Mulan: Warrior Princess


Mulan has always been represented as a young, tomboyish and rebellious girl of Chinese descent. Being the only non-western culture Disney princess, the protagonist values family relations, has a lot of courage and is different from rest of the Chinese girls. However, with the new design, it seems she has lost a major part of her individuality to greedy marketers trying to girlify the traditional Mulan. In her new appearance, she wears much more make-up than before and this results in a contradiction. Original Mulan escaped from her family and joined the army because they were constantly trying to dress her with posh and chique clothes, make excessive make-up on her and find her a wealthy and high-status husband. So, she was a symbol of defiance to beautification and sexification at the first place. But Disney couldn’t stop itself from lightening her skin tone, creating a flashy hairstyle and adding sparkling jewelry to her outfit.

As Peggy Orenstein, the writer of “What’s Wrong With Cindrella?”, highlights that “Mulan and Pocahontas, arguably the most resourceful of the bunch, are rarely depicted on princess merchandise.. their rustic garb has less potential than that of old-school heroines like Sleeping Beauty.” Mulan’s choice of wearing army uniforms or plain kimonos, is somewhat unattractive to girls who are in love with pink, glitter and overdone make-up. Today, it looks like, the few remaining characters that have not been hyper-beautified are very close to lose their own identity. The princess epidemic will not cease until someone states that individuality and naturality are the genuine virtues, not sexiness, artificial beauty and girliness.


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