Princess culture is so pervasive that most young actresses will take on one of the iconic roles at some point in time. Even more than that, the princess mindset, one which focuses on beauty and romance instead of intelligence and independence, seems to infect so many women in the entertainment industry. They spend every interview smiling incessantly, giggling uncontrollably and making sure that their public persona mirrors those fairy tales that we all know so well.

So many actresses are content to let their appearance and personal life establish their careers. They smile down from the cover of People, gushing that they’ve found true love or lost a couple pounds on the latest fad diet. They act as living representatives for the princess culture that Disney and toy retailers have created. 

I’m not saying that these are bad people or even awful role models, but they don’t present a dimensional picture for young girls to grasp on to. By constantly letting their physical appearance be the center of attention, they send a message to their fans that girls are valued for their looks before anything else.

In direct opposition to those princess-like ladies, the actresses in this gallery take the time to express that brains are just as important as the pretty faces that cover them. These role models are smart, determined, dedicated to causes that are bigger than themselves and even a little “different.” They make ugly the new pretty and quirky the new charming. More than anything, they help moms everywhere show their daughters that intelligence is just as valuable as your appearance, no matter what gown you’re wearing.

[ITPGallery]