I had planned over the weekend that I would open the week on the blog by writing a Scholarly Analysis of the movie Brave (“an animated adventure for postmodern feminism”) wherein I would usher in all types of fairytale autopsies and name-drop Bettleheim and Cuchulain all over the place. We were going to discuss how Brave made excellent use of the three-phase Goddess by showing the Maid, Mother, and Crone in their respective roles. It was going to be something wonderful.
But I don’t feel like writing that piece today. (I barely feel like writing this one, but if I had to look at that bloody Chick Fil A thing one more day I think I’d paristalsys reversus all over the screen.)
This is a rant about Princesses.
When I was a very little girl I loved Cinderella. It was my favourite fairytale and my parents tried to move heaven and earth to find me an actual glass slipper. What I could never explain then and hesitate to explain now is that for me the attraction to Cinderella was two-fold; I wanted to see what an actual glass slipper looked like because I love glass and I wanted to be able to hang out with talking mice. Dancing all night in painful heels with a strange guy really was nowhere on my list of life goals and aims.
The Disney Princesses are what little girls have now. Slickly packaged and branded to the hilt, they are a group of pretty maids whose only real diversity up until recently was hair and dress colour. Painted virgins in fancy dresses, they appeal to parents everywhere as some sort of role model for their little girls, and I’m not quite sure why. But I am quite sure that the amount of money and common sense parents have thrown at this twisted dream can be measured in mountains.
Why do you want to tell your daughter that being married is the end to her troubles? That being valued for how you look is paramount? That marrying a near-stranger for his money is a totally fine thing to do? Of course no one ever tells their daughters these things straight up. No matter–the Disney Fairy Tales will do that for you. Just sit back and watch it happen.
For all its negative reviews, at least Brave turned that whole bucket of trash fish on its side. If you go see Brave you’ll see a girl decry, in the opening reel, the travails of ACTUALLY being a princess. You’ll see mother and daughter fight and strive under some of the weirdest-ever circumstances and you’ll see a story about respecting yourself and your parents.
We need more stories like this.