Love is in the air, and isn’t that the typical status of a Disney princess? Well, the ones who are WAIFs anyway. It occurred to me that I didn’t specify those yesterday. Maybe I should do that before we try to find romance for the archetype.
Not all of these gals are actually WAIFs. Mulan (third from left), and Merida and Pocahontas (sharing the middle) are Crusaders – remember that type? Tiana and Belle (third and fourth from right) are Nurturers, and Ariel (second from right) is an archetype that we’ll discuss next week. But the rest of them are definitely WAIFs: Jasmine, Snow White, Aurora, Cinderella, and Rapunzel. Now my dear boy argued with me about Rapunzel, but the dominate trait of a WAIF is maintaining the status quo and keeping the peace at all costs. Rapunzel would still be living in her tower had Flynn Rider not dropped in.
Of course, these gals aren’t the only WAIF examples. Tami Cowden suggested the Demi Moore character in “Ghost.” Perfect example, along with the Marilyn Monroe character in “Misfits” and Ingrid Bergman in “Casablanca.” Trouble is, this is the day of strong, capable women and the WAIF who needs saving – even though she has inner strength – just doesn’t fit in with the picture of contemporary women.
Oh but I just came up with another example: the Julia Roberts character in “Runaway Bride.” Remember how she would like her eggs however the man in her life liked his, and she’d adopt whatever hobby he enjoyed as her own? That’s typical of a WAIF – just get along. Don’t rock the boat.
But let’s see what the fellows think about these gals.
WAIF with the WARRIOR – seem tailor-made for each other. She needs someone to help her. He loves a fight, and longs to be needed. And while protecting or defended, he develops a strong loyalty. Easy to make a romantic connection from that. She has just the type of true heart that can bring him to his knees. Squee! This could be good! This is definitely the match-up in Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella.
WAIF with the SWASHBUCKLER – This one has great possibilities. He’s a scoundrel; she’s a doll. I can think of a couple of Errol Flynn movies with this match-up. (Can’t remember the names of them – doh!) Think about it, though. Who else could draw the shallow, devil-may-care cavalier into a depth of feeling. She needs his strength and courage. Suddenly he’s not just fighting for the gain or the thrill. He’s pushing through for the well-being of someone besides himself. That could change an attitude. And as I’ve said before, I’m convinced that the SWASHBUCKLER would have to change his stripes to spots if he ever hopes for a lasting relationship. Oh, and the Richard Gere character in “Runaway Bride.” He was a reporter who brutally attacked the subjects of his research. Definitely a SWASHBUCKLER! Yep, this one is a keeper. This is also the romance of Flynn Rider and Rapunzel in “Tangled.”
WAIF and the PROFESSOR – I don’t see this one happening. I can’t see Cinderella or Snow White falling for Sherlock Holmes. Unless a PROFESSOR can develop a little fight into his character (maybe like the Robert Downey, Jr. version of Holmes) the WAIF doesn’t need him. She needs saving. Likewise, he’ll only be frustrated with a woman who continues to press him to help her in ways he’s not equipped for. He likes peace to pursue his passion. She’s always the center of some type of turmoil. Nope, this one will never work.
WAIF with the LOST SOUL – Another no-way relationship. They are too much alike: introverted and lost, needing someone to help them. Unless one of them changes to a new archetype, they won’t come together. Tami Cowden suggests the romance in Casablanca. I agree that the characters are definitely these types, but look how the romance turned out. ‘Nuf said.
WAIF with the CHARMER – This match up seems a little scary to me. He’s a taker; she’s a giver. He will view her as a conquest. Annoyed by her fault-finding, he’ll make a game of turning her feelings around. If he has any ability to care (and that’s a big IF), he’ll regret hurting her. And he will hurt her, because not caring is part of his personality. Upon the sincerity of his regret, a real romance could blossom. A lot has to go right, though, for it to ever happen. It did in the musical, “Oklahoma.” Curly, the CHARMER, and Laurie, the WAIF. Perfect example.
WAIF with the BEST FRIEND – The BEST FRIEND isn’t generally a hero and the WAIF needs a hero. Their differences could bring out the best in each other, but they would have to do some major changing in order to bring this together. Cowden suggests “The Wedding Singer” as an example of this pairing. I also found it in Susan May Warren’s My Foolish Heart and in The Phantom of the Opera. Loved the relationship in both of those stories!
WAIF with the BAD BOY – Obvious example here is “Aladdin.” This could work, but only if the BAD BOY can change. He has to learn how to care, but once he does, these two can mesh because of the commitment level that both of them have. Yep, this romance could be riveting! Think “Dirty Dancing.” That romance was classic of this match-up, and ooh la la!
WAIF with the CHIEF – At first glance, I can’t see this one as being satisfying. On the contrary, I think of him as a mean bully in this role. She won’t show a backbone because she accommodates every time. He bowls her over, impatient with her lack of strong opinion. But her sincerity, her genuineness, they can change him. Look at one of my favorites, “Sabrina.” Linus Larrabee thinks he’s in total control the entire time until he realizes that she’s taken away his desire to control. I think the CHIEF will have to change in order to make this work, but it could be a great relationship.
Your Turn: Can you think of any couples that match these combinations. Maybe you know of one that worked that shouldn’t have? (In my opinion) By all means share your thoughts.