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  1. #1

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    Newspaper blog: Resist the princesses

    I came across this article today and it made me laugh so thought I would share.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/...7487597.column

    Rosa Brooks Resist the princesses
    Watch that little darling -- corporate Fantasyland has matricide in mind.
    March 27, 2008


    Mothers of America, Disney wants to destroy you.

    You hoped your little girl's Disney princess obsession was harmless, didn't you? You chuckled over the picture of Sleeping Beauty on your toddler's pull-ups, and you told yourself it was "just a phase" when your 5-year-old insisted that she needed at least 63 Disney princess dress-up costumes.


    But don't be fooled by the sparkly magic wands, the pint-sized tiaras and those cute little "animal friends." The Disney princesses aren't sweet and innocent. They're a gang of vicious hoodlums, and they're plotting against you.

    Start with some light feminist analysis. It will not have escaped you, Mothers of America, that Disney princesses -- Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and the rest -- rarely slay dragons, play sports, pilot jets or do open-heart surgery. Instead, they fiddle with their coiffures, linger over invitations to the ball, flee ineffectually from evil crones and swoon.

    You don't have to be Gloria Steinem to realize that these are not, for the most part, useful professional skills in today's world. So I was not thrilled when my 3-year-old informed me, over lunch, that she wants to be "a pwincess" when she grows up, and I was unhappier still when her 6-year-old sister expressed a similar ambition.

    "Girls," I said, "you can do anything when you grow up! You can be scientists or ski instructors or hedge fund managers -- I beg you, be hedge fund managers. Why would you want to be passive, anorexic princesses?"

    They looked at me as if I had gone mad. "Because princesses wear pretty dresses, Mama," they explained.

    I tried another tack. "Not all princesses prance around in ball gowns," I remarked, and showed them some educational photos of Britain's 57-year-old Princess Anne, clad in hideously sensible tweeds. The girls denied that Anne was a "real" princess.

    I tried again. "Girls," I said gently, "I don't want to shock you, but historically, princesses have not always been popular. Consider the Russian Revolution. Or the French. Does the word 'guillotine' ring a bell?"

    "You are a commoner!" my 3-year-old shrieked, and adjusting their glittering tiaras, the little darlings ran off to watch "Disney Princess Enchanted Tales" for the 10-billionth time while I glumly cleaned the kitchen.

    It was not always thus.

    Sure, fairy tales have been around for centuries, little girls have always liked pretty dresses, and even most of the Disney princesses should, if there were justice in the world, be using Botox by now. (Disney's Snow White was a teen in the 1937 film, which would put her well into her 80s). But once upon a time, the Disney princesses lived their separate lives, waiting innocuously for their princes to come. You could buy a "Cinderella" book or a "Little Mermaid" doll, but, when you did so, you were establishing an allegiance to a particular character's story, not to an abstract "Princess concept." The princesses lived separately and were marketed separately.

    As Peggy Orenstein documented in a 2006 New York Times Magazine article, that changed in 2000, when Disney decided that, henceforth, the princesses would collude. They went from princesses to "Princess" -- as Disney execs call the fast-growing product line marketed collectively under just that logo. Merged into a sort of uber-princess, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine and the older members of the gang formed a vast global conspiracy to turn a bunch of aging animated films into cold, hard cash -- faster than Cinderella's fairy godmother could turn a pumpkin into a coach.

    Like an Al Qaeda sleeper cell, the princesses were activated -- and once activated, they would quickly dominate the world. In 2001, sales at Disney consumer products were a lethargic $300 million. By 2007, Disney's "Princess" franchise was raking in $4 billion. And who could stand in its way? With the "Princess" brand on baby bottles, sneakers, pencils, candy, T-shirts, everything, you and your little darlings don't stand a chance, Mothers of America. Your little girls will be brainwashed -- and you -- you ... .

    Ah, yes. What happens to you?

    You didn't think Disney was going to stand idly by while you engaged in those little feminist critiques, did you now? Pause for a moment to consider the fate of the princesses' mommies in those Disney movies. "Cinderella" and "Snow White"? Mothers killed off by mysterious illnesses. "Beauty and the Beast," "The Little Mermaid" and "Aladdin"? Mothers all missing; presumed dead.

    Disney really has it in for mommies: Even when you leave princess-land, it's the same pattern. Bambi's mom? Shot dead by a hunter. Nemo's mom? Eaten by a barracuda. Of all the major princesses, only Sleeping Beauty (a.k.a. Aurora; like all criminals, she often goes by an alias) has a nuclear family, not that it does her any good. But given Disney's track record, I wouldn't want to underwrite her mother's life insurance policy.

    And hey, ever notice how, in group photos, the Disney princesses never, ever meet each other's eyes? Why won't they look at each other? Why do they still pretend they don't know each other? Is something troubling their consciences?

    Mothers of America, watch your backs.

  2. #2

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    Re: Newspaper blog: Resist the princesses

    "You are a commoner!"

    A signature should go here.

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    Re: Newspaper blog: Resist the princesses

    Mothers of America, watch your backs.
    what nit wit wrote this? Oh, I'm a mommy...guess I have to start hating Disney now. They want to kill me off, ya know.




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    Re: Newspaper blog: Resist the princesses

    I have to totally agree with that article. I was never on the princess bandwagon when I was a kid. And seriously... why all the single dads in the movies? We need some single moms to balance it out.

