Female friendships have often been portrayed as negative relationships. The media shows these friendships as women attacking one another and tearing each other down. They’re seen as mean, vindictive, and backstabbing, showing that women are only friends with each other to get farther ahead in a patriarchal world. These friendships appear rough around the edges and seem as though nothing good could ever come of them. From the outside, it seems as though Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper would encourage this stereotype. The story is something we’ve all seen before, a princess being forced to marry a prince, and the assumption that the pauper is not good enough to be around the princess. It seems as though it’s another story about how the women will not get along, but this is not true.
The princess and the pauper actually find that they have a lot in common and became friends. Two people who should not have ever met due to their social classes were able to bond over common struggles. The two women even end up rescuing each other from fates that they did not want throughout the movie, showing that when female friends are put under pressure, they can turn a bad situation into a positive one. They focused on their similarities rather than their differences and celebrated them. Something that is supposed to be perceived in a negative way can actually be a beautiful thing. Within this story, Princess Anneliese finds a geode which she is able to use to save the kingdom, and this reflects a friendship that occurs in this story. On the outside, it seems like it could be another toxic friendship that the media often shows, but it ends up being a positive portrayal of women helping each other.
Image credits: konczakowski, via Tumblr; vanessa, via Pinterest.