All my life Disney's Hercules has been my all time favorite Disney film. Not only did I collect all the McDonald's Happy Meal toys when I was a kid, but I also dressed up as Hercules on non-uniform day at my primary school (Elementary school). And although Disney's [Hercules](movie:365390) isn't exactly an accurate re-telling of the myth, Greek Mythology has always been one of my favorite topics. I just love this movie for everything, from Danny DeVito's voice to the song 'Zero to Hero' and, of course, the character of Megara.
Who is Meg?
In the original Greek myth, Meg, or Megara, was given as a prize to Hercules by the King of Thebes for saving the city (which did kinda happen in the movie), but in the Disney world, she's probably one of the most underrated main female characters.
She married a demigod! How is Meg not a Disney Princess?!
Meg is a real woman!
Despite being not actually based on a real person, she is based off a real myth, whereas most Disney Princesses are completely made up. The reason why I say she's a real person is because she acts like one.
She has baggage.
Yes, loads of Disney Princess have had hard times: they've been locked away in castles, they've been cursed and despised and feared by the locals, but Meg has an ex-boyfriend. Correct me if I'm wrong in the comments, but I'm pretty sure she's the only main female Disney character who has been dumped by a guy before.
According to the Hercules the Animated Series, Meg's ex was actually a prince! Meaning that she might have been through the classic Disney Princess story and it just didn't work out! AS IT SHOULDN'T! You can't just run off and marry the first guy you see because he's a hansom prince! GODDAMMIT ARIEL!
The only other princess in the Disney world that figured this out was Bell from Beauty and the Beast! But even he turned out to be hot in the end anyway so don't count it! And Anna from Frozen only worked it out because Hans outright told her he's a bad person!
Due to Meg's checkered past, she's reluctant to fall in love again. She doesn't want to risk being with someone again and being messed up. I think we all can relate to that. Unless you're one of those who did find your perfect Disney love story, and if so... go suck a rock. We don't want you here.
Also, from my experience, after a bad break up you're more likely to let your defenses down; from alcohol, to junk food, to talking to no-good people on the internet. This goes for guys too, not just for girls. Trust me.
In the movie, Meg lets herself fall into Hades' trap of becoming a tool for evil. I can't say we've all been there, but I think we can surly relate: letting someone use our vulnerabilities to manipulate and exploit us.
Meg is sassy!
I don't know about you, but I like a girl with a good sense of humor and a decent head on her shoulders. I love Meg in this film because she's cynical, sarcastic and skeptical. She doesn't just jump into situations like everything's awesome!
Did I mention that I live in the place that invented forks? Yeah, that's right.
Anyway! Although, Meg approaches everything with humor and skepticism, I do think that this is the attitude of someone who has been through a tough time, just making Meg more and more real and relatable. And I think that because of this, Meg does land herself with the right guy. Any other princess that first sees Hercules would have been like "Ew! What's this sweaty meat-head doing?!" but Meg was all, "He's funny, let's see what he's like."
I think the main thing that attracted Meg to Hercules, wasn't because he was strong, a demigod, or hansom (he is ginger... come on), it's because he's funny, he's cute and he really cares about her!
Let's just go over their relationship real quick:
- Meg's first impression of Hercules is "what an idiot."
- Meg sees him do something heroic, but really she knows he's being played for a fool so she feels sorry for him.
- Her first date was originally a way to get information for Hades' dastardly plan, but she really gets to know him and realizes he's a decent guy.
- But she doesn't initially jump at him. She works it out in her head over some Gospel music, like everyone else... or just me...
Basically she did what EVERYONE SHOULD do when getting to know someone. She didn't just find the first prince and leap at him. I can't stress enough that she fell in love with him BEFORE she knew he was the son of Zeus.
Meg solves her problems herself.
Once Meg realizes she's ready for love again she gets herself together, tell Hades to 'do one' and then proves herself to Hercules by sacrificing herself for him. But, most significantly, she gets over her fear of flying.
It's not the biggest part of the story, but if you remember, Meg starts off expressing her fear of flying and by the end she gets over it to save Hercules. I mean, come on, 'flying' is the most cliche metaphor for solving anyone's problems.
Why is Meg a Role Model?
In the title, I said she is "one of the best role models" because, frankly, there are good Disney Princesses out there for different reasons: Mulan saves China, showing strength and courage, and Anna shows that women don't always have perfect hair!
But to be fair, so does Meg...
The reason why I think Meg is one of the best role models for women is because she's been through real heart break, she's been in real vulnerable situations and messed around by plenty of men, she's felt real life loneliness, and after all that she fell in love the right way, and she conquered her fears and insecurities herself! To me, she is the most realistic and relatable Disney Princess there is, showing real life issues and ways to conquer them. And actually, she's the most princessiest princess there is!