Monday, March 31, 2008

Disney Princesses Are the Root of all Evil

I know, you thought Cross-Dressing Chilean Midgets were the root of all evil, but no-it's the Disney Princess. Evil may be a little much, but as I watched a 17 year old girl, with designer sunglasess and overly highlighted hair driving her red sports car with the license plate frame that says, “It’s not easy being the princess” I started to wonder, “Why on earth does this girl from Ogden think she’s a princess?”

Let’s look at some of the more popular princesses. Ariel- what did Ariel do? She sang and was pretty. Her life was miserable with out a man. When cursed the only thing that could save her is a kiss. She ended up catching the man and getting married at the ripe age of 16 and lived happily ever after.

Another example: Sleeping Beauty. Skills: Singing to animals and looking pretty. Why a man would want her: She owns a fancy dress that changes color, and did I mention she's pretty? When cursed the only thing that could bring her happily ever after was…a KISS from her true love. Got happily ever after at the age of you guessed it- 16!

We show these movies to our daughters in their most formative years, when they are learning about life and the world around them. Children don’t distinguish between entertainment and education- the two blend together. These little girls, drawn to the pretty dresses are told that life is not complete unless they are pretty, and are kissed by prince charming. Once they meet the prince all will be well with the world, and they can expect this to happen around the age of 16.

Growing up on fairy tales is it so surprising that girls think they can fall in true love while in High School? The majority of princesses get married at sixteen, unless you’re Snow White, and she was seven. (According to the Brother’s Grimm fairy tale, in the cartoon she looks a bit older than seven- I’d say oh…sixteen)

You have little girls dressing up as princesses, and little boys dressing up as cowboys, firemen, doctors, baseball players…when was the last time you heard a little boy say, “When I grow up I want to be Prince Charming”

Which leaves us where we are today, in a world full of Princesses and no Prince Charmings. I am grateful for Shrek, who teaches a bit more about love and romance, and how the person who is going to make you the happiest isn't the person you think will. But that's a blog for another day.

We have a surplus of women that think the most important thing in the world is to look pretty. They expect a man to take care of them and bring them happiness. They expect a castle on the good side of town, to never have to work and to spend their days shopping at Nordstrom. When trying to figure out where they derived this notion one just has to look to the movies they watched as little girls and see- they were told that this is what life is about.


Robin said...

I always thought Snow White was the most realistic, living in a dump and cleaning up after all those short people. Plus if you make her price charming a blond he looks just like my prince charming!

Steve said...

Ha, funny post. But East Coast Princesses, especially J.A.P.s really prevelant here. I also think a lot comes from parents too. They need to instill in their kids, aside from all the other BS that is Disney and why I've never liked them, even as a kid, that life, and love, takes work and chances are, given the way our country is, our generation and most definitely the one coming up after us won't have as high of a standard of living as they do/did.

Zach said...

Little Mermaid is even worse than that.... A girl who is unhappy at home dreams of more. Sees (only, doesn't really meet or get to knw) some cute guy and all of a sudden will sell her most precious posession and forsake all of her family's values to go after a boy she's never really even met... CRAZY.

Tom Quinn. said...

Did Steve just make a reference to "Japs". Pretty bold, Steve.
My sixteen year old love affair started out much like a Disney movie. I was a wooden boy, bla bla bla, giant whale, yada yada, You know the rest.
I love your blog.
Thank you for visiting mine.

heidiluxe said...

my biggest beef with the whole princess-mania is that it is generic. it's a bunch of little girls dressing up to all be the same thing. i never thought that i would be one of those people talking about the good ole days, but when i was younger i dressed up as a princess or a nurse of my personal fave, gypsy, in my grandma's old clothes. it was fun, it was creative and i didn't have to wear a particular disney licensed dress to be playing correctly. i have no problem with my daughter dressing up as a princess, as long as she is being creative and doing it in her own way.
and, until this whole disney princess craze blows over, i won't call her princess or allow anyone else to. it just grates on me. and that is my short novel for you.

