08 Apr Witches Tample Over the Tiaras, Yet Some People Still Don’t Get It
We all grew up loving the Disney princesses, we all grew up thinking that we are one. As princesses we were all conditioned to think that we were in need of rescue that someday a Prince will come riding his white horse and rescuing us from whatever miserable state we are in. Then came Frozen.
But before Elsa came raging in as the Ice Queen, we all fell in love with Hermione Granger, yep, that adorable little witch played by Emma Watson in the 7-fold story of Harry Potter. What amazes me is that while we all cheered for Hermione as she battled one wizard after another, many of us are still locked in that little cage where women of strong character, strong will, of great wit and sarcasm are still frowned upon by many. A girl with a mouth, grounded on reality, and who doesn’t necessarily look at the world with rose-tinted glasses are branded as negative; instead of giving the benefit of the doubt that these people may just have been seeing situations from a reality standpoint, rather than that of an ideal.
I would like to believe that the rise of Hermione Granger has brought about the death of the Disney Princess characters, that Disney themselves have created a much more real, three-dimensional, flawed character to the next batch of Princesses (this is the first time I think that Disney had a queen who isn’t exactly an antagonist). Finally, somebody made sense of princesses that do not lead to the illusion that a girl (little ones at that) can just sit still wait and do nothing, while their Prince Charmings are out there slaying dragons and charging the windmills and will come to rescue them. Finally, somebody stood up for witches and queens!
To tell you the truth, I have been called “Hermione Granger,” and it isn’t just because of my hair! “You are scary, brilliant, but scary,” said one of my friends when he sent me on a wild witch hunt for a certain person that we only knew by name. I went out stalking the internet, google-ing the person until I came up with answers. Yeah, I am Hermione Granger alright, even when I was her age — a strong girl who was devoted to her studies, never shirks from putting herself in danger to save a friend, and doesn’t shy away from expressing her opinion. When opinions are valid and are backed by data and statistics, I don’t see why one can’t nor should one be repressed to express them, even if they come off as negative. Truth is truth, no matter how ugly it looks. A question is a question and it wouldn’t be asked if it didn’t need any answers. An observation is always a valid point even if it goes against what others may think. And with the rise of Hermione Granger, I feel that it is time to be real.
Princess once showed that anyone who wanted to be a “princess” must act “properly,” thereby WAIT for the Prince to come and rescue her, instead of thinking how to get down from that damned tower already. It is also a trait of Princess not to make anyone uncomfortable, much less speak her mind whenever she has a valid opinion. The less the Princess opens her mouth, the less mistakes she makes. And the more she blends in to become the ever loving, ever caring, and ever naïve, the more she is loved. And those who hated them are simply envious of their beauty.
Truth be told, I never really wanted to be a princess. Even when I was playing the character of Snow White in our kinder graduation play, I didn’t want to be the princess. But I always wanted to be queen, no matter how evil the Disney stories portrayed the queen. Princesses were boring, all they did was look pretty, sleep or play dead. Much like a toy dog without the high pitched intense barking if you ask me. Princesses are toy dogs, while queens are the Rottweilers – the bark audibly and bite without mercy.
As I grew up and fell less and less in love with the Disney Princesses I began to realize that they and their stories have distorted the idea of reality for little girls. I know, because mine was. Indeed, I fell victim to thinking that there was something wrong with me every time I would hear that somebody doesn’t like me nor approve of me. This notion has led me to think that having strong opinions and speaking my mind has led me to be crass, squatter-ish to a point, and breeding-less to some. I have been led to believe that girls who fight (even though for what’s right) are branded as a “bitch.” And after a long introspection (and over-thinking, trying to please and appease everybody), I came to understand that having strong opinions doesn’t equate to bad attitude. Some people are as distorted as my reality. People expect every girl to act like a princess. How can they when they were born to be queens or witches?
