Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Goddess vs. Disney

I finally had a realization as to why I'm having such a hard time ageing. It's because of all the Disney movies I watched when I was a little girl (thank you, Walt!) It seems that Disney--and our society in general--only has three female archetypes that are twisted versions of the maiden/mother/crone goddess triad.

According to Disney:
  1. The maiden is the beautiful, young, innocent woman who has no power--well, basically she is asleep--and is waiting for the prince to save her. Yep, I bought into that archetype big time and was lucky enough (or unlucky enough) that I could play that role well into my 40s.
  2. The mother is really the step-mother. She is still beautiful and has power, but the wrong kind of power. She has power over others, which she misuses to her own ends. She is the mean Queen who is not to be trusted and wants to kill the maiden. Basically she is a powerful bitch who is to be feared and the whole world is better off when she dies.
  3. The crone is the old witch-hag who eats little children, who gives Snow White the poisoned apple to eat, etc. etc. She is ugly in her old age, bent over with big warts on her big nose, which mirrors the ugliness that she has inside.

No wonder I'm having trouble finding a mature archetype to emulate. I used to be pretty enough to play the maiden role well and while that role looked good it was really painful. In real life the prince never shows up to save you; you have to save yourself. Decades wasted waiting for something to happen that didn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of happening! Uh, thank you Mr. Disney, society, and advertising for supporting me in believing something that just caused suffering (to me and those poor guys who showed up but couldn't be the prince)

Having passed the maiden stage, there is no archetype for the mature or older woman. Both are bitches. Ok, if I have to choose I guess I'll be the Queen bitch. At least she has power and gets to do what she wants, while still being fairly attractive.

But what about being a Queen who has real power, personal power, which is combined with compassion? Uh, no such archetype in Disney's fairy-tales or in our society for that matter.

And what about the beautiful older woman, who is a wise elder, guiding the young? Nope. No such archetype in Disney's world or in our modern day world.

No wonder women are going back to the goddess. It's time for archetypes that honor mature and older women, and offer us the freedom to be who we were meant to be.

Personally, I don't consider myself a "goddess" person as I am not into ritual or wearing goddessy clothing. But I am glad to borrow the archetype of a priestess who owns her power and uses it to support awakening.

1 comment:

Adele said...

What a great post, it really gave me some food for thought..I just clicked through to your blog because I saw a link to it on your email! You have done some very neat writing on here and I look forward to reading more.