Steve said...


Yeah, JAPs, as in Jewish American Princesses. If you've ever lived in DC, NY, or been around any urban NE university, you know who I am talking about. They are a well known and documented presence. Nothing "bold" or derogatory about it.

Vanilla Vice said...

I know a few guys who wanted to be Prince Charming. Turns out they're gay.

I actually had a guy tell me that the Mormon Church is a gay factory becuase Mormon moms push Disney movies on their sons - forcing them to watch singing and dancing as if those are the only valuabe traits in this world. Do you know how many guys I know that seriously value those characteristics in women? "She's the perfect woman, she teaches dancing to 5 year olds." GAG.

Men who value those women have low self esteem and have a hard time finding their match. They also are probably secretly gay.

Salt H2O said...

Vice- Again our soul sisterhood proves true because my original sentence said, "when was the last time you heard a little boy say, 'When I grow up I want to be Prince Charming' with out questioning his sexuality"

Steve- I think Tom was refrencing Japs- as in Asian people living in Japan. However, I had no idea about the Jewish Princesses. They probably have MUCH better hair than the Utah princesses.

Hedi- thank you for your novel- I thought that I was going to get a bunch of women saying that these films are harmless blah blah blah. But I guess I lost most of those readers with the Valentines day post!

Tom- Pinocho came from a single parent family, just like the rest of diney characters. Poor gepetto, they could have given the nice old man a wife!

Steve- I totally agree, a lot of it does come from parents. I don't think any parent should use the term princess as a term of endearment- I'll call my girls intellectuals.

Robin- I think you're on to something with snow white.

crazy4danes said...

Great post and as I was reading I was totally thinking how great Shrek was compared to the old school Disney movies...and then you mentioned that too! :)

I am proud to say I never wanted to be a Disney Princess...never dressed up like a get the picture! And I cringe whenever my mom refers to me as "the princess!" I hope I am far from that! ;P

f*bomb. said...

I have always loved "Beauty and the Beast," but the Disney interpretation improved upon the original, adding that Belle was indeed an intellectual, compassionate, wise, and had a good wit to avoid loser meatheads who only saw what was on the outside.

Alisa said...

I agree about Belle. I just loved it when my neice asked my husband who his favorite princess was and he replied, "Belle, because she's smart as well as pretty!" I mean, Belle at least takes a few months of living with the Beast 24-7 before she really feels like she can love him. And she's so conflicted because, well, he's a beast.

I agree though, the princess thing is stupid.

Salt H2O said...

Crazy- I could never picture you dressing up as a princess. A ninja yes, princess no.

Farrah- I'm with you on Belle, however, she technically wasn't a princess until she married the prince- who I would have liked better if he had stayed a beast.

Alisa- You're husband's a keeper. If I asked Brent which princess was his favorite he'd say, "I don't know..the brunette?"

brent said...

Great post! There's a lot to digest here...and the comments are hilarious.

There was a J.A.P. transplanted from the east coast who ended up in my podunk town in Arizona, and she lived up to nearly every possible stereotype out there. It was great. She went to Vasser.

What I don't get is how something so obviously escapist and based in fantasy ends up getting ingrained into the minds of girls who think real life relationships should somehow mirror what they've seen in a cartoon.

Is this the female equivalent of video-game violence?

Jewels said...

There was a girl in my singles ward last year who loved the Disney princesses so much her now husband proposed to her by giving her a Belle dress from the Disney store to wear and then taking her to the beach (they live in Malibu) to build a sand castle. While most girls in the ward swooned, I threw up a little bit in my mouth.
The same sensation has come over me as my future mother in law talks about renting a horse drawn carriage for the wedding so that I can "arrive" properly for the ceremony. Truth of the matter is that I didn't need to be rescued by my prince charming. People need to realize that marriage is a partnership and not something that ends with a "happily ever after." That being said, am I a hypocrite for wanting to wear a tiara at my wedding?

Steve said...

