10 desperate attempts to feel less horrible about Disney princesses


1. Well, the fairy tale form is so old that it can withstand this horrible bland commodifying.
2. At least there are lots of female characters!
3. It's just a story. [Note: this does not work]
4. The wicked stepmother/sea witch/bad fairy is actually an example of a powerful woman character, sort of. Almost.
5. The dresses are nice.
6. The male characters are essentially irrelevant, and that sort of makes these stories almost feminist, in a way, right?
7. No, it doesn't.
8. Gee, that old-time animation is really aesthetically amazing.
9. Well, Mulan and Jasmine aren't exactly white, so they're almost trying to be inclusive! Almost.
10. My children will use these images as something to rebel against later.

Universal antidote: lots of this.

9 thoughts on “10 desperate attempts to feel less horrible about Disney princesses

  1. I see you’ve figured out what’s probably the best technique: Fight fire with fire. Find a more compelling story. Princesses are just one small item on a rotating agenda of stories for her.


  2. Tamora Peirce is completely awesome, she rocked my YA years. Another excellent antidote, in the form of animation as well is Hayao Miyazaki. He does some of the most amazing fairy-taleesque movies about powerful, smart and fun girls I’ve ever seen. I have a 5 year old step daughter who is completely in love with them. Some of his movies (Princess Mononoke, Nausica√§ of the Valley of the Wind) are kinda scary, so you might want to watch them yourself first…but seriously, they are amazing.


  3. Oh, Disney Princesses. I tried so hard to expose my 5-year-old daughter to gender neutral things. toys, clothes, books, movies, etc. It didn’t work. She is in love with all things pink, fluffy and sparkly. The Disney Princesses are at the top of her list.


  4. You can also try clinging to the fact that Belle is a voracious reader, which of course makes the townspeople suspicious of her. And #6 is true of the Barbie movies as well. I’ve always wondered how shocked girls were to read the original Little Mermaid after seeing the movie – that’s the worst of the Disney bastardizations.


  5. Lisa: It’s true. Though the idea of Belle as a voracious reader always sort of pissed me off, I’m not sure why, probably because the real thing about her is, of course, that she’s beautiful, but everyone acts like it’s her personality they’re all worked up about. And the little Mermaid: boy is H.C.A. a harsh toke when you’ve seen the Disney first (and even if you haven’t).


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