Disney. Whether you love it or hate it, it's everywhere. The man, the myth, the mouse, the movies, the Land, the World, the Princesses. The bridesmaid dresses! An American childhood is an immersion in Disney culture. It starts with the films, infiltrates the toys, and, in some cases becomes integral to vacation and career goals. And when you're all grown up? You can live in Celebration, Florida. Seth Stevenson spent some time in the planned community and wrote about the experience for Slate. Even though, at first, "Everything looks waaaaay too perfect" "manufactured" "scrubbed of individuality," Stevenson admits to liking the post office and the movie theater. Uh oh! Brainwashed by the mouse!
When Rosa Brooks asks her 3- and 6-year-old daughters what they want to be when they grows up, they both answer, "a pwincess." Brooks writes, in an Op-Ed in today's Los Angeles Times:
Don't be fooled by the sparkly magic wands, the pint-sized tiaras and those cute little "animal friends." The Disney princesses aren't sweet and innocent. They're a gang of vicious hoodlums, and they're plotting against you [...] Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and the rest... Rarely slay dragons, play sports, pilot jets or do open-heart surgery. Instead, they fiddle with their coiffures, linger over invitations to the ball, flee ineffectually from evil crones and swoon. You don't have to be Gloria Steinem to realize that these are not, for the most part, useful professional skills in today's world.
Of course, Brooks' daughters wouldn't want to be princesses without the Disney influence. She admits that they have watched the video Disney Princess Enchanted Tales about 10 billion times. All kids have fantasies, but the difference between wanting to be a princess and a firefighter is that a firefighter has a job. So why — from movies to weddings to an entire town — are some of us buying into the manufactured Disney dream? (And is it any wonder that tiaras are making a comeback?)
Earlier: Disney Flower Girl Dresses: For Little Girls Who Still Believe In Fairy Princesses
Disney Bridesmaid Dresses: For The Fairy Princess In None Of Your Friends
Disney Bridal: For The Fairy Princess In None Of Us
Playing Princess Is Just A Phase... Except When It Isn't
Marriage Is Not A Fairy Tale
Who's To Blame When Your Fairy Tale Doesn't Come True?