From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lori-day/disney-princess_b_1449718.html
In honor of this being the First Annual National Princess Week, we’ve got a few things to say!
So much has been written about Disney, girls and their love of all things princess, but it’s time to address the epidemic of inflamed comment threads we’re seeing that pit moms against each other over this topic in a rather unhelpful way. It has us a bit confused, and more than a little concerned. I suppose because we’re both in our mid-40’s, we can remember a different era than can be recalled by younger mothers today. Yes, we remember being children and reading Disney books, seeing Disney movies in the theater and pretending to be princesses.
But we also remember how relatively small a piece of girlhood real estate was owned back then by the Disney Corporation, before the year 2000’s marketing blitz that led to the creation of the four-billion-dollar “Princess franchise” and, ultimately, the onslaught of over 26,000 Disney princess items currently being sold in the children’s market. It is no secret that Disney’s highly profitable, widely accepted, corporate-created definition of what it is to be a girl has become the norm. Our concern is that this new princess culture offers a one-dimensional and very limiting representation of femininity.
Newspaper articles, books and blog posts about princess culture abound, but it is often the comments that drive the grittier narrative. Let’s look at some typical comments taken from recent blog posts:
“I do not understand the concept of not allowing little girls to believe in the princess story. Let kids be kids and believe in fairy tales. People complain that kids grow up too fast these days, well this is one of the reasons why. Forcing adult ideals on children. When they are young let them believe in happy endings and being rescued by prince charming. As they get older, then you can teach them to take care of themselves.”
“You are a sick human being if you are ‘fighting’ the pull for little girls to be girly. Every little girls WANTS to be a princess and/or beautiful. Do you want your daughter to be like a boy?!” “Really?! Is it really that big of deal? I am a child from the 90s where everything was gender based. Don’t you have better things to do with your time? There are bigger problems in the world.”
Why such backlash to the idea that there might be something detrimental about such a narrow definition of what it is to be female? We are amazed at the number of parents who assertively contradict the facts of history — saying there is nothing new here when this is not how it has always been. The angry push-back to the notion that a little bit of princess is OK, but that complete immersion in all things princess might not be the healthiest thing for girls, is at times breathtaking in its knee-jerk defensiveness and, dare we say, intellectual laziness.
Continue reading at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lori-day/disney-princess_b_1449718.html