16 Things You Learn When You Become An Actual Disney Princess
Because being a Disney princess is our ultimate dream in life, right?!
We all grew up watching (and dreaming of becoming) a Disney Princess, right? That feeling of "giiiiiiirl power!' when we watched Mulan fight for her country and swooning over Cinderella finding her Prince Charming.
Well, our ultimate childhood dream came true for Aimee Carerro, who became the voice of Disney's newest princess Elena of Avalor in the TV series.
You’ve probably never met a princess like this before - Elena is more interested in the job of leading a whole kingdom of people rather than fancy balls and waiting around for princes to come and save her.
Here’s 16 things Aimee learned whilst becoming Elena, and how you can be more like a Disney princess IRL. Because let’s face it, it's still our dream in life.
1. You definitely don’t need a man in your life to be happy
"With Elena Of Avalor, there’s no prince charming and that is so important. There's other things in life to pursue than a relationship. I would shout it from the rooftops if somebody wouldn’t arrest me! For any young person, focus on making the best person that you can be.
Focus on acquiring skills and being a good leader and being wise and getting an education, and everything else will fall into place later on. Elena is the hero of her own story. She is in control and that’s one of my favourite things about her."
2. It doesn't matter if you're less elegant than you'd expect princesses to be
“When I was finding out if i got the job or not, I couldn’t get a good signal in my apartment at the time so when I got the call I had to stick my head and my body almost halfway out of a window to answer the phone call. It wasn't very elegant!
My uncle is an engineer at Disney World and was at work that day, he called me right away and was like ‘I HAD NO IDEA!” and then when I went home, my dad had drawn a huge picture of Elena (really badly!) to celebrate."
3. It’s ok to be scared about doing a good job
"When I first started, I was SO nervous that I wouldn’t be able to do the job well. I think everyone can identify with that; you’re always scared to be yourself. Once I got past that and I realised ‘ok, you’re contributing something to this that you feel proud of’ then I could just relax and be in awe."
4. To be like a Disney Princesses, we should find joy in the little things
"How to be a Disney Princess 101! Just take pleasure and delight in daily life. It's something kids do naturally and I think as we age we grow out of that and become less impressed by how beautiful some flowers are or how cute that dog is!
I think Elena takes the time to see the good things so when the bad things happen, she can face them with readiness."
5. To be like Elena, you need to work your ass off
"It’s ALL about hard work. Elena is the first Disney princess who is ruling a kingdom whilst the story is taking place because her parents have passed and she was next in line to the throne. She actually has a job - she’s a working girl!
If you see the episodes, at the start she’s skipping down the stairs and by the end she’s covered in dirt saying ‘I’m tired!’"
6. You can actually identify with Disney Princesses IRL
"It’s kind of impossible not to be obsessed with Disney growing up! I grew up in Miami in Florida so we were never far from Disneyworld and my uncle works for Disney so every time we would visit my grandmother in Orlando we would go to all the Disney parks.
I definitely identified with the empowered women like Jasmine, Pocahontas and Mulan – the ones who weren’t afraid to get in there and get in on the action - and I've always stuck by that."
7. To be a good leader, you don’t need to be perfect
"I think it's really important in a role model to show that just because someone is a a person to look up to or a 'leader', it doesn’t mean they’re perfect. Sometimes it’s quite the opposite."
8. You don't need to be afraid of embracing your culture and even marry different cultures together
"Elena is Disney’s first Latino princess and this is important in promoting tolerance and unity among our cultures. I'm just like Elena, I'm Dominican/Puerto Rican so I've had this rich family culture and by moving to a non-Latin country (the US), I've had to marry those cultures together.
This character does those things so smoothly and brilliantly and without apology, so I learned that my culture is whatever I make of it and I can choose how to live in America but still highlighting things in my culture which I feel are important to pass on to my future children or my family. This whole experience has smoothed it over."
9. Princesses aren’t always perfect, and neither should we be
"Elena is an imperfect princess. She is a young woman who is not afraid to make mistakes. Personally, I learnt about maintaining strong in the face of adversity and always trying again even when you fail and that’s something that Elena does ALL the time.”
10. It’s not always about being saved by someone else
"We all have our ideas of what a princess is, right? We grow up thinking princesses are beautiful always and they are always in their towers in their kingdom waiting for prince charming. Elena is not the damsel in distress waiting in the tower for her prince to rescue her, she’s out there getting down and dirty."
11. You can choose to be your own action hero, like Elena or Mulan
"In the first episode, she gets right down to business and in the opening credits she’s got this whole, cool fencing session on top of her carriage. She’s not afraid of being an action hero and that is the mark of a true leader of the people and with the people and she’s always about inspiring people.
It's like 'do what you gotta do girl, you can do whatever!'. I'm inspired by princesses that were their own heros, like Mulan who put on the warrior outfit and the guy was almost an accessory!"
12. Princesses can be seriously relatable to us normal folk
"Elena will be a strong role model because she is going through something that everybody can relate to, which is how do I go from a child in my parents’ home to being my own person. It’s a story of becoming who you are."
13. You can share the same amount of ambition as a Disney Princess
"If I was giving myself a compliment, I would say we’re similar in our ambition. I’m an ambitious person in the most positive way one can be. She is someone who is very close with her family, I grew up with a very close knit family and so when I go out and put on my clothes to go to work in the morning, its not just my life and career I’m trying to advance but its also the wellbeing of my family."
14. Princesses can be role models for anyone who feels underrepresented or like they don’t fit in
"I think for any group that feels underrepresented in the mainstream narrative – becoming the a Disney princess (and particularly the first Latino princess!) is just a beacon of hope because others think ‘oh maybe I could do something like that, maybe I can be the person to change the perception’".
15. Even princesses fail, and not gracefully
"My hope is that Elena will inspire young people. Whatever is making them feel stuck, they don’t have to be because there are people like Elena out there who are courageous and always willing to try again even when she fails and I think that’s another wonderful message in the story – Elena fails A LOT, and not in a graceful way!"
16. Ok, so some princesses have a little more magical help than us lot
"There’s a lot of magic involved in the series. Elena has a spirit guide who she talks to, to help her make decisions; which is inspired by the Mayan belief that every person has a spirit double in the animal world. There are a lot of well-researched myths and traditions, which have been used in the story and it's all very magical and exciting".
- Elena of Avalor airs on Disney Channel every Saturday at 9am.