@ Vanilla Vice: (great name by the way!) I think the highest percentage of gay men I have ever been around outside a gay/drag bar has been a Singles Ward.

f*bomb. said...

Have you read "The Evils of The Little Mermaid"?
It discusses the dangerous difference between the Hans Christian Anderson original and the Disney interpretation; one portrays consequences, sacrifice, selflessness and compassion. The other send the message that a 16 year old can defy her father, abandon her culture and family, pursue a man she's never met using nothing but "body language," endanger her entire species, and get everything she wants in the end.

Robin said...

Okay - Here I am for the second comment. I remember watching Mermaid with 4 year old Hannah and being shocked at how incompetent her father was. Ground that princess for a year. I sure saw it differently when seeing it through her eyes.

Was Mulan a Princess? I think she was and she bucked the trend. She was tough, strong, honest (except that she lied about being a girl) and she walked away from the "prince'. Mulan has always been my favorite.

crazy4danes said...

I agree with Robin....I really do like Mulan too...she was awesome!!! :D

I love reading all these responses...they are great! I like F*bonb's comment too! :D

Fun Post :)

Della Hill said...

Let me also add to the forum and particularly F-bombs last comment by letting you know, in case you didn't already, that in the original version of the Little Mermaid, she not only didn't get the prince, she died at the end and became sea foam floating on the water.
Not nearly the happy ending Disney conjured up.
(And it does make me just a little sad when I see the sea foam at the beach).
But much more realistic right?
Go Mulan!

Happy The Man said...

I disagree, I don't believe girls learn this from Disney movies. I mean seriously, what 16 year old is still fantasizing about becoming a Disney Princess? I believe it's about bad parenting, too many girls are being spoiled by their daddies. How to solve this problem? Have more children!

Salt H2O said...

Brent- I would say this is the female equivalent of game violence. Great analagy.

Jewels- Riding up to your marriage in a horse drawn carriage? Gag. A tiarra is a piece of jewelry- wear it!

Farrah- Interesting book. I'll have to read it.

Robin and Angela- I don't think Mulan was a princess- but she should have been. Mulan rocked.

Della- I like the idea of the 16 year old who falls in love at first sight, disobeys her parents and sacrifices everything she knows to follow a handsome face dying.

Happy- 16 year olds don't want to be Disney princesses, but in their little subconscious- when they were 6 and were learning about life they were told that a man is going to solve all of their problems, and the most important thing in life is to look pretty. Dreaming of being a Princess doesn't stick with them- but the princibles the princesses taught do.

Daisy Paige said...

This post is why I only own the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast. I've always loved Belle, even though I hate yellow.

f*bomb. said...

Mulan was not a princess; nor was she Japanese, but there were a lot of cultural inconsistancies (for all they study on animal movements, no one really thought about the varying Asian customs, but- whatever.) When that movie came out, multiple people called to say Mulan reminded them of me. As my enthusiastic girlfriend gushed, "She's JUST LIKE YOU! She goes to the matchmaker and just messes everything up and no one will ever marry her but she just goes out and saves her village!"

So far, no matchmaker and no village...

Exactly- Hans Christian Anderson's fable has meaning as legend because it involved sacrifice, pure love, and tragedy- all on behalf of others. THAT little mermaid was a TRUE hero. But...I don't know how much you want to read a story like that to children before they go to sleep.

Jeri10 said...

"They expect a man to take care of them and bring them happiness. They expect a castle on the good side of town, to never have to work and to spend their days shopping at Nordstrom." ???
And the problem with that is???
(...worked for me!)

Salt H2O said...

Jeri- You are one in a million.

Ironically your daughters ended up with the reverse of that statement!

(Two ordinary guys that married ridiculously good looking, intelligent and hilarious women who's personal finances have permitted their husbands to be unemployed- and spend their days shopping at Nordstrom :) )

Melissa said...

Yeah, the whole princess mentality. We don't do many Princess movies at our house. We do a ton of dress ups, but since the girls don't really know the princesses by name just color, the dressing up is just a really fun game. (and cute too.)