Let me get this out of the way for all the Ariel apologists out there: I know she took the girl’s voice. And trust me, I was a six-year-old with a giant head of long red hair watching The Little Mermaid until the VHS turned into a pile of abused dust in my tiny hands. If anyone was trying to align themselves with everything Ariel, it was me. That girl knew the ginger struggle, and had breasts perky enough to support what appeared to be self-adherent clam shells — I am not here to deny her charm. And we all know that a huge amount of her appeal came from her sweet, innocent, girlish voice. There was no chance that Ursula was going to transform into Vanessa and win over Eric’s diversified stock portfolio of love with her baritone smoker’s drawl. She needed it, and she took it.
But let’s not act like doe-eyed Ariel didn’t sign that shit away of her own volition. Considering that her legal advice was a semi-bitchy crab and the Hoarders-esque stockpile of forks she had in her fabulous personal cave, it’s worth acknowledging that it wasn’t fully her fault. But at the end of the day, she wanted that be-legged D, and she signed that golden contract in full knowledge of what it would require.
And, honestly, good for Ursula. Aside from having perhaps the best villain song of all time and a bustier that accentuated her delectable plus-sized bosoms, she had some serious business savvy. She wasn’t going to sit around and wait for her crown to come floating down from some particularly well-stocked shipwreck. She was going to go out and get her own by whatever means necessary. And if people broke her very clearly drawn-up contractual agreements, they were going to end up as those crying pieces of kale in her Despair Garden. It’s kind of not Ursula’s fault.
Maybe I’m biased, but I am just really drawn to girls who aren’t afraid of a bold red lip and always go over their paperwork with a fine-toothed comb. She wasn’t the kind of wilting flower who gives up something as relevant as her ability to speak in order to bag a guy simply because he can rock a polished side-part and has an adorable Old English Sheepdog. But she is not above taking advantage of petulant teenage royalty who want to give up the sea equivalent of My Super Sweet 16 for a taste of of sand-boning. She has better things to do, such as getting hers.
Yes, I know that Ursula is not technically considered a princess. (Let’s be real, upon being born a size 2 with a button nose, she never stood a chance.) But to me, she will always be one. She deserves, more than any of the girls who were born into such a position of luxury and firm-buttockhood, to have the title of Lead Girl. Because, if we’re being honest, Ursula was always the hero of that movie — if terribly misunderstood. And even though she could spend her time as the much more conventionally sexy Vanessa, she is more than comfortable in her own suckers. Even as an octopus-centaur-thing, she is hotter than any of us. And we weren’t kidding when we called her, well, the Head Witch In Charge.