark. They sang, too, and looked pretty and had skin so soft they could be in a CoverGirl ad. Okay, stop yawing. Thanks.
Today’s female and male leads are quite different. Tiana, from The Princess and the Frog, goes to great lengths and works two jobs to pursue her dream of opening her own restaurant. She’s strong, resourceful, and…feminine. And how about Flynn Ryder, the bad boy from Tangled? He doesn’t have a title, and the movies hints he’s done more wrong than right in his life. Yet there is something redeemable about him, and we are interested to know how it all will play out.
I daresay the heroes and heroines from short romances have changed as much, if not more, as their Disney counterparts. I read tons of short romances growing up in which the heroines were mostly virginal, and although they had good hearts and meant well, they didn’t stand up to the heroes the way they do nowadays.
Today, our heroines have sex and enjoy it. They ask for what they want. They have ambitions and goals, and, like women we find in real life, juggle family responsibilities with work and deal with struggles and questions. They question themselves.
And the alpha heroes? I understand the heroines have a much stronger change in behavior than they have – because the alpha hero still has to be successful at what he does, good looking and a man who takes charge, protects and wins – or wants to win. But in modern short romances, they also have a vulnerable side – and, thank goodness, a POV. How hard was it to try to figure out what they were thinking back then? It just made them less likable sometimes.
Do you think heroes or heroines have changed the most in short romances? And why?