Co-opted by Disney Already

The boy is totally into princesses. 

He has decorated our powder room sink thusly:

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On Sunday, he wandered about shirtless except for an Ariel sticker on his torso.  He considered this getting dressed.  He asked me to pick up a pair of pink princess sunglasses for him at Target. 

I’m not entirely sure what the appeal is–he’s never seen any of the movies and doesn’t really even know their names or what they do.  Part of it is just exposure at school, I’m sure.  I see the Princess pandemic as a direct result of aggressive Disney marketing strategies, nothing more.  Disney figured out that they could make a whole lot of money on the Princesses.  (They also then learned that girls grow out of the Princesses around age 7 and have now come up with Disney “Fairies” as a way to move on but still buy plenty of branded merchandise.)  Moreover, as is noted in a popular children’s book, “Princesses don’t DO anything!”  All the Disney princesses basically sit around looking pretty and waiting for their prince to come.  Please do not post something about how Belle is different, just because she (gasp!) READS.  A longer and more eloquent discussion of this can be found here.

Of course, I grew up on a healthy diet of Disney movies and I seemed to have figured out what to do with my life instead of just waiting around, but I still think it gives the kids some troubling messages. 

The funny thing is, I find that although I’m generally very anti-Princess for girls, I find myself much less so anti-Princess for my boy.  I think I just support anything that turns accepted stereotypes on their heads, though I should sit down and have a talk with him about why I’m not a fan of Princesses. 

But I might have to ask him to take off his pink glitter sunglasses first. 

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One thought on “Co-opted by Disney Already

  1. Geoff says:

    Oh, you have no idea. Within weeks of our girls starting preschool last September, they were inducted into the not-so-secret princess society. all the little girls have Princess names, and we’ve seen a few of the movies. Honestly, the older classics wouldn’t seem so repulsive if there were no mega-marketing aspect to it. if we could just sit and watch the 1950’s Cinderella, I’d be okay with it.

    That said, I’m sure our girls will love that Atticus is an Ariel fan — they certainly are. sigh…

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