Thursday, January 25, 2007

I am the world’s most craptastic blogger. Je suis très désolé. We went to Disneyland last week, and it seems the Happiest Place on Earth has sucked the life out of me.

Despite the artic temperatures in Los Angeles and our first ever public puke experience, it was a fun trip. Sweet Pea finally found a place where everyone addressed her with the proper title (Princess). Her father found a kids’ restaurant that serves red wine. And I used the bitter cold as an excuse to do a lot of shopping. Win, win, win.

Now that we’re back and telling people about our trip, I keep finding myself in the same old pickle. I say something that I think is really innocuous, like “We just got back from Disneyland.” People react much differently than I think they are going to, “Oh no you DiIn’t. That place is the Devil.” And instead of just letting it go, my inner anthropologist wants to know more…

So if anyone would like to post a comment about why you loathe Disney and all things Princess related, please do. I’m curious.

I mean, not that this is entirely lost on me. I can think of a fair number of reasons to associate Disney with Satan. I just keep finding myself thrown by who loves it and who hates it, and the reasoning that they allude to never seem to match up to their personality.

Take for example my good friend Sue. Sue is a petit blonde, athletically built, pretty face, self confidence oozing from every poor, mother of two beautiful girls, etc. She informed me that her daughters are not allowed to watch the Disney Princesses because they are all built like Barbie.

Yeah, true. Not my favorite either. But I wouldn’t have pegged this particular woman, who has probably never had to worry about her weight for one second, to be overly concerned with body image issues. Not to say that we ALL shouldn’t be concerned with how women are portrayed in the media. I’m just sayin…I thought maybe she’d go with “Jasmine is a Princess, how come she doesn’t get to hang with all the WASPy Royals at Sleeping Beauty’s castle?”

Or my friend the lipstick-wearing-crunchy-granola-stay-at-home-mom who said she wouldn’t spend a dime on Princess crap. Ok, cool. Fine by me. But I’ve seen lots of photos of her daughters in tutus and fairy wings. They all (mom included) strike me as pretty girly girls. I thought maybe she’d wave the “How come Disney always kills off the mom?” flag.

Personally, I think that “It’s a Small World” is a Dick Cheney organized conspiracy to get all the liberals so completely aggravated that they stab pencils in their eyes and forget all about The Venus Project.

And then there’s all the people who LOVE Disney that I think are going to hate it for various reasons. I’m surprised. Really.

Regardless, we had fun. I’m glad to be home, but just check out this picture of a completely ecstatic two year old in the presence of one of her idols.

I didn’t buy a sweatshirt. But I’ll probably take her to Disneyworld some day.




all the way live said...

Some of us are just Looney Tunes kids. Although there is that rumor about Walt being a Nazi sympathizer.

Clover said...

You've been holding out on me. Sneaky. Very sneaky.



Pass The Butter said...

I just read this article in the 12/24/06 New York Times Magazine called "What's Wrong With Cinderella? One mother's struggle with her 3-year-old daughter's love affair with princess culture" about this very conundrum. An excerpt: "I've spent much of my career writing about experiences that undermine girls' well-being, warning parents that a preoccupation with body and beauty (encouraged by films, TV, magazines and, yes, toys) is perilous to their daughters' mental and physical health. Am I now supposed to shrug and forget all that? If trafficking in stereotypes doesn't matter at 3, when does it matter? At 6? Eight? Thirteen? On the other hand, maybe I'm still surfing a washed-out second wave of feminism in a third-wave world. Maybe princesses are in fact a sign of progress, an indication that girls can embrace their predilection for pink without compromising strength or ambition; that, at long last, they can 'have it all.' Or maybe it is even less complex than that: to mangle Freud, maybe a princess is sometimes just a princess." Good stuff.

Personally, my vote is that if your daughter sees in you a self-sufficient, educated woman with a normal body, she will ultimately use that as her model, and pretending to be a princess is just a lovely bonus. Not that we won't have to spend the next 18+ years training them not to buy into the twisted b.s. that popular culture spews forth. But at this point it seems like "monkey see, monkey do" are words to live by.

Clover said...

"if your daughter sees in you a self-sufficient, educated woman with a normal body"

Sweet Fancy Moses, lets hope so! And I hope she sees a little sass and perhaps a wild streak or two as well.

Intersting article. I will have to Google it. Thanks PTB.

Can I call you Buttah?

Lipstick Granola Cruncher said...

I guess I don't see the discrepancy of tutus and fairy wings and not being comfortable with the implications and heavily marketed Disney princess gear. For us, pink girly girl things mean fun, dress up, and imaginative play.

And if you would asked me, I would have also waved the “How come Disney always kills off the mom?” flag..... Because I loathe Disney for many reasons. Not just one. :)

But note! I love fairy tales, magic, princesses, and a good story. I just think that the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen did a better job.

(and I kinda wished you would have asked me to explain further if you were really curious about my supposed hypocrisy before using me as this kind of example)

Clover said...

Oooh! Wait, back up. I am just now seeing this a month late.

I don't at all think that it's hypocrisy. I don't even disagree with you. It just surprised me is all. Not in a bad way. Just in a "Huh, interesting." way.