Saturday, September 29, 2012

Disney Princesses. Fairy Tale or Reality?

Disney Princesses
Disney Princess Clipart
I have a problem.  And this problem is a tricky one.  I don't like the Disney Princess culture.  It bothers me.

Another part of this problem is that my daughter is noticing the princess stuff everywhere we go - everywhere.  (Standing in line at Lowes they're selling Disney Princess color books!)  She's really drawn to it and loves being a princess.  Thus, why it's on my mind.

Let me set the record straight...

I love dress up.
I love pretend/make believe.
I love girlie-girl.
I love, true love stories.
I love true princesses.

But I don't love having my daughter bombarded with fake-ness.  The original fairy tale stories are wonderful, but it's how Disney has manipulated and over sold them hits me wrong.  I feel Disney has capitalized on a natural part of a growing girl - learning about herself, her self-image, her dreams.  (Smart business move!)  Every girl wants to be thought of as pretty.  Every girl wants to be loved and adored by someone.  Every girl wants to be strong and confident.

 Morbidly Obese Disney Princesses
Somehow this artists rendering of Belle seems a bit more accurate.  Not all little girls are teeny tiny.  But if you get a steady intake of Disney Princesses, you swallow the lie that you have to be super skinny to be a princess and get the prince.

Also, to be a real Princess, you're going to have to rebel against something.  Your dad, your mom, your culture - something.  You're going to have to fight (as a child, or very young adult) to get what you want or what you believe in.

The original Princess stories were about a damsel in distress - Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella - true make-believe, fairy tale stories.  Their handsome prince comes to fight away the evil and save the day.  Disney started with a sweet foundation and twisted in various religious beliefs, self-centeredness, self-sufficiency and a lack of respect for authority.  (And more!)

This "not-so-current blog" has much to say on this issue, PrincessCulture also has this link to a clip from ABC News back in 2007.

PrincessProduction is also an "out-of-date" blog, but one that makes some great, more detailed points.

Please, if you have a precious princess of your own, take some time to consider what I and the blogs above have said.  Don't just buy in to a culture for your little one that was created by a business move.

I believe if we allow our children to become absorbed with any one thing for an extended time - a food, an action character, a series of books, etc. - it can become harmful for them.

As far as this house, we are going to continue playing dress-up, purple eye shadow included.  But we are not going to glorify the Disney Princess culture.  We are not going to have a favorite princess, or on purpose buy as much Princess pinkness as my daughter's heart can handle!  We will graciously accept Disney Princess gifts from those who don't know my view.  (Honestly, we may exchange the gift for something else if possible.  If we can't, then we will gratefully play with the toy!)

I want my little one to enjoy being a child.  I want her to play pretend.  I want to to experiment with hair, make-up and clothes.  I want her to have fun, giggle and read books with me - lots.  But I also want some reality thrown in - honesty, respect, hard work and a firm foundation about what she believes and who she is in Christ.

So you!  (As we creeeep towards October.)  *winks*
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