Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Princess Rant 01

Given that Lego is now For Boys Only* and girls have a choice of being Princesses, pop stars, or magazine editors, or playing with Lego "Friends,"** it feels like the right time to rant about princesses. I happen to like princess characters, be they self-rescuing or not. I don't believe them to be as one-dimensional as they are represented by some skeptical girls--like me.

First of all, let's get this out of the way. When girls fret about the possible negative message associated with princesses, they are talking about Disney. ;) The vast majority of the princess toys on the pink aisle are Disney. I'm pretty sure they are not talking about Kate. :)

She went to college, after all, and got married at 29, and dated Prince William for longer than the weekend before the wedding. It's hard to argue with her life choices, unless someone is upset at her for not being a nuclear physicist, too.

Nope, we're discussing the Disney versions of fairy tale characters, none of which did any of the things Kate did...and that of course makes them bad role models. Argh. Okay, first, if your only role model is a Disney cartoon, you have problems. Go throat punch your parents for letting that happen. Second, its not hard to look for the bad if that is all you want to see. I'm going to prove this by having Ariel and Cinderella fight to the death. Actually, I'm going to talk about why Ariel--a more recent Disney creation--is a bad role model and Cinderella--the OMG, girl from the fifties that likes to do, ew, domestic stuff--is a good one.

Ariel, the little mermaid...

Why Ariel is creepy:
  1. She makes radical changes to her body to please somebody else.
  2. She is only 16. Really, Disney, I know its a fairy tale, but WTF?
  3. She is willing to accept a deal that involved manipulating the guy she liked into falling for her in the space of a three-day weekend. Was she even planning to tell him where she came from?
  4. If I may meta-game for a minute, happily ever after is not how the original story of The Little Mermaid went down.


I like Cinderella for the following reasons: 
  1. She never pretends to be someone she isn't.
  2. Her life sucks, but she thinks positive. No matter how bad it gets, she hopes for better. Forgive her for running off in tears after her sisters trash her gown. I bet most of us would cry after an assault.
  3. She wanted to go to the ball for herself--to have fun, to be part of the world for one night. She did not even know she was dancing with the prince--she just liked the guy.
  4. She has hobbies. Nobody ordered her to make clothes for those mice. :)
Deathmatch winner: Cinderella. ;)

Thank you for playing. ;) To wrap it up, fictional characters have positive and negative aspects. You can say that Ariel was proactive in changing her situation while Cinderella waited for change. If every fictional character was one-hundred percent perfect, stories would be really boring...or Dungeons & Dragons 4e. (I have to throw in a gaming reference to keep my license.) Also, I wrote this for fun because Cinderella is one of the princesses that gets a lot of criticism for not self-rescuing. About the self-rescuing...that's another rant for another day when I feel like ranting about princesses. ;)

*This is known as sarcasm.
**This, too.