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    Re: Newspaper blog: Resist the princesses

    I agree yet disagree.
    Yes, because it pushes being pretty and having a prince to take care of you, yet....
    All of these princess are charming, pleasant, polite, graceful... I think having a little girl that would act like a princess, sitting politely at the table a la Belle, clean like Snow White, polite when treated rudely like Cinderella... I think part of it is how you raise your kids. You shove costumes and dvds at them, yes, they will have a misguided worldview.

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    Re: Newspaper blog: Resist the princesses

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    I have to totally agree with that article. I was never on the princess bandwagon when I was a kid. And seriously... why all the single dads in the movies? We need some single moms to balance it out.
    hello? Single mother==Evil Queen.




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    Re: Newspaper blog: Resist the princesses

    Curse you Disney for brain washing our children with your propaganda!!! LOL

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    Re: Newspaper blog: Resist the princesses

    First thing I want to say is, "Rosa Brooks, let your kids be kids. Trust me, it will be soon enough that you get to have real conversations about sex, drugs, gangs and violence."

    Let me see if I get this right, she has a 3 and a 6 year old? Did she really say that she had a talk with her kids about princesses (uh actually queens Rosa) and how they were executed with guillotines? I sure hope she had some sort of a visual so they could get the full effect. This is great, I can't wait until tomorrow morning when my 7 year old gets up. Do you think at 7 I've waited to long to have this discussion?

    Mothers of America, watch your backs.
    Thank goodness I'm the Father, but I'll be sure to pass this on to the wife so that she can learn.

    Well at least now we know what the wives of hedge hog fund managers do? They write story bashing people for letting their kids be kids because her mom made her grow up at 3!

    Thanks pratt55, I must retreat now to clean my monitor of the Coke I snorted on it.
    Stalking is when two people go for a long romantic walk together but only one of them knows about it.

  9. #9

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    Re: Newspaper blog: Resist the princesses

    I like the article. I know the angle it's pushing and it's the angle that is sorely needed right now. I miss the Disney of my youth.


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  10. #10

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    Re: Newspaper blog: Resist the princesses

    I found the whole thing really funny. Plus I think there are a lot of Mommies out there who are also "brainwashed" by the Princesses - and have no problem with their little girls wanting to be Belle or Cinderella. I'm all for it Little girls (and kids in general) need to imagine more and not grow up so fast.

  11. #11

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    Re: Newspaper blog: Resist the princesses

    ditto with DLandfansaz and cpdisneyprincess!!!!


    let your daughters be girls. Let them play dress up and pretend they are princesses. So, the princesses don't slay dragons or save the world....so? They are good stories, passed down through generations that were made up for fun! And isn't fun tragic?




  12. #12

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    Re: Newspaper blog: Resist the princesses

    ok, so this article mentioned nothing about the boys. My sons LOVES the princesses. He would watch Cinderella daily if I let him. His current obession is Giselle of Enchanted. Should I be afraid too? Is there a Prince conspiracy that I can let my son get caught up in?

    Thanks for the article, it gave me a good chuckle

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    Re: Newspaper blog: Resist the princesses

    I get the feeling that someone is upset about something, but I don't think it really is Disney. Perhaps her mother never let her be a princess when she was little and now she's blaming Disney. I just don't know.

    I do know that this is ridiculous. I fail to see the harm in liking the Princesses and what they stand for. They do not stand for passivity or anorexia at all.

    a) The animated princesses are stylized fairy tale ideals, not reality. Kids, believe it or not, do realize this.

    b) Passive?
    1. Jasmine held her own pretty well actually and wasn't at all afraid of following Aladdin over the abyss between buildings. Courage, fearlessness, adventure.
    2. Ariel was definitely not a passive person. She defied her father at every chance. She was very much a rebellious teenager and got herself into quite a bit of trouble actually, though not in the way her father warned her of. She spoke her mind pretty well to. She was not a passive weak girl at all.
    3. Giselle actually rescued her "prince" from the dragon in a nice reversal of Prince Phillip and Princess Aurora.
    Note: I find it funny that the article mentions Aurora as an alias for Sleeping Beauty. Aurora is her real name and Sleeping Beauty is merely the title of the movie which describes AUrora as a beautiful girl who sleeps. Her actual alias is Briar Rose and not for criminal reasons. More of a Witness Protection Program kind of alias.
    4. Belle, while very in touch with the gentler side of femininity, is quite liberal. Reading books, thinking, despite being mocked by an entire village for it. She risks quite a lot in defending the beast and gets jailed for it.

    I could go on, but I think this woman has completely missed the boat. The Princesses were always free thinking individuals who broke the mold in some way. They faced, often times, the embodiment of evil. A lesson that most people learn early on in life is that life is often easier in the company of friends and loved ones. Not only is she barking up the wrong tree here, but quite possible in an entirely different forest.

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter

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    Re: Newspaper blog: Resist the princesses

    Wow this is a really interesting article, but the author talking about her kids running around in tiaras all the time, well isnt she feeding into that a little? My daughter loves princesses, she has an Ariel under the sea bedroom, she has dress up stuff, and toys. We also make sure that she watches other things than princesses, and plays with more than princesses toys.

    Come on lady, everything in moderation.

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  15. #15

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    Re: Newspaper blog: Resist the princesses

    I have only one thing to say.

    I am glad that I had boys.

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