We have consciously denied Parker access to the Disney princess universe.
Princess culture, as it’s come to be known, is not something I want to introduce into her life. Princess culture is not just about fairy tale magic, it is also a constant narrowing of what it means to be feminine. Princesses don’t run or play in the dirt or build things. The idea that you’re only important if you’re pretty, love pink, and waiting to be rescued/fall in love with a man is absurd. We want to create a world of diverse opportunity for our daughter.
Disney has a sad history of highly problematic female characterizations and storylines (from Snow White’s servitude to the Little Mermaid giving up her voice for love). Today at the park I realized that keeping her in the dark about this stuff might limit her social interactions with other girls her age.
Two young girls (maybe aged 4 and 6) were singing the songs and assigning each other characters from the movie “Frozen.” The Biscuit stood nearby watching them for a while before she approached. The older girl gave her some serious side eye while the younger one asked her if she wanted to play “Frozen” with them.
“Do you want to be Anna or Elsa,” she asked.
“I’m Parker,” came my kid’s perfectly dry reply.
She has no idea who Anna or Elsa are. She’s never seen the movie or heard the songs or played dress up in the costumes that were everywhere this past Halloween. Part of me is proud to have shielded her from this piece of pop culture history. But today I felt left out for her.