I want to be a Disney Princess. I’ve wanted to be a Disney Princess my whole life. Even at almost 30 when you ask me what I want to be when I grow up, I will answer “Disney Princess”. When we went to Disneyland for Spring Break, it was for ME. I hadn’t been since I was about 3 years old, and have felt the siren song calling me back ever since. Finally, I was back among the magic of my childhood.
Yes, it was magical and wonderful and everything I had hoped it would be. But… there was something that didn’t feel… well… right. All day long there was this unsettled feeling lurking; following us through every ride like the shadows of the Devil’s hands in Fantasia. My old friend Cognitive Dissonance.
I am constantly trying to seek out voices that do not represent my own and learn from them. I am constantly humbled by the fact that there is so much that I have experienced that I take for granted. Even at my worst points, I’ve been able to ride through thanks to resources I’ve had access to that not everyone has. And even in spite of those privileges, I have had to eat dirt when I’ve fallen.
Disney flies in the face of all of that. When you wish upon a star, it makes no difference who you are. Don’t worry… you’ll get by on faith, trust, and a little bit of pixie dust. Your fairy godmother will fix your problems. Your prince will come. Woodland creatures will clean your house and make your bed. Your hair will always look amazing.
Escapism at its finest. And damn does it feel good. Guilty… but so good. Fuck student loans and deadlines. I’m going to eat the Grey Stuff, some Dole Whip, and another Churro because calories don’t exist in Fantasy Land. Let’s go shoot Zorg and rescue Buzz. Let’s pretend Jack Sparrow isn’t played by a horrible human being and be semi amused by him again.
Then, when we were in the Tomorrowland Lounge, my coffee cup had this quote on it.
Are we though? I mean, Yes I would much rather be alive today than in Tudor England. But a dream come true? And I looked around the stylized idealized futurism of Tomorrowland, the vaguely racist eternal optimism of It’s A Small World ride, and the stark contrast between the sparkling facade of Magic Kingdom vs the realities that lurk outside the gates; my cynical realism came back.
It’s a scary and stressful time to be alive. We have an unstable Cheeto in charge. There’s a mass shooting every week. People are still constantly being discriminated against and dying due to their race, gender orientation, and religious beliefs. I have no clue how I’m going to pay for health insurance once my current plan expires. I would hate to see the person who thinks THIS is a dream come true.
But I have Disney to run away and escape. Where the good guy always wins, the villains have the best songs, and eyelashes defy the laws of physics. And even though those movies are as unrealistic as can be, I’m still going to be a Disney Princess when I grow up.