Suck It Up, Princess.

14 04 2008

As with most of the planet’s problems, I blame this on Disney. Not dead old Walt himself, but rather the nefarious multinational conglomerate that bares his name. Yes, I’m accusing Disney of nefariousness. I know, I know, it’s shocking. How can anything led by a smiling mouse in suspenders and red shorts be nefarious? Does Mickey know about this? Oh you betchya. Between those big round black ears is a dark and sinister mind. It was probably his idea to brainwash an entire generation of little girls using the most insidiously evil tools imaginable: Princesses. Yes, bubbly, beautiful, squeaky clean princesses, soaping up the minds of my daughters. Cinderella, Ariel, Snow White, Belle, Jasmine, Aurora and the rest of the cartoon Princess Posse, I’m talking to you: Knock it off! Stop filling my daughters’ heads with your princess propaganda. These characters have formed a Princess Cult Club. They hang out together and have direct-to-video adventures. They share the spotlight on copious pieces of merchandise. They push the whole Princess Lifestyle and the idea that ‘Every Girl Can Be a Princess.’ They want you to listen to your favourite Princess songs while you throw tea parties where everyone dresses up as their favourite Disney Princess. They want you decorate everything in Princess pink, which I’m quite certain is the legendary shade that cause insanity after prolonged exposure. The Disney Princesses even have the nerve to give parenting tips on their website. Imagine, me taking parenting advice from a mermaid. Or a goody two-shoes dwarf-sitter. Or from a woman who talks to her dishes and lives with a pouty fur-faced man. And I don’t mean my mother. These Disney bubble heads don’t even have kids! Nevermind the fact that they are cartoons!

Oh but they have fancy dresses. And pretty faces. And pure hearts. And, most importantly, princes to rescue them from either the stupid shit they get themselves into, or the wretched old mother-figure hags who are trying to ruin their lives. And now they have my daughters’ attention. At first, I tried to ban all things Disney, especially Disney Princess related, from our home. That failed miserably. You’d think I was trying to lock them in a tower to keep them from trying on the glass slipper. So, it was a movie here, a book there. Then slowly, the collection of Princess paraphanalia grew. Costumes. Purses. T-shirts. Figurines. Not that Neener and Roo were particularly obsessed with the Disney Princesses, but the merchandise was everywhere. It was nearly impossible to avoid. And they do like to watch movies, dress up and play with dolls. Despite my objections, the Princesses came marching in. Still, my fears about where this princess-i-fication could lead linger on. They are smart kids, and they listen to the lyrics of songs. When they hear that song, ‘Every Girl Can be a Princess’ are they soaking up the message that being a princess is better than just being you? That all you have to do is learn about fashion, be graceful and have a pretty face, and you are entitled to whatever you want? That no matter what, you should ‘hold your head up high/ and keep smiling/ ’cause that’s just what a princess does?‘ That ‘all that’s left to do/ is find a prince for you/ A prince who’s bold/ and not too old/ To hold you your whole life through?’  Call me cynical, but that sounds like a royal disaster. Like the kind of crap Princess Diana and a countless other tragic women and girls bought into. The kind of crap that stunts souls and minds. No thanks. Not for my daughters.

So, I read them the story Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots (the answer to which is ‘If they wish to take the scenic routes!’) to give them a non-Disney idea of how to play princesses. And I tell Neener and Roo when they ask, that no, not every girl can be a princess. Not every girl wants to be. I don’t. In reality, being a princess looks pretty lonely and not much fun. There are also far more interesting things for us to pretend, and to aspire to be. Like dinosaurs. Ok, princess dinosaurs, since we happen to have all the costumes, crowns and royal bling lying around anyway. (Now that makes for one hell of a tea party. I love seeing Princess T-Rex try to bite her tiara in half because her cupcake is under-frosted.) But, if my daughters’ admiration of princesses, Disney or otherwise, should grow or persist, I have one more card up my devious mother sleeve. I’ll let my girls in on a powerful little secret: Forget being a princess. Princess, in the royal hierarchy, are pretty lame. Trust me, the gig you really want to shoot for is Queen. Who do you think gets to boss all those silly little princesses around? 







4 responses

14 04 2008

Amen, sister!! Preach it!! So far we’ve been able to fight off Disney. None of those books or videos allowed! But Spidernan and Batman are making insidious inroads via birthday presents and little peers.
Have you read them “The Paperbag Princess”?

14 04 2008

Yes, we own the Paper Bag Princess…so far all they’ve taken from that is yelling at each other “Go away, I’m a very busy dragon!” and calling people bums. Those kids have a way of making my best intentions backfire.

15 04 2008
nanny patterson

This is a HOOT!
I remember a little girl who wanted to be The Greatest Amerin{sic} Hero. My arms got tired of flying her around the house. I also made countless paper crowns and any company we had were ,by force of a diminutive excessively bossy two year old,made to follow scripts, some being religated to the roll of donkey. Keep up the good work .This too shall pass. remember .take pictures. Blackmail can be a wonderful thing asthey age.

17 04 2008
Don’t Take Your Guns to School, Boys. Leave Your Guns at Home. « Domestic Blister

[…] There are only a handful of girls in the class, and they are all Disney Princesses-in-training (see here for my feelings on that) so, the boys dominate the kindergarten social landscape. And that social […]

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