Friday, May 28, 2010
The Disney Princesses Have Already Brainwashed My Daughter
Last night, Owen, Cameron, and Kade came over. Since Owen and MG are the same age, and Cameron and Claire are the same age, there has been a little lighthearted ribbing (since Karen and I were pregnant!) about how cute it would be if our kids grew up and married each other.
So, as I was laying down with Mary Grace before bed last night, she was telling me, "I'm gonna marry Owen," and I said, "Honey that's fine, and Owen is a really nice boy, but I want you to know that there's a lot of time yet to worry about getting married. You have a lot of things to learn and a lot of adventures to have before you worry about getting married, honey, and I think it would be better if you and Owen were just really good friends until you're about 25."
She cried like I was crushing her soul.
"BUT MOMMY! I want to get married!!! I want to go on a honeymoon with Owen!!!"
What the eff???
Where are the stories of girls having adventures that DON'T involve "getting married and living happily ever after"? I'm sorry, everyone who drank the princess Koolaid, but marriage is when the work starts. It's not all riding off into the sunset kissing in the back of a carriage, and anyone who tells you different is probably selling something. Marriage is about mortgages and paying taxes and dirty diapers and finding something to talk about even though you've spent the last 3,287 days together (love you, Honey!) and taking care of each other when you're sick and taking care of each others' kids and aging parents and negotiating where you're going to spend the holidays and trying to come up with a creative gift for the 9th year in a row (help!)... Marriage is about putting someone else's needs first. Yeah, it's great (if you're married to the right person) but it's also a lot of work.
I continued, "Honey, being married to your daddy and being your mommy is my favorite thing in the world, but I wouldn't be happy being married and being a mommy if I hadn't had adventures first."
"I don't wanna have adventures, I don't want to learn stuff, I want to get married and go on a honeymoon!"
Clearly telling them that princesses get to be princesses because they're good at math and science hasn't been enough.
BJ pointed out later that he's annoyed that the girls in the movies meet the prince ONCE and then they get married. He couldn't be more right.
Plus, there's the whole underlying message issue. Boingboing said it best:
You know who I'd love to see a kids' movie about? Amelia Earhart. Or Marie Curie. Or Elizabeth Cady Stanton. But let's face it... She's not a glamorous girl.
I know we willingly bought into the princess franchise (we did the big lunch in the castle at Disneyworld and the whole nine), but I really thought I could manage it. I did not expect the whole, "Your only worth is in how desirable you are to a boy," thing to happen at age FOUR.
I need to start deprogramming, and I think I need to start writing historical fiction for little girls, based on the lives of the role models that they should be looking up to! Unfortunately, a story that goes, "I spent a lot of years in school, working really hard to learn everything I needed to know so that I could change the world," doesn't generally translate to a blockbuster movie.