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Today, Disney releases Cinderella, a live action version of their classic animated film. Cinderella is your definition of a princess story, but make no mistake: not every princess fits this mold that she’s laid out. Just because you’re a princess doesn’t mean you’re obsessed over ball gowns and glass slippers. Here are 5 princesses that prove they can be serious women of action.

 

5. Princess Merida – Brave

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She doesn’t look like your standard Disney Princess: she has an enormous bobblehead and a mane of red hair to match, and she can’t be bothered with tying herself down to the rules of living life as a noble. She wants the life of adventure that is allotted to heroes of the male persuasion like Robin Hood, and to do so, she has to prove that just because she was born a woman doesn’t mean she can’t get shit done. Merida is OG and has great hair. ‘Nuff said.

 

4. Princess Zelda – The Legend of Zelda Video Game Series

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Through most of the acclaimed video game series, Zelda was more or less a damsel in distress. In Ocarina of Time, however, Zelda plays an integral part of taking down the evil Ganon. From handing off the ocarina to our Hero of Time to helping along his journey as her alter ego Sheik, Zelda was just as much a hero as Link was in arguably the most important addition to the storied franchise, part of the time while in drag.

 

3. Xena – Xena: Warrior Princess

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I don’t really know much about Xena, other than she wore some crazy armor and did a weird call for some reason, but I know Lucy Lawless could take most people in a fight, so I’m pretty sure Xena could do the same. Tall, strong, and a Kiwi, Xena’s the last princess you want to come across in a dark alley but the first you’d pick in a game of pick-up basketball.

 

2. Princess Diana of Themyscira – Wonder Woman

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If there’s one princess on this list that can go toe-to-toe with Xena in a battle of physicality, it’s none other than DC’s flagship female superhero, Wonder Woman. Hailing from the mythological tribe of Amazons, Princess Diana became the female counterpart to DC’s other mainstay Superman during the Golden Era of Comic Books. While her powers of compassion and truth are often scoffed at by the male-centric comic book reading masses, Wonder Woman, in all her incarnations, can certainly kick your fedora-wearing ass.

1. Princess Leia – Star Wars Trilogy

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When our heroes in Star Wars first rescue Princess Leia, it isn’t long before she takes charge, and the question of who’s saving who becomes a serious one. Leia is strong-willed and can hold her own against the chauvinist likes of Han Solo and the sheltered inexperience of Luke Skywalker. She’s a woman of action and is arguably the most important figure in the rebellion. She’s accidentally a princess and on purpose a certified badass.

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