As a Disney princess of the “Frozen” variety, Kristen Bell is well aware of the impact empowering storytelling can have on children.
That’s why she’s taken extra measures to sit down with her own children and discuss the implications of classic Disney tales that haven’t aged so well.
Speaking with Parents magazine in a new interview, the “Veronica Mars” star talked about the conversations she was having with her two daughters, Lincoln, 5, and Delta, 3, during reading time, which she calls “truly my favorite part of the day.”
While it doesn’t sound like Bell outright bans stories like “Snow White” or “The Little Mermaid” like some parents, she’s developed some habits to communicate with daughters about sensitive topics.
“Every time we close Snow White I look at my girls and ask, ‘Don’t you think it’s weird that Snow White didn’t ask the old witch why she needed to eat the apple? Or where she got that apple?’” Bell explained to the outlet. “I say, ‘I would never take food from a stranger, would you?’
“And my kids are like, ‘No!’ And I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m doing something right,’” she added.
Bell, who’s working on her own children’s book, also notes that the fairy tale has some troubling messaging about consent.
“Don’t you think that it’s weird that the prince kisses Snow White without her permission?” Bell said she has asked her daughters. “Because you can not kiss someone if they’re sleeping!”
Bell’s comments apparently caught some backlash, which she called “annoying and misplaced.” In response to a follower who came to the actress’ defense, Bell explained that she was simply advocating for her daughters to “possess critical thinking.”
Thank u Margot, I find the outrage annoying and misplaced as well. I’m a mom who wants my girls to possess critical thinking and aks a ton of questions. So that’s what we do when we read books. https://t.co/wptcM2DfLt
— Kristen Bell (@IMKristenBell) October 18, 2018
The “Good Place” actress isn’t the only one in Hollywood with reservations about Disney flicks. Actress Keira Knightley recently revealed that she won’t allow her daughter to watch “Cinderella.”
“She waits around for a rich guy to rescue her,” Knightley explained. “Don’t! Rescue yourself. Obviously!”
Bell will be pleased to hear, however, that “Frozen” is “huge” in the British star’s household, as well as recent Disney films like “Moana” and “Finding Dory.”