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Tell me why the Disney princesses are so bad.

(25 Posts)
HuffwardlyRouge Tue 21-Jul-09 18:43:54

I am a fairly humourless lentil weaver in many respects, however I have no problem with my 3-yr-old daughter's complete infatuation with everything pink, everything fairy, everything princess, particularly Disney princess. She wants to be a mermaid (or an ice skater) when she grows up. She loves her ballet lessons. Her favourite colour is "pink and sparkly"

I am a feminist, and not one of those appologetic ones either.

I get angry about many of the influences and potential influences on my daughter's life. MTV makes me angry. The Twilight series makes me angry. Gender division of fancy dress makes me very cross indeed. Yet I am quite happy for my little girl to waft about in her Cinderella costume, clutching her Disney princess barbie dolls and singing about handsome princes.

I know there are many MNers who have Disney princesses firmly on the ban list. Explain to me why. Perhaps I've just not thought it through enough?

Or completely ignore my OP and add something vaguely pertaining to sparkly pink feminism. That would be fine too

Geocentric Tue 21-Jul-09 18:47:43

I miss princesses... <sigh> Just you wait until Hannah Montana takes over!!! grin

sarah293 Tue 21-Jul-09 18:49:16

Message withdrawn

EccentricaGallumbits Tue 21-Jul-09 18:49:59

because they claim an uterly unrealistic 'ideal' woman shape and lifestyle real children can never achieve.

and their hair gets stuck in the carpets.

aGalChangedHerName Tue 21-Jul-09 18:50:15

My dd's are just the same Huff and it doesn't bother me in the least. I am so not a girly girl and never was lol but hey it's probably just a paassing phase.

Mine do the marrying a prince thing too. I bloody hope they both get a prince to marry/live with and not some bloody lazy bastard!!

HerBeatitude Tue 21-Jul-09 18:53:39

something about little boy's role models being jobs Fireman Sam, Bob the Builder, Postman Pat and little girl's role model being things that don't exist - fairies, mermaids, princesses (well they do but not with fairy godmothers.
Someone once wrotea v. good article on it but cn't for the lfe of meremeber where or who

HuffwardlyRouge Tue 21-Jul-09 18:56:22

Lol @ hair gets stuck in the carpet.

Not sure I buy the 'unrealistic body shape' thing. Neither are the tweenies (those frighteningly huge feet shock), neither are Strawberry Shortcake (big heads!!). I loved my cindys and barbies but it never occured to me to want to look like them, any more than I wanted to look like any of my toys.

HuffwardlyRouge Tue 21-Jul-09 18:57:36

Now you're talking Herbea. Interesting. Any chance of you remembering the article?

Merrylegs Tue 21-Jul-09 18:57:46

You have no problem with your daughter's infatuation with all things pink because that is just what it is - an infatuation. It is a phase. She will not be a barbie loving pink princess for ever.

The Disney princesses will have absolutely no influence over her future life. But you will.

(The ballet may stick, but that's OK. Ballet is a fantastically demanding discipline. Exercise is good!)

MovingOutOfBlighty Tue 21-Jul-09 19:00:04

I love Disney Princesses - finally something I can play with as well! It uses imagination, plotting, we create fantasy worlds together. I don't give a tiny rats arse for the anti-pink brigade!!
She can climb trees like a good 'un and some of the more modern princesses kick butt too.

hester Tue 21-Jul-09 19:01:47

I feel calm about it too, Huff, and I am feminist with a big capital F. My dd (3) has done a bit of disney princessing and is now into My Little Pony in a big way. But she also loves dinosaurs and Numberjacks and Diego and Bob the Builder. I think so long as they have access to a wide variety of stuff - i.e. they're not getting the message that the pink sparkly stuff is the only appropriate thing for them to be into - and they're getting strong messages at home about girls can do anything, being pretty isn't the most important thing, girls don't always need princes to rescue them etc, it's fine.

HuffwardlyRouge Tue 21-Jul-09 19:02:52

Merry, you're right. I don't think the Disney princesses will influence her life or her choices.

crokky Tue 21-Jul-09 19:03:25

I have a 3yo (boy) and a 1yo (girl). My feelings are that I don't mind girls liking pink IF it is their own choice rather than one forced upon them by everything being pink.

