Our VoiceCulture

My Little Princess


Guest Blogger • Oct 19, 2008

Well, it’s here. Fall is in the the air and with it Halloween. Hardly a soul is exempt from participating in one way or another. At the very least you will be forced to leave your couch about a hundred times to pass out candy to little beggars at your door. For these little ones it is not question of “if” they are dressing up but “as what”. They are going to dress up because if they don’t they won’t get any candy!

In my house (or tiny apartment) I pretty much know the answer as to what they will be for Halloween this year, but I have to ask, just in case. The feminist in me cringes as the word rings out in toddler unison “PRINCESS!!” What I’d like to hear is “DOCTOR!!” or “COMPUTER GRAPHICS ENGINEER!!” but with this I am merely delusional.

This princess thing is everywhere from shirts to shoes, jackets to underwear, bikes, bandannas, boots, bags, and beanies. Pretty much anything you can graph or embroider has those tiny jeweled crowned heads poised for purchase. Fortunately I have not bought, but inherited most of our Princess attire but none the less we have it and having it means we wear it. And in doing so creates an insatiable appetite for more of it. I retracted my statement long ago that we would not fall prey to such obvious marketing schemes.

What raises my brow about the Princess idea is that there is nothing real and tangible about being a princess. At least Spider Man is out there heroically swinging from buildings and rescuing Kirsten Dunst. I’ve watched Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White (about twenty times each) and it seems their only attributes are beauty, the fact that they can hide out pretty well (or at least sleep in for a really long time) and of course being rescued.

And while I know that my girls will grow out of those threadbare, tattered princess dresses and into something more suitable for negative degree weather, the thought still haunts me that this princess idea will stick with them and that they’ll always look to be rescued by some heroic prince and that their only true worth comes from how well they play the victim.

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