The Princess Problem
By synnovemarte on January 17, 2013
Recently I stumbled upon a few articles/posts claiming that obsession of the american girl-child with princesses is bad. Like ruin-them-for-life bad. This has chapped my ass a bit. For some reason, some folks have gotten it into their heads that if your child likes pink, frilly, sparkly, princess crap then she will be weak and never reach her full potential as a thinking feeling human being... on which I call bullsh*t. This is why....
1. Lets start with the fact that no one screams "Bleaching the Brains of the Youth of America" when your BOY child is obsessed with Spiderman. I mean... we've got the Talking Mask, slippers, 2 sets of PJs, the exploding car, the 3 season (air, water, death ray) with back pack attachment, the web-slinging glove, the web-shooting arm attachment, the costume, the underwear, the 3-D book with talking flashlight, and don't get me started on what had happened to our DVR... But that is okay because Spiderman is a Superhero! A sass-mouthed, rule-breaking, puberty-riddled, spandex-wearing Superhero. Yeah... princesses man, they suck with their manners, and their cleanliness, and their thinking before acting...
2. Read a fairy tale. Not the new ones... the OLD ones. The REAL ones. I'm talking the original Grimm, Straparola, Basile... those girls have to face some pretty nasty sh*t, ya'll, and come out on top. There is no middle ground for these ladies. It is either death or success. Incestuous family members, jealous step-mothers, stupid social constraints, and witches of all shapes, sizes, and creeds... these princesses handle them all with grace and wit and strength. Because they had to.
3. What is wrong with pink? Especially pink with some sparkles! I'm sorry it's not all seriousness, death, darkness, and all (Batman needs an ant-depressant, STAT.) but come on! Why can't you be a doctor, lawyer, Indian Chief, ect... and not rock a little pink puffy goodness from time to time? Colorists....
4. Pretty dresses and heels? Yesss, please. Have you seen a high heel? That's not a shoe, it's a deadly weapon you can wear... that makes your butt look good in the bargain. I call that a win. And how many knives could you hide in a pair of spandex meggings? That's right. None.
5. The Disney princesses aren't throwing punches or wielding the latest super death machine but they are solving problems, surviving hardships, and muddling through life just like the rest of us. They cry, they are afraid, but they keep going. Isn't that the point? And if they get a handsome prince at the end, well... go them. We all need someone to love who loves us back. It helps if they are hot....
6. On being rescued and the Handsome Prince:
I will admit that I do not want my daughter to think that a man will make everything better, but what is so bad about knowing that you have someone that will try their damndest to rescue you when you do need help? Isn't that, by definition, a healthy relationship? We cannot go it alone...
7. At 6 years old, is a girl really supposed to know what she wants to be when she grows up? My son wants to be a Superhero. Not a doctor, not an engineer, a Superhero. So, what's wrong with a girl saying she wants to be a princess? Does that automatically mean she has given up any career goals she may have in the future? And, btw, I STILL haven't decided what I want to be when I grow up so BACK OFF!
I guess my point is that the objectification of the princess as the weak, silly girl doesn't necessarily come from the source, but from the interpreter. In other words, see it right. Don't go all 1950s, get-me-my-coffee-and-make-me-a-baby on the poor princess character! Give her a chance to shine and your little girl will too.
And you should see my Sprinkles streaking around the house in her pretty pink princess skirt wielding the TMNT Battle Sounds Katana... she is terrifyingly amazing. And so well dressed....
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