I walked past a shoe shop with a sale rack of girls' shoes yesterday. There must have been 100 pairs of shoes on the rack - EVERY single one was either pink (or purply pink) apart from the black ones, which had pink lining and a couple which had no pink, but flowers stuck on insead! That is a forced choice of pink and that's what I don't like. If you think your DD would like pink best even without society forcing her to, then enjoy the pink, let her have everything pink. I was pretty annoyed about the shoe thing - my DD is currently wearing a neutral coloured pair of trainer type shoes from the boys' section. I put her in a pair of green shorts and a blue T shirt and a stranger told me she looked nice grin.

kezzax Tue 21-Jul-09 19:09:04

my little girl has always been a tom boy, (i have 6 nephews and no nieces!!) she is almost 5 and suddenly likes disney princesses and pink and i am over the moon!! her bedroom is lovely and girly, i am thinking of throwing her out of it so i can move in lol... it makes a very welcome change from the ben 10 posters!!

i know its just an age thing and i would never try to socialise her into her gender role, but i am very happy that she is now wearing girls clothes (ish) and doesnt want a spiderman bedroom now!!!

HerBeatitude Tue 21-Jul-09 19:32:42

LOL no chance at all my brain is mush.

However, I found this Polly Toynbee article which isn't directly about disney princesses per se but about the "girlification" of stuff int he context of women earning less than men... [http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/apr/15/equality.gender here]]

And also I found this v. interesting site which I'd never come across before: pinkstinks

HerBeatitude Tue 21-Jul-09 19:33:57

oops, first one is:

here

RumourOfAHurricane Tue 21-Jul-09 19:35:34

Message withdrawn

HerBeatitude Tue 21-Jul-09 19:41:10

It's not part of bein a girl

I was a girl once and it simply wasn't as big then as it is now. I don't think I owned one item of pink clothing. Princessy obsession wasn't so universal.

RumourOfAHurricane Tue 21-Jul-09 20:14:27

Message withdrawn

HerBeatitude Tue 21-Jul-09 20:29:29

My DD has also worn pink all her life - she's now 7 and a half and is just beginning ot grow out of it. I do think it matters, this obsession with princessy stuff because it excludes other more worthy role models.

By itself it doesn't matter of course, but int he context of homes where men still don't do their fair share of domestic work and still earn more than the women they live with, plus the Nuts porn philosophy as mainstream, it's part of a problem imo.

lollystar Tue 21-Jul-09 20:47:38

I don't get the anti pink thing. I am my daughter's main female role model, followed by her aunties, grandmothers etc etc and we're all fairly normal. She's massively into pink and disney but is quite happy playing with cars and trains, in fact I'm getting her a car mat for her birthday grin
Don't get why little boys playing with pushchairs is an issue either..

RumourOfAHurricane Tue 21-Jul-09 20:53:09

Message withdrawn

MrsBadger Tue 21-Jul-09 20:53:42

my gut reactions are:

they bastardise and sanitise otherwise decent folk stories
they are so universally syndicated that you end up buying stuff just because it is DP branded

and wot Herbea said about aspirations and job descriptions
even Barbie is a vet sometimes

AmazingBouncingFerret Tue 21-Jul-09 20:56:30

I dont like the over-merchandising of disney princess, its just like Winnie the bloody pooh, when I walk past a carpet/flooring shop and see Disney laminate flooring then you have to realise its getting a bit silly now. But thats the only reason why I dont like Disney princesses. I played with dolls when younger and had pink clothing and pink bedroom it hasnt made me become some insipid girly obsessed adult.

As for pink toys I only dislike them because I see no point in a store selling 2 products where the only difference is one is pink and one is blue, it annoys me because when blue has sold out and only pink is available then it leads to unhappy customers, if the colours were unisex everyone would be happy.

DontCallMeBaby Tue 21-Jul-09 21:39:13

The over-merchandising can make for fantastic bribery material though - princess-obsessed child won't clean her teeth? Princess toothbrush and toothpaste it is ... yes, that would be our house.

I'm combatting the sanitisation with books, darker versions - complete Grimm's fairy tales (which is mad) and a really nice compendium with a rather sinister Snow White, and The Little Mermaid without the happy ending.

I am a bit worried about DD's soft Sleeping Beauty though - spends most of her time with a blindfold on, and her arms tied behind her with a hair bobble. hmm

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