985, 45, 1: a response to ‘Why I’m not a fan of the Little Mermaid’

The Little Mermaid Poster

No, I’m not a fan of the Little Mermaid, and I wrote about that last week. One day later, Erica Ehm’s YummyMummyClub shared it on their Facebook page, and my blog stats skyrocketed! I couldn’t believe my eyes! In under an hour, I had over 400 views and in two hours I reached 730 unique visits.

For some of you, that may not be a big deal; small potatoes for those bloggers with a huge fan base. But for me, that’s huge! I was honoured to be shared, and excited to have so much traffic. That’s why bloggers blog, right? In order to be seen.

The day after that, the views continued to climb and by the days’ end I had 985 views to my blog.

And there were 45 comments to that Facebook post.

Yes, I am aware that The Little Mermaid is a fictional character. Yes, I know that it’s make-believe. I know she is a Disney princess and little girls (and apparently grown women) love her. However, there were some harsh and personal comments on there that I didn’t feel were necessary. It’s a good thing I survived Journalism school and got my stories ripped to shreds by the professor, because if I hadn’t, I would have been pretty upset.

Instead, I have to laugh at the outrage I caused discussing this (apparently) beloved mermaid girl princess character.

So again, please know in all uncertainty, that I understand she is not real. However, also please understand that I stand behind my words and I meant every one of them.

I still maintain that she is a brat. Teenager or not, she is a brat and that behaviour is never addressed and there are no repercussions because of them.

She still changes herself completely. Physically alters herself to get something she wants. There was one comment that suggested that I could think of Ariel as transgender (or trans-species) and perhaps she never fit into the body she was born with. I’ll say that is something I never considered, and perhaps could accept that, if this movie wasn’t made in 1989, and issues such as transgender, and gender identity were rarely, if ever, talked about in a good light. However, I give it to that commenter for having that perspective.

She gives up a part of herself so easily for a boy she doesn’t know. Not okay. Not the message I want to give my girls.

Comment after comment suggested that I need to get a life, stop analyzing a kids’ movie, and blog about something more important. One person even suggested that I should “do something important, or more importantly [spend] time with my kids instead of over analyzing a kids’ movie”. My post was called bullshit, a poor argument, and foolish. One commenter even said that posts like mine showed what was wrong with the world; that I was wrong for speaking so badly about a typical cartoon teenager who was only looking for true love. My favourite comment suggested that I was putting my own hatred into this child’s movie, as my past was not like hers in the film.

WHAT?!

That same poster went on to say that I needed to focus my literature into a discussion that can be validated because I was coming across very immature and [overly] analytical.

Again…what?

I am not delusional. And rest assured, I had a wonderful childhood. I get that it’s a kids’ movie, but you have to be kidding yourself to think that little girls are not influenced by what they watch. They think it’s real. My girls walk around thinking that icy blasts will shoot out of their hands and build an ice castle. Or when they put on a purple amulet, or doctor’s stethoscope that they can speak to their stuffed animals. It’s called imagination, and unfortunately they identify with these characters and the stories.

And there were some comments from people who made those points for me as well. One lady said that I gave very clear reasons why I didn’t like this movie, while still acknowledging a good side of it too. Another one argued that children don’t separate reality from fantasy, and it’s up to parents to pose questions and alternative interpretations. A few commenters said that they do not let their daughters watch The Little Mermaid at all or agreed that there was something wrong with Ariel trading her voice for something she wanted.

Look, I am not looking to break my kids’ spirit, crush their dreams, and stifle their imagination or creativity; which is why I don’t project my opinion about The Little Mermaid on them. I buy the merchandise, the costume, the books and the dolls. I let them pretend they are mermaids and then turn into princesses.

Would I prefer if they ran around ready to take on the world, like Merida from Brave? You betcha!

They don’t understand the messages yet, and my post wasn’t to impose it onto them. It was merely my opinion on a fairy tale that I literally ripped apart in a high school English class and have carried with me ever since. It not an obsession, or something I spend a great amount of time on. But as the mother of two girls, it is now in my life again. And when I saw last week, across various social channels, that it was the 25th Anniversary of the movie, I had to write about it.

So thank you to the 985 visitors to my blog and 45 comments to the Facebook post regarding my one opinion. I hope you come back to read about everything else I write about!

In the meantime, I will encourage my girls to pretend to be whatever they want; sometimes it’s a police officer, a principal, a puppy and even a princess. They are three and six years old. Their imagination should have no ceiling, no boundaries and no barriers. They can be whatever they want.

Even a mermaid!

 

6 thoughts on “985, 45, 1: a response to ‘Why I’m not a fan of the Little Mermaid’

  1. Wow, I’m surprised (and not surprised) by the response you’ve had. Frankly it’s one of the reasons I avoid “internet comments” like the plague, but your post actually spoke to me. It may be fiction (the movie, not your blog) but as you state, THIS is what our children are exposed to on a daily basis and IT DOES shape their perspective. Truth is many parents will NOT speak to their kids about things like this because the assume that they’ll just somehow magically know it’s “just a movie”.

    To me the more interesting point here is that so many people felt the need to be so aggressively negative (welcome to the Internet). As a study (and teacher) of human psychology…and having just lived among other people my entire life… I have to say my first question why the HELL does it bother them so much that you have this opinion? But then I feel that way about anyone who is negative. Why does what *I* think or feel bother you so much especially when it in no way has anything to do WITH you? You can respectfully disagree, or you can be an a**hole…you can’t be both.

    Good on you for sticking to your guns.

    Like

    1. Thank you for writing that. I agree, in that I’m not so sure why it had to be so aggressive.
      I do know that since I started blogging a couple of years ago, I have wanted to write about how I really feel about this movie, but was hesitant since whenever I expressed my disdain, people couldn’t believe that I didn’t like it.
      Know it is confirmed for me that people really love this movie, and that’s great. She is captivating, heck, even I love her hair. But why be so harsh with me for expressing my opinion?
      I guess people just don’t know how to politely disagree, or argue their side reasonably? Not sure, either way, I love that I got so many people talking about.
      I could care less if they disagree with me.
      Thanks again for stopping by, and for the comment and support!

      Like

  2. When I was young, I was watching a non-Disney version of the little Mermaid. It ended with a view of the Little Mer,aid statue in Denmark. In that one, Ariel doesn’t ger her prince as he marries someone elses and she is transformed as sea foam ( her other option was to kill the new bride to keep her legs by dipping in her blood amd I don’t remember if she would get her voice back as oart of that new deal with Ursula). In any case, this was a good lesson on consequences of your action ;). I actually loved the movie even young. You might want to look for it as you might like it better.

    In any case, I like your arguments and it’s definitely a good idea to discuss the content of movies with our kids so that they make a difference between fantasy and realit without killing the joy of imagination!

    Like

    1. Thank you Evelyne, I will look for it. I’ve never seen the original.
      And thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. That’s all I hope for my kids. When they get older we will discuss the content and messages from these movies. For now, they can just enjoy watching them. 🙂

      Like

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