The miniscule but significant detail you definitely missed about Disney princesses


It's a tale as old as time, but classic Disney movies are often criticized for their skewed portrayals of life. In the past, Disney fairytales have been condemned for its homogeneous characters and idealistic depictions about love. It seems the company has been making headway in including more diverse storylines -- Disney recently introduced its first Latin princess and first gay onscreen kiss.

Related: Walt Disney over the years

But Disney's depiction of its princesses -- dependent, but perfect, women -- has long been criticized, especially in regards to body image and confidence.

Yet, a new small but significant detail puts that all into question. While many viewers may have missed it, most Disney princesses wear blue. This color dress is imperative to the storyline and character development.

Jasmine, Belle, Ariel in "The Little Mermaid", Mulan, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Elsa, Snow White all flaunt the same sky blue. Not just Disney princesses, but Alice from Alice in Wonderland, Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz" sport similar hues.

This shared theme sends a message to the viewers. Leatrice Eiseman, the director of the Pantone Color Institute, assessed the color and its impact on the story "It's something to look forward to, to see that blue sky. It's dependable. It's reliable. It might cloud up, but we know it's there," she said.

The sky's loyalty and dependability are valued characteristics -- so that's why light blue has been, in the past, attributed to males. But the writers decided to do something different. Instead, they painted their female characters with the same sky blue.

Said Eiseman:

You're adding a bit of power to the character by giving her the blue. It's a very subtle way of saying, 'Yeah, but young women, young girls, can be empowered, too.

If you're going to see the much-anticipated "Beauty and the Beast" this weekend, look out for Emma Watson's Belle in blue. The film's costume designers sought to emphasize her wearing this color, skillfully integrating set design and costume . "Though we didn't completely take blue out of the village, Belle is distinct within the town as the only one who wears a column of blue. She stands out as different than her environment," said costume director Jaqueline Durran.

Whether or not this insight will impact the perception of Disney princesses, we hope this idea of female empowerment will become more widespread in entertainment in the future. Maybe not so subtly, but it's a start.

Scroll through to see photos of the Beauty and the Beast premiere: