Anyone have a problem with Disney Princesses?

(48 Posts)
jiminyCrick Fri 16-Nov-12 12:14:14

Am I miserable sod, or has anyone else thought this?

We didn't have many disney films when I was growng up, Dumbo, Pinocchio, Fantasia, and then later, Mulan & Toy Story.

I never really thought aboue the "princess" films until my niece (DH side) turned 4/5 and she was OBSESSED. She had hundreds of toys, everyone was a princess, or prince charming, it was mad. There was no imagination.

Aside from the mass consumserism involved with Disney, I am loathe to get my kids old school Disney Princess films (we didn't have them, did me no hard) due to the inherent message of the princess being "saved" by the prince.

I was discussing this with one of my friends, a bright, strong woman who said "yes, but that's the ultimate goal isn't it, so why worry about a cartoon showing it?"

IS IT? Is the ultimate goal to be saved by a man?? My husband didn't save me, if anything, I saved him. Strangely, i'm the only one of my close group of friends who didn't have princess films as a child, and the only one to be married, or indeed, who has ever been in a commited relationship. Linked? Maybe not, but not having them didn't harm me in that sense did it?

I don't view men as saviours, I don't view women as princesses. Me and my husband work together equally, from shifting rubble and building the house, to washing the dishes and doing the shopping. We contribute equally to the household costs. We are two PEOPLE.

The disney films I did watch were about friendship, loving your parents (god, that scene in DUmbo still makes me cry) and being a good person.

They weren't about waiting for a man to come and rescue you.

Ultimately, disney films were not heavily involved in my life, my family were, I was interested in DOING stuff, not mindlessly watching other peoples made up fantasies...

What do other people think? Does anyone else have a stand against them, or do you think I am being way over the top? I couldn't bear the thought of my kids being consumerist, obsessed, mindless, unimaginative little souls, which modern kids obsessed with Disney appear to be turning into.

jiminyCrick Fri 16-Nov-12 22:43:17

Ahhh there is hope! smile

GrimmaTheNome Fri 16-Nov-12 22:52:46

My DD always preferred toy dogs to princess/barbie type dolls, which she did get given by other people. She had a complicated ongoing pretend game where various of her dogs were a family (princes and princesses, as it happened but she took the part of the families gardener herself....)and one of them was a girly pup who liked playing with barbies but the others didn't...it was quite funny, the dolls got played with ironically .

So...I don't think you need to ban anything. Laughing like a drain at riduculous princess/barbie crap adverts may help.

madwomanintheattic Fri 16-Nov-12 22:57:00

If you ban it, they want it more. No point. Just don't buy it yourself, and don't make a big deal over it. And don't have a yr r birthday party. <sage> or if you do, do the whole 'please donate to this orphanage in Mongolia' routine and specific no presents at all.

Beamur Fri 16-Nov-12 22:59:09

My DD is 5 and we watch quite a few Disney films, but I've avoided too many Princess ones - a kind friend bought her a Disney Princess storybook which was well meant but had some of the crappest stories I'd ever read in, so it has quietly gone. She's also been bought a Barbie DVD which from the blurb on the back - it was all about 'can Barbie save the day, meet the Prince and still look wonderful' - it's still in the wrapper lurking in the cupboard.
TBH, I think there's enough balance in DD's life to counteract the nonsense these things peddle, but y'know I can't be arsed to read such bilge to her or risk having to watch Barbie myself!

GrimmaTheNome Fri 16-Nov-12 23:28:18

Did anyone else ever notice that it tended to be mothers who only had boys who'd be most likely to give this sort of doll (or pale pink clothes) as birthday gifts to girls?

While I don't think its a good idea to tell people what not to buy (unless they've specifically asked what is or isn't wanted), its fair enough to drop hints if the occasion arises as to the sort of thing your children do like.

Mayanala Sat 17-Nov-12 19:28:36

I might be a bit over the top when it comes to Disney but we rarely let DC watch it, partly because of the things you have mentioned in your OP, but also think it's pretty shit in general.

My 7 year old DD's heroine is Boudicca, I suppose the irony is that Disne's Brave was base don the story!

STIDW Mon 26-Nov-12 04:10:29

The only princess in our house, Princess Fiona.

phoolani Mon 26-Nov-12 10:48:29

Jiminy, you can totally request that relatives don't buy it, but if yours are anything like mine, such reasonable requests lead to them buying DP stuff ALL THE TIME to make up for the fact that mummy is such a crappy killjoy...There's a multi-billion advertising industry 'controlling' your DD all the time; a small attempt to impose your own values on your own child is not just allowable, it's necessary.
I didn't 'ban' DP stuff, I just made it clear to DD that I wouldn't be buying her any of it and I told her why (she was three, so I told her very simply). She had huge amounts of fun waving relatives' gifts in my face, shouting Ner, ner! and laughing herself silly, but she never actually played with any of it very much (which I knew she wouldn't and was the other reason I told them not to buy it). Then she hit 5 and bam! I couldn't have interested her in DPs for anything. Except Merida now which is good because I think Merida is just FAB.

phoolani Mon 26-Nov-12 10:49:50

On topic, has anybody seen the 'Advice from a Cartoon Princess' series on YouTube? That stuff is so funny, you may well wet yourself.

GetAllTheThings Mon 26-Nov-12 13:54:36

I'm not terribly happy about the whole Disney Princess thing, and thankfully am able to keep it to a minimum. I showed dd Beauty and the Beast once and she burst into tears at the end because she didn't have a yellow dress like Belle. Never again.

But the whole princess thing is pretty much unavoidable I think unless you live in a cave. And best she gets it out of her system now than later in life.

I try and counter the 'waiting for a prince to rescue me' thing in play. When I play with dd and her toys it's generally the prince that requires a rescue and frequently the princess ( if I'm running the story ) decides against marriage and goes off to do something far more exciting like a trip to the moon with bunny and polar bear.

And as above, Shrek get's a lot of airplay. Princess Fiona is pretty kick arse.

HalloweenNameChange Mon 26-Nov-12 14:47:06

I don't think it's rude to ask people not to buy that stuff if they ask. I wouldn't say anything if they have already given it to you.. smile thank them and pass it on.

If someone is a militant atheist you wouldn't buy their kids a children's bible would you?

chipmonkey Mon 26-Nov-12 14:56:06

I hate Disney Princesses. I also hate Ben10. We have none of the former though I suspect we might have had, if dd had lived.

I am tripping over Ben10 stuff in the living room. I have to say I liked the old Gwen, when they were 10. Don't like the new one quite so much, they have really girlified her.

MrsWolowitz Mon 26-Nov-12 15:06:16

My DDS are massively into the Disney princesses.

I don't mind that much as the one that the like are the more modern ones that aren't useless morons waiting for a man to save them (a la Snow White and Sleeping Beauty).

Mulan is a great female role model, Jasmine isn't bad ("I am not a prize to be won" - pretty good statement), Belle is all about not comforming to social norms and refusing to get married to the local jack the lad. Pocahontas is good and Rapunzel is pretty fiesty and ends up saving the fella (as does Mulan and Pocahontas).

I have no problems with these princesses at all. The useless damzel in distress princesses such as Snow White and Sleeping Beauty make me hmm and luckily my DDs prefer the more modern ones and don't have much time for them.

BsshBossh Mon 26-Nov-12 23:06:27

Fortunately DD (4) much prefers Mulan, Rapunzel, Pocahontas & Jasmine to the older DPs such as Cinderella etc. When she plays with her DP character dolls they are always marrying each other.

Frans1980 Tue 27-Nov-12 01:53:37

Not to worry times are changing. The movie "Brave" is all about a princess who spends the entire movie making it clear she doesn't want a man.

rogersmellyonthetelly Fri 30-Nov-12 21:47:59

My dd absolutely adored anything Disney princess until she saw the film Brave. Now she has seen how much fun she could be having she is so not interested in dressing up and wants a bow and arrow and a pony. She also likes tangled. We did watch beauty and the beast recently, and she asked me why belle didn't "just tell the creepy man to get lost" like I would have done. Nice to know that even at the tender age of 6 that she can spot a creep and knows the appropriate response. :0)

kickassangel Sun 02-Dec-12 04:17:01

I made sure dd didn't see cinderella or sleeping beauty.

I am now use cinderella as a teaching point about media values. I have already done 'the rant' at my classes (age 13 or 14) about how I think it's actually dnagerous to peddle the whole love at first sight belief and that if you marry someone cos the look nice and dance well you could end up with a very unhappy life.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Sun 02-Dec-12 04:43:14

DD is only 1 so I have all of this to come - thankfully though having a DS first means all our DVDs are Studio Ghibli and animal/fantasy character led (although much as I love Pixar I hate that almost every film is led by male characters) and DDs toys so far are mainly hand me downs from DS. I totally despair of how to handle the DP thing when she's older.

Although DS actually dresses up as a princess every day at nursery, with his best friend (also a boy) dressing up as tinker bell. They look after baby dolls together. So maybe I'll have to deal with the DP thing sooner than I thought

MmBovary Tue 11-Dec-12 12:06:21

My view on this is that we cannot escape consumerism and there are always going to be a lot of toys and DVD's, and characters that go against our views of how things should be.

However, I don't see eradicating these characters or costumes as the solution to the problem.

We can solve the dilemmas that they represent by teaching your children, with time, of course, to be critical of them, rather than to follow them blindly.

For example, my son loves super heroes. I don't always agree with the message of the stories, the fighting, the baddies and goodies philosophy behind of that, and I find the costumes terribly tacky as well.

I just try to point out these things to him, that I don't agree with the violence, that you can solve problems without resorting to fighting. He's six, so I don't know how much he takes, but I just mention it to him.

One day, I hope he'll be critical too. Though so far he says he wants to get married in a spider man costume smile

AmberSocks Tue 11-Dec-12 12:58:02

my daughter loves disney and barbie,and she uses her imagination when she plays with them,she is not mindless or boring.

Yes in the old skool disney films the women are waiting around to be saved,but in the newer ones its not like that,so whas wrong with a balance?Sometimes women are saved by men,sometimes men are saved by women,who cares?

Watch them with her,make comments,why cant she do it herself etc.I believe if you spend time with your kids and make the effort then you will have a bigger impact on them than any films.

AmberSocks Tue 11-Dec-12 12:59:38

I also hate it how people say things like thank god ive got boys etc,i have girls and boys and i find the whole power rangers etc thing much harder to deal with than the pink girly side of things.

TunipTheVegedude Tue 11-Dec-12 13:00:56

Have you seen that even for Brave, lots of the dolls come with a comb rather than a bow and arrow? DD is incensed!
She wants one for Christmas and reckons she can break the teeth off the comb, put an elastic band on it and turn it into a bow and arrows.

AmberSocks Tue 11-Dec-12 13:01:46

The thing is is there anything wrong with being saved by a man?Surely if we all just see ourselves and equals then it doesnt really matter,we are all just people saving people?

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