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Link: Bonfire of the Disney Princesses

Barbara Ehrenreich in The Nation ("Bonfire of the Disney Princesses"):
"Disney likes to think of the Princesses as role models, but what a sorry bunch of wusses they are. Typically, they spend much of their time in captivity or a coma, waking up only when a Prince comes along and kisses them. The most striking exception is Mulan, who dresses as a boy to fight in the army, but--like the other Princess of color, Pocahontas--she lacks full Princess status and does not warrant a line of tiaras and gowns. Otherwise the Princesses have no ambitions and no marketable skills, although both Snow White and Cinderella are good at housecleaning."

She nicely sums up why we have some Princess products, but not to excess -- and certainly not on the walls. Walls are saved for characters that kick butt: Atomic Betty, Kim Possible and a hilarity-inducing drawing by Laurel of an eye patch-wearing blonde and a dog with the caption "We will save you!".

'Cause man, if I have to be saved, I'll certainly welcome someone that can run in heels. Being able to run in heels while wearing an eye patch is simply impressive. And pirate-y.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 17th, 2007 06:26 pm (UTC)
I was thinking about this on the way to work. I mean, Ariel, in TLM, was 16 years old and got married to Princey. 16! That's so illegal ... :-)
Dec. 17th, 2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
What's the legal minimum age for marriage in Atlantica? Couldn't King Triton grant a dispensation for his daughter?

Ariel should have been in high school and keeping her nose clean. I always wondered how books worked underwater. (:
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 17th, 2007 08:32 pm (UTC)
Always glad to help.

I'm lucky that my parents and siblings go along with my generally anti-princess sentiment. We don't want her to self-identify as a princess until she's experienced enough to decide whether that's really what she wants. (She does rather gleefully tell people she's a little geek, but that's a term of pride in our home.)

We bought Laurel copies of The Dangerous Book For Boys and The Daring Book For Girls as her holiday gift from mom and dad. Yay hardcover books full of fun-yet-useful information!
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 18th, 2007 07:08 am (UTC)
I don't think it's quite as awesome, but it got a warm review on Parent Hacks. I think it'll appeal to Laurel, who's a lot more girly-girl than I've ever been.

I grew up with classics like the American Boy's Handy Book and Popular Mechanic's Boy Mechanic collection (older used sets are worth buying; the latest reprint has been sanitized for safety), mixed with old textbooks and mostly free reign of a lot of stuff in my parents' and across-the-street neighbor's garages. I would say it's a wonder I still have all my fingers, but my parents regularly briefed me on the importance of things like safe tool operation and not dropping M-80s in the sewer.
Dec. 17th, 2007 10:15 pm (UTC)
The one female Disney character concession I'm willing to have for Eva (aged 2.5 years) is Tinkerbell. She's spunky, sticks up for her friends, determined, and most importantly, active. No comas or long-term imprisonment for her.
Dec. 18th, 2007 06:50 am (UTC)
Tinkerbell doesn't fall under the princess oeuvre because she's a fairy. The Disney Fairies books are great at the early chapter book stage and the glitter on the covers is encased in some kind of epoxy-ish stuff that doesn't shed. I've bought all of the ones out as of this fall, but Laurel hasn't read them all yet because I have a few stashed to spread out the enjoyment value.

So Eva is the girl in your userpic? (:
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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Melissa, starry-eyed soy-lovin' Expatriated Zulu

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