I know Cinderella’s on everyone’s mind but I want to talk about one of our lesser-known poor decision makers:
The Little Mermaid. The character whose author didn’t even think enough of her to give her a name, so Disney had to make one up. Fun fact: Ariel is a man’s name, and it means “lion of God” in Hebrew. So that’s basically the coolest thing ever to happen to her.
Because so many people are so confused about where the Hans Christian Andersen story and the Disney movie diverge (hint: the opening credits) I’m gonna go ahead and mash this up a little.
TLM is one of my favorite fairy tales because everything that happens to any of the characters happens because of something they actually did wrong. And lemme tell you: EVERYONE DOES EVERYTHING WRONG.
Opening credits: there’s a mermaid. Disney thinks she wants “something more.” HCA thinks she’s pretty happy eating raw fish. Regardless which version you prefer, at some point a dude falls into the ocean.
Now, a mythological mermaid’s entire job is drowning dudes, so you’d think Ariel would be pretty happy about having this one self-asphyxiating, but no. (You had ONE JOB, mermaid.) Instead, she’s like “oh hey. penis.”
Like all fairy tales, however, this one would like you to know that peen is the wrong answer. ALWAYS THE WRONG ANSWER.
Anyway. Ariel decides that instead of taking credit for this dude’s death and scoring points with her dad, she’s gonna push him back ashore. If you love something, let it go, amirite? She immediately has buyer’s remorse.
Here’s where the really bad decision-making starts. Ariel goes to the sea witch like “I really want to give up all my wealth and power and supernatural abilities and instead be a super poor human with zero things. Can you make me split up the middle?” And of course the sea witch says “fuck you pay me.” They make a bargain: Ariel’s voice in exchange for… something the sea witch has no use for anyway which is also a pretty good joke on Ariel’s dad, who the sea witch hates. I bet she would have done it for free.
Cue Ariel’s Sailor Moon transformation scene. Every step with her new legs is like walking on broken glass and she’s naked, but she somehow gets taken in by the dude’s family, which speaks well of them since she can’t even talk. And her dude? Yeah, he’s getting married to another girl. Who you can tell is a bad guy because she has dark hair. Just gonna leave that there.
Here’s the kicker. Apparently, Ariel now does not care if she ever gets the dude. Who btw is not a prince in the story, he’s just peen on legs. Despite having EVERY OPPORTUNITY to communicate, she doesn’t even try. No attempt at sign language. No writing notes. No even waving hands, shaking head yes and no, ZERO attempt to set the record straight.
So her sisters are like JFC. We gotta stage an intervention. They set up a perfect crime: Ariel kills the dude and escapes back into the sea where a) maritime law, bitches; and b) mermaids aren’t even real, sooooo……..? But no. Instead Ariel picks death over killing this guy, who means so much to her THAT SHE WILL NOT EVEN DRAW AN ARROW IN THE SAND WHEN HE SAYS “I DON’T KNOW WHO SAVED ME.”
So the moral of the story is: literacy saves lives.