Embracing our True Self: A take on Fiona from Shrek

Shrek is an animated comedy film that quickly became a pop culture phenomenon. The movie is about an ogre named Shrek, who has been charged with the responsibility of finding the beautiful princess Fiona to bring her to marry Lord Farquaad. Along the way Shrek and Fiona fall in love. But this is far from the typical Disney-style romance.

Fiona is a complex and dynamic character. At first glance, she appears to be a typical fairy tale princess who needs to be rescued by a brave knight in shining armor. However, as the story unfolds, Fiona subverts these expectations and proves to be much more than a damsel in distress.

One of Fiona’s defining characteristics is her strength and determination. Despite being trapped in a tower guarded by a fire-breathing dragon, she didn’t give up hope and constantly tried to escape on her own. She is also shown to be physically capable, as she fought off Robin Hood and his Merry Men with ease.

Furthermore, Fiona was not just a love interest for Shrek. She was a fully realized character with her own motivations and desires. She formed a close bond with Donkey and helped Shrek defeat Lord Farquaad, showing that she was an integral part of the team.

But Fiona also had a vulnerable side, as she was cursed to transform into an ogre at night, which she saw as a monstrous side of herself that she wanted to keep hidden. The curse would be broken when Fiona found true love which would lead her to take ‘love’s true form’. Fiona always thought that this meant that she would become the ‘beautiful’ princess that she was in the day, and the ‘ugly’ ogre side that she transformed into, in the night would disappear forever. 

When she met Shrek and realised that he was her true love, she waited for the kiss, expecting to become the beautiful princess she had dreamt of becoming her entire life. But to her great surprise, she turned into the ogre self – which was her ‘love’s true form’. And in accepting this, she was truly free to be herself. 

So many times as women, we have an ‘ideal’ that we think we must be – whether it is in the way our body should look, the career we should take, the kind of partner we should be with, the hobbies we should have or the characteristics we should possess. These ideals may have been put upon us by the people around us, our society or even the movies or books we’ve grown up with. But maybe, our true form, could be something very different from what we think we should be, and in truly accepting it, is when we are free to live as who we are created to be. 

Author: Priyanka George