This month I arrived home from the greatest vacation of my life – two weeks in Disney World Florida. I am a total Disney fanboy. I love the movies, songs, parks and most importantly, the variety of entertaining characters featured on the big and small screens.
Perhaps the greatest highlight was having breakfast inside Cinderella’s castle. Not only did I get steak and eggs for breakfast, and in one of the most iconic landmarks on the planet, but I got to meet Snow White, Princess Jasmine, Princess Aurora and Ariel! (I’m a 25-year-old male with a very disappointed father.)
But no matter how much I’d consider myself a Disney nerd, I never realized this oh-so obvious fact, until today.
In 1937, Walt Disney introduced the world to the very first animated feature-length movie in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In addition, he also introduced the world to the very first official Disney Princess in the innocent, caring and loyal Snow White, who wished for her prince to come.
The success of the movie was global, and it was evident audiences wanted Princesses. Despite pouring his heart into movies like Dumbo, Fantasia, Pinnocio, and Bambi, Walt wouldn’t replicate the success of Snow White until his introduced the world to Cinderella in 1950.
And since then, we’ve seen princesses heavily featured in many of Disney’s greatest classics. All the way from the Snow White and Cinderella, who dreamed of meeting their true love and living happily ever after, to Ariel, Mulan and Princess Jasmin, who craved adventure out of the worlds they were born into, to the modern day Tiana, Rapunzel and Merida, who take an active role in turning their lives around for the better.
Yes, the formula for Disney princesses may have changed over time, but one thing has always threaded them together – something you’ve probably never even noticed. They all wear the color blue.
Honestly, I didn’t quite believe it myself, but after doing extensive research, it seems that at one point in every movie, each and every princess sports a shade of blue. Whether it’s aqua, navy, Egyptian, colbalt – each princess wears blue.
Designer Christopher Kane spoke about the threaded fashion trend during an interview with ELLE.com about his new Beauty and the Beast inspired collection saying, “When you think of every Disney heroine – Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine – they’re all wearing blue! It’s a thing. ‘Disney Blue.'”
The official Disney princesses are listed as Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan (the original eight), with Tiana, Rapunzel and Merida joining the line up later on. (Princess Anna and Queen Elsa from Frozen are not official Disney Princesses – but even they still adhere to the rule!)
So, why? Surely you’d expect this Princesses to be kitted in head to toe in the traditional girly pink? Well, that’s certainly not the case.
According to the executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute Leatrice Eiseman, all people have a natural preference for blue, mainly because of the sky. “It’s something to look forward to, to see that blue sky,’ she revealed to Allure. ‘It’s dependable. It’s reliable. It might cloud up, but we know it’s there.’
Eiseman explained how blue represents positivity, hope, as well as trust, calm, serenity and confidence. “You’re adding a bit of power to the character by giving her the blue.” Eiseman adds, “It’s a very subtle way of saying, ‘Yeah, but young women, young girls, can be empowered, too.'”
We can only believe that the aforementioned traits are part of the reason the color blue has always been so heavily pushed on boys – because these are the traits of men! Strong and powerful men! (I am being sarcastic).
But perhaps Disney Princesses being featured in so much blue was an underlying message of gender equality – that woman can be as brave, courageous, dependable and loyal, just like men.
It’s an amazing revelation, whatever the true explanation behind it…