Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A True Princess

Princess Butterfly

    There seems to be a feeling these days that there is something wrong or unhealthy about the pink princess hype that surrounds your average little girl.  Girls love pink, and girls love princesses, and probably have from time immortal.  The difference now is that girls are bombarded with images and all the dinky little accessories from a very stereotyped and unrealistic version of princesses.  These of course are the Disney princesses.  They all have impossibly large eyes and small waists, and whether it be spunky Jasmine or demure Cinderella, they all have one thing in common.  Once they have found the man of their dreams, their life is complete.  They can now live "Happily Ever After".   
          O.K., I can see something wrong with that.  I certainly have tried to keep my girls from becoming immersed in the Disney fluff, but does that mean there is something wrong with all fairy tales and princesses? 
          There is a TV show on PBS called Super Why, which has to be my all time least favorite kids show.  The reason is because they revise traditional fairy tales until they are diluted little politically correct things that bear no resemblance to the original fairy tale.  The writers of Super Why evidently think there is something wrong with fairy tale princesses.  So Rapunzel is portrayed as a chubby little girl with brown hair and glasses.  ( I have a chubby little girl with brown hair and glasses, but she's cute)   St. George, (called Knight George) is a coward who is afraid of the dragon.  The princess doesn't need to be rescued; the dragon is just in her way.  The repetitive message through all of them is, Princesses are ordinary looking, and do not need to be rescued by any prince.  But what's the fun in that?  Why not, instead of changing traditional fairy tales, into boring insipid things that no one wants to hear about, or letting your little girl become infatuated with a Disney ding bat, instead find fairy tales that encourage girls to be truly princess like? 
      We have been reading The Princess and The Goblins by George MacDonald.  You couldn't find a better role model for a girl.  Princess Irene is faithful, truthful, kind, and very brave.  She is also beautiful.  All of MacDonald's princesses display true princess behavior, and if they don't, they get taught a lesson, as in The Lost Princess
        The way I see it, let your girls be pretty little  princesses, but remember what it is that makes you a princess.   And it's not the inability to sleep on a pea!                                                                                           

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