Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Impoverished Princesses

My husband and I took visitors to Disney Downtown for a little excursion. We're cheap, frugal, and unable to justify the ever rising admission costs to the theme parks.

Admission is free to Disney Downtown because it is basically a shopping mall Disney style. But it is quaint, colorful, clean and has free music and entertainment. The Legoland displays are worth the effort alone. Fend off the chocolate perfume eminating from the Ghirardelli chocolate shop and bypass the princess makeover area and the tourist kitch shops. We can't in all honesty recommend the riverboat restaurant -- quite disappointing and has limitations for people with handicaps. But the landscape is luxurious, pastoral, serene and if you get there early enough you can avoid the heat and crowds and truly enjoy the setting.

We made the mistake of venturing into the princess area and watched as delightful little giggling girls were transformed into teased and rouged clones dressed in the cheapest gaudiest, sparkliest Halloween costume-ish dresses. They waved their little magic wands and poof hundreds of their parents' dollars disappeared into Disney's coffers.

They wore plastic shoes that were to represent glass slippers and paste and plastic tiaras and any resemblance to true beauty, innocence and feminine potential were lost beneath those layers of frou-frou fashion. They looked like mini-me prostitutes. And their mothers and grandmothers were so proud.

Barbara Ehrenreich has written a blog about the Disney princesses. It reinforces thoughts I had the other day. For some reason I too was thinking about what we teach our daughters about being female, about what it is to be a woman. And right now it seems that mothers and daughters are caught up in the need to be sex objects. Not all mothers and daughters, but even those seeking science careers seem to be interested in making themselves over into something that fits a stereotype of what the perfect woman is.

We're all born perfect. We have our own individual spirits. Why would we want to be someone else? Someone not nearly as interesting and unique?

1 comment:

Paul Merrill said...

I disagree - we're not all born perfect.

I speak for myself.