Let’s Dish Princesses, k?

With all this buzz about the Royal Wedding of Prince I-Am-Too-Sexy-For-My-Crown William and his Ridiculously-Gorgeous-Should-Be-A-Model Commoner bride, Kate Middleton, wedding talk is at a fever pitch!! I will be DVRing the big event (judge me, that’s fine) because 5 AM is far too early for be to be awake and witnessing an overpriced, ridiculously publicized historical event. I guess it is every girl’s dream to be a Princess (never mine, but that’s fine) and Kate is technically living that dream. She is a commoner (whose parents were pretty well-to-do, let’s not kid ourselves here) who has met and fallen in love with a Prince. Can’t argue with that.

What I CAN argue about is this ridiculous notion (thanks to Disney) of the Princess species and what it stands for. I have never been comfortable with the idea of the Princess, as it is portrayed. Princesses usually had to change some facet of their being to be able to be considered suitable or attractive to a male counterpart, here played by the Prince. Ariel in the Little Mermaid lost her tail, grew some ridiculously awesome legs and strutted down the aisle with the dashing Prince Eric. Sleeping Beauty (who wasn’t the brightest, let’s be honest) fell into a deep sleep only to be awakened by a kiss from one Handsome Prince. And Snow White had to shack up with seven little men and be poisoned by a witch (what I don’t understand is why the witches have to be ugly? I’d like to see some sexy witch out of a burlesque show to pop in all corseted up and slip a mickey to a Princess-to-Be) and then saved by a Prince. WHY ARE THESE GIRLS ALWAYS NEEDING SAVED?! What could be SO bad!? None of them had jobs, none of them even went to the grocery store from what we know… really. Always with the needing saved. I don’t get it. As a feminist, this Princess business just irks me. Mulan. THAT was a kickin’ broad, if I do say so myself. She did what needed to do to get the job done.I can applaud that. Huzzah for Mulan! (Although it does make me a little angry that she had to front as a man to fight, but whatever, it is what it is…)

One Princess I can be totally down with: Belle from Beauty and the Beast. The girl was a bibliophile. I can totally dig that. She didn’t do anything wrong, didn’t need saved. Heck, the only wacky thing she did was stumble across a magical castle with this guy dressed as a beast and dancing houseware. THAT is wicked! And HE changed for her! All she had to do was see what was truly underneath, to not judge him based on looks, but on how she made him feel, and wah-lah. He became a Handsome Prince. I think she’d have stayed with him even if he stayed a Beast (really, who wouldn’t love Angela Landsbury Mrs Potts every morning singing to you about the sun rising in the East?!) I am down with Belle. I say we need more Belles!! The girl stayed true to herself, took care of her dad when he needed her, read all of the books she could touch and the man changed for her. Her kiss brought him to his true self. Hip hip hooray!

Princesses have taken over the mentality of the toddler/preschool girl set. Let’s be honest. However, I also plan on educating my girls about strong feminist characters that are infamous for their own thing, paving their own way and walking to their own drums. I say we need less Princess, more Women of Character. Now, don’t get me wrong, some moms I know adore the Princesses and think it’s adorable that their girls do, too. And that is fine, to each her own I would never tell anyone they are wrong. But for me, and my girls, I believe that the Princess mentality is a bit stifling, and more options need to be available to little girls for role models.

I would hate for my daughters to feel that they have to wait around for some man (or woman, you never know) to rescue them or bring their true selves out. I refuse to let that become their reality, and want to let them know that they can do whatever they want. Regardless of how they go about finding their Happily Ever After.

(congrats real quick to my girl Jen and her man Shelby on their engagement tonight!! woohoo!!)

4 thoughts on “Let’s Dish Princesses, k?

  1. Yes! That is on my short list. I would love to borrow it. It sounds awesome, and right up my alley. 🙂 Thanks!!

  2. I get what you mean. And I agree with much of it. But let’s not for get the more traditional older Disney princesses (read:Snow White, Sleeping Beauty,etc) were made in a time when women WERE subservient and expected to put everything on the back burner for “their man.” And these stories originated a couple of centuries ago when women were DEFINITELY the downtrodden sex, essentially slaves to their homes and marriage. Disney gets crap if they deviate too much from the traditional, but also crap if they portray womane too badly.
    You’re right to cite Mulan and Belle as strong princesses, and Disney has been very active in trying to make their characters stronger. Enter Elle from Enchanted…who actually saves the prince, not vice versa, or Tiana from Princess and the Frog, a girl that works two jobs to make her dreams come true against all odds and DESPITE her prince wanting her to change. Ariel does change for her prince (the story just wouldn’t be as interesting if the tail stayed throughout…), but technically we all make some changes when we get married. It’s what taking a half interest in another’s life leads to!
    My daughters love princesses. Heck, I grew up loving Disney (still do!) so I’m not going to stop them! BUT I make sure they know that it’s all fun and pretend, not real life. And more importantly, I make sure they see me: a strong, hard working woman that makes a difference every day, as well as the 50/50 loving relationship I have with my husband.
    Just like we laugh at the people that think reading Harry Potter will turn innocent children into sacreligious wizards, we need to take princesses with a grain of salt, a little fun, and honesty with our children that that’s just not how life really is!

  3. I still need to see the Princess and the Frog. It’s on my instant queue, I just haven’t watched it. I hear it is amazing.

    And you’re right. I’m a kickin’ role model also for my girls and they see that. And you’re right also, we need to make sure kids know make believe over real life. But at the end of the day, I don’t like the message the movies put out, nor the fairy tales without film adaptation, and will not be letting my daughters think for one second that they have to change for anything/anyone. Slight changes in personality to accompany their partner, sure. We all need to remember to put the cap back on the toothpaste and do laundry in a timely manner. But full 180s…if anyone feels they need to do that much to get a mate and get married… then the issues lie deeper than my blog can address.

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