So I haven’t been to the theater yet to see Brave (my hours at work have been really weird lately), but I’m making it a priority because my suspicions about the plot have been confirmed by the internet and I couldn’t be happier: Brave is a movie with a female lead that doesn’t have any romance.
Many of the movies aimed at young girls have a main character who goes on an adventure to reach a goal and when they finally achieve it they are rewarded by finding a man (sometimes the goal just simply is a man). Brave is a movie about a character who goes on some kind of adventure to reach a goal and when she finally achieves it she finds something much more important: herself (no offense to Snow White, Mulan, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Tangled, Cinderella, Anastasia, The Swan Princess, The Princess and the Frog, and literally every other movie with a female lead aimed at kids).
Before I knew what asexuality was I grew up feeling totally broken because my whole life I’d been raised to think that the world works like these movies and when I grew up the greatest reward I could get was finding a man, which was a big problem considering that even after puberty hit, I never started liking boys. And all the girls wanted to grow up to be these Disney princesses and find there prince and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to do so, but when you’re me and you don’t want a prince it’s just upsetting because you know there must be something wrong with you and all the boys get these cool action friendship movies like Monster’s Inc. and The Emperor’s New Groove and even though friendship shows up in movies with female leads but in the end the importance of friendship is always trumped by the importance of getting married and I didn’t think it would ever change because I just thought that was how life worked.
But Brave changes everything.
Merida is basically the Disney princess I wish I could have had when I was younger (I know she’s not technically a Disney princess, but you know what I mean). If I were still a kid when this movie came out, I would be able to have a character to point to and go “You don’t need to get a man at the end to be happy!” and “Other relationships, like family and friends, can be more important to a girl than romance!” and I’m just so glad that this movie is out there.