Help! Princess Toadstool has been taken by the evil King Koopa. She must be rescued so that she can use her magic to restore the people of her kingdom back to life. Someone must stop the Koopa Troopas, and their dark magic, from taking over their once peaceful kingdom.
But first, let’s get something straight. The Princess doesn’t need a man’s help, she just needs help. Nintendo’s 1980s gender normative roles may suggest that only a brave and heroic man can become the protagonist hero, but it’s 2017. Millennial Mario Bros offers heroes of all shapes and sizes and genders.
In fact, no need to even declare those variables; Nintendo fully embraces that “?” box.
While you’re looking for The Princess, please don’t assume she will be laden in long, pink formalwear. Our princess is more of a YAS QUEEN than a princess, anyways. This princess doesn’t just want someone to hand her the keys to the kingdom. She wants to earn her stripes like her hero, Elizabeth Warren, who also faced an evil turtle-looking foil, was warned, given an explanation, and nevertheless, she persisted.
Furthermore, The Princess isn’t some antiquated damsel in distress character who cannot look out for herself. Victim blaming is sooooo 2000 and late. It doesn’t matter if Princess ate a few toadstools that night or what she was wearing. Bad things happen because of roided-out dragonturtle perpetrators, not the victims.
Plus, didn’t you see? Princess Toadstool knows magic. How many other people do you know who can do magic? Hermione Granger, Mary Poppins, and Beyoncé. That’s it.
Oh no!!! Our Princess is in another castle!! But it’s not because she isn’t good with directions, as the low-hanging stereotype suggests. Nor should there be any questions about her emotional frequencies. It’s just a some generic evildoing misdirection. And I know it isn’t really relevant right now, but while we’re mansplaining, Princess Toadstool is one of the safest Mario Kart drivers, even on that illogically dangerous Rainbow Road.*
*Nintendo also disagrees with any assertion that the association between Rainbow Road having no guardrails, is somehow suggestion the dangers of an alternative lifestyle.
Also, it warrants mentioning that princesses, especially those in captivity, are not impressed by how high you can jump up a flagpole. Or how much gold you collect. Just hurry up and get here already, the lava in this castle is getting closer by the minute. Go ahead and take the Warp Zone shortcuts, if you know them.
The point is, Princess Toadstool has a lot of shit she’s planning to do once she’s outta Koopa’s dungeon. As soon as she has her freedom back, she has patriarchies to smash. And when Mario, or Maria—or a non-binary, gender nonconformist named Marí—gets to the final stage, don’t be afraid to ask Princess Toadstool for some help; she’s ready to get her hands dirty.
Finally, don’t you dare assume there will be favors to be repaid or an automatic lifetime of matrimonial bliss. Princess Toadstool has come a long way from the jumping into arms, cheek-kissing, and MY HEROOOOOOing days of her predecessors. While she appreciates all of the strong women who came before her, who led her to this moment, Princess Toadstool knows she has to love herself before she can love someone else.