Yet I wonder, is there really someone as perfect as the Disney Princesses? Is there someone who is all good, all loving without a dark bone inside of her? Or can someone really perfect the art of faking it on the outside but hides her vicious ways of calculating how many stabs she can plant on your back? Can someone be so lazy as to sit around and wait? Don’t we just all wish that in their stories these princesses could have done something about her situation? At least Rapunzel let down her golden hair, but really what was she doing while growing it? Won’t we just love Snow White even more if she thought twice about eating the apple, or asked the old hag to take the first bite? And won’t we just cheer Cinderella on, if she stood up for herself and spoke to her stepmother and told her she, though not biologically, was technically her daughter too and not the help? That she is the daughter of the owner of the house, thereby she owns a part of it? Won’t we just have more respect for the princesses if they stood up and did something for themselves for once? I don’t know about you, but I certainly would!
The popularity of Hermione Granger can be perceived as a revolution, t is a new way of teaching little girls the reality of being a woman. Her character tells us that one should study diligently, that being smart is cool. She shows the world that it is okay to have an opinion, and that one’s pedigree (remember she is not a born witch), isn’t the only key to success. Having the pedigree may win you half of the battle but hard work, guts, determination and the willingness to take a stand will get you where you are supposed to be.
Hermione was written as a girl who tried to always keep her heart in check, her feelings for Ron never really took the better of her. Same is true with life, love is not everything, feelings are fleeting. One must be able to focus on things that mattered more than the drama of love and to be loved. And I salute all the real life Hermione Grangers out there who continuously choose to save the world instead of donning gowns and glass slippers to party all night and snag the “prince” by being helpless. The Hermione character surely reminds us that “love can wait.”
Ron is obviously besotted with Hermione, and she shares his feelings, but can’t fully give into them lest she be distracted from saving the world. And so when Ron briefly pitches a fit and leaves the others, she sticks with Harry and their mission, even though it’s all clearly killing her. And in another lovely added scene from Yates, when Harry, “The Chosen One,” dances with her to cheer her up and seems to want some sort of more-than-friendly comfort from her, she gently walks away. Again, Hermione is performing as a classic heroine. She has to clamp down on her feelings (of love for Ron and deep friendship for Harry) and focus on ensuring that evil doesn’t prevail. She spends a lot of time sitting and contemplating the scenery, trying to keep her heart in check, but her weary and determined expression render even these meditative sequences fascinating. – Sarah Seltzer, RHrealitycheck.
Hermione makes us feel that it is okay to express what is on your head, that brains count more than just beautiful faces. It is ok to use your head instead of just counting on your screams for help.
Much more than just making it okay to be smart and nerdy, however, Hermione reaffirmed that it was okay to ruffle feathers, take a stand, and back it up with some hardcore knowledge. She would never have eaten Teri Hatcher’s burnt toast. I look forward to the day when I read the Harry Potter series to my daughter, and through Hermione’s character, instill in her the desire to take control of her own fate and never be afraid to voice an opinion or show her intelligence. I’m sure she’ll like the books. I mean, witch hats trump tiaras any day. -Laura Hibbard, Huffington Post.
I guess we are already tired of waiting to be rescued by Prince-not-so-charming-after-all. We are tired of being damsels in distress. We are tired of being Princesses, because Princesses are no fun. Can somebody wake them up already and tell them that the world does not need another helpless woman who needs saving? Can they just get up already and do some saving themselves? We no longer need fairy godmothers to turn our pumpkins into coaches, because this time, we can do that ourselves
Meredith: Stop! I do not need rescuing.
Derick: Uh. You could have drown in a bath tub if I’m not in there. Meredith: I’m a surgeon. I do the rescuing. You are not my knight in shining whatever.
Derick: So we’re gonna fight because I pulled you out of the tub?
Meredith: You have a place. You could sleep at it. And then you don’t have to pull me out of the bathtub. You’re everywhere, all the time, saying things.
Derick: This is the happy ever after part. And in the happily ever after, the guy is there all the time, saying things and the girls love it!
I bet some of us have given up on looking and the window and waiting for our knight in shinning armor to come and fight our monsters and dragons. We have stopped believing in fairytales especially when our Prince Charming turns out to be a frog. How many more frogs?
“Call us old school. But sometimes the fairlytale requires the knight to get off his ass and saddle up his steed” – Gossip Girl
JK Rowling is one power woman who was brilliant enough to think about the central woman character in the Harry Potter Series. No, Harry Potter (not even Ron) would have survived all those escapades if it weren’t for Hermione. And that makes her a hero!