Nading: Walt Disney screwed us all

Mackenzie Nading

Chivalry is dead, but it’s not gone forever.

Usually this phrase comes from the mouth of nagging women. Speaking from the perspective of one such woman, I can attest to concluding that men don’t appreciate women enough. I have engaged in countless conversations with my female friends about how pig-headed, disrespectful and downright disgusting some of the men we have encountered can be.

But then I got to thinking, where exactly did this standard come from that we are comparing those men’s actions to? I think I may have finally nailed the culprit who has caused all women to believe the entire male population is corrupt and will never be chivalrous enough for our standards. That devious culprit who has fed this beast a little too much is Walt Disney himself, and all his animated magical tales he and his studio have produced into movies.

It is every girl’s dream to be a princess. We grow up hearing stories of fairy tales like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, where Prince Charming arrives on some kind of glistening animal, all muscular and probably not wearing a shirt, and then proceeds to lift, grab, yank, drag or gracefully hoist the damsel in distress out of danger. After the young woman is saved just in the nick of time, without the prince even breaking a sweat, he still has the energy to express every ounce of love he has been building up inside himself for the princess. He then promises her all the riches of his kingdom, including luxurious life in a castle, and all she has to do is just slip on one stupid glass slipper.

See the problem yet? From the time girls can walk, we are putting these standards of what men should be in their heads. These fantasies are setting all men who will enter their lives up for failure. Girls, I think it’s time we owe those men an apology. It’s time we evaluate our Disney-influenced standards and bring them out of the animation world and back to the reality we live in.

Now to the men out there, this isn’t an excuse for you to give up on chivalry. But it’s time we all come to a compromise about what women can live without, like a white stallion and a castle full of gold, and what we still deserve from you: respect, honesty and being true to yourself.

Disney focuses too much on the materialistic side of true love, and as a result, the fairy tale they have made every girl dream of will stay just that: a dream. What those animated stories don’t emphasize enough of is how much the small actions men take can really impress women.

Listen up, boys: I’m going to share some helpful tips that will help you become appreciated once again by the female population.

It may sound simple, and I know all guys have heard this a thousand times, but hold doors open for the ladies walking behind you. We eat that stuff up. And when you open that door, look at them, smile and say hello. These may seem like small gestures, but they will stay with that girl all day. Don’t believe me? Try walking into the building around that same time the next day you have class, I bet you’ll see that girl again, hoping she will cross your path.

Another way to win over the tough man-eater crowd is to act like you care. About everything. If there’s a girl in class you’d like to get to know better, don’t talk to her during class. If she thinks you aren’t serious about being there, it’s a huge turnoff. Use the time before or after to start a conversation. You’ve then provoked her to think about the couple of things you had the nerve to say to before class started, and if she’s interested, she will have thought of something to say by the time class is over.

Pay attention to the details. What is she wearing? If you don’t know much about fashion, keep it simple. Say you like her shirt, pants, hair, etc. When girls try to look nice, they want you to notice. It’s not creepy; it doesn’t make you any less manly because you noticed her clothes, and it will take you up at least three rungs on the “we hate men” ladder.

Finally, be yourself. Don’t negotiate who you are at the core just to fit the standards of a girl. This may sound like I’m being hypocritical, but paying attention to detail and opening up doors aren’t life-altering changes to engage in. I’m talking about your personality, your hobbies, the things you’re passionate about; stay true to those.

The bottom line is there are a lot of girls out there, and we’re all looking for the men who share our same interests as well, but we want them to be genuine. Don’t try to fake it, and you’ll be much happier in the long run.

Ladies, it’s time to drop the Disney princess fantasies and come back to reality. Prince Charming can’t be all he’s cracked up to be anyway; I’m sure the horses, muscles and gold would become annoying eventually. Guys, put in a little extra effort; stay true to yourself, and girls will quit complaining that you’re all worthless.