Christopher Kane’s Beauty and the Beast collection from this spring started an interesting conversation about Disney princesses. In an interview shortly before his new line was unveiled, Kane commented on how Disney heroines always seemed to wear blue at one point or another. It seems like a throwaway comment hearing it the first time, but if you dig deeper it turns out this observation is surprisingly significant. Blue has always been a color of confidence. Expressions like “true blue” come from this symbolic belief that blue represents a regal kind of empowerment borne of the soul rather than inherited position or hard-earned status. According to Kane and the Pantone Color Institute, Disney’s choice to dress our favorite childhood characters in various shade of blue gives its leading ladies more gender-defying power than originally thought. Blue isn’t just for boys anymore. See how these iconic animated women wear the empowering color.
She may have been snow white by name, but this Disney princess had a colorful wardrobe. Her yellow dress and blue blouse are iconic in fairy tale lore. It’s interesting to note that in contrast to Snow White’s deep blue blouse, the evil Queen always wore purple. Just goes to show that royalty isn’t always pure.
There’s no mistaking the role blue played in Pinocchio’s journey to becoming a boy. The fairy responsible even has the color in her official title. Spreading a soft bluish light wherever she traveled, the Blue Fairy epitomizes the empowering qualities of this signature shade.
That famous ballgown was indeed actually blue. Transforming from a black-and-brown clothed serf to a majestic princess, the Fairy Godmother symbolically puts the power in Cinderella’s hands with one swoop of her wand.
Inquisitive Alice is not your conventional Disney girl, but it makes a ton of sense for her to be dressed in blue. She is all about breaking those rules and exploring a world conjured by her own imagination. If your mind can create a world like Alice found through the looking glass, that’s pretty empowering.
A storyteller who uses her fantastical tales to try and escape adulthood may sound adolescent, but it’s really quite wise. Wendy earns her powder blue nightgown with flying colors. Wouldn’t you love to evade the responsibilities of growing up in a world full of adventure and fun?
Young, feisty, and aggressive to a fault, Fairy Merryweather is a perfect candidate for blue fashion in the Sleeping Beauty universe. Another interesting thing about this film is that Aurora doesn’t wear blue until the end, once she has been freed from living a life in secret.
Young Ariel doesn’t really have much power when she first dresses up in blue to meet Prince Eric, but she has defied her father. Sometimes the message of empowerment isn’t nearly as strong as it could be, but at least Disney was trying.
Her dress for the iconic waltz with the Beast is yellow, but before all that Belle is the odd girl out in a complacent little town. It’s the ideal place to make a blue dress stand out and Disney does just that. This is probably our favorite blue-inspired moment in any magical film.
Princess Jasmine is quite independent and certainly has her own opinions about who she’d like to rule the kingdom with after the Sultan passes on. It seems for Disney purposes, turquoise is more blue than green.
After a hiatus from the traditional princess story, Disney came back with the ultimate blue-dressed heroine in Frozen’s princess Elsa. Stubborn and confident in new and liberating ways, this is the perfect final page to a history of empowering hues.
Disney princesses may not be the best examples of empowered women, but perhaps they are better than we think. Either way, without us realizing it, they proved blue can be a girl’s color. Remember that next time you go out in a blue dress, ladies.
— Scarlett Price