Playing Princess Is Just A Phase... Except When It Isn't

Illustration for article titled Playing Princess Is Just A Phase... Except When It Isn't

Last week, in Barbara Ehrenreich's Huffington Post essay entitled "Bonfire Of The Princesses," the Nickel And Dimed author wrote: "Disney likes to think of the Princesses as role models, but what a sorry bunch of wusses they are. Typically, they spend much of their time in captivity or a coma, waking up only when a Prince comes along and kisses them... The Princesses have no ambitions and no marketable skills, although both Snow White and Cinderella are good at housecleaning." Today, Trey Ellis posts a rebuttal, "In Defense Of Princesses." As a father, Ellis has a different perspective.


He claims:

When it came time to raise my own little girl I made sure to expose her to sports, cars and soccer balls. She could've cared less. Three-year-old Ava was passionate about cooking, baking, her nails, edible makeup and anything having to do with princesses. I was terrified she was going to grow up to become a Republican."

In Ellis' opinion, "Most, but not all little girls go through a pink, princessy phase. Most, but not all little boys go through a phase where everything needs to be whacked and/or destroyed. The good news is that these phases are absolutely normal and, like all phases, they pass." Or do they?

The hot accessory right now is a sparkling tiara, reports The Seattle Times. "Something shocking happened last year," says Susy Korb, executive vice president and creative director of famed jeweler Harry Winston. "We sold two tiaras within two weeks in the U.S. These were real people, accomplished people, celebrating life's milestones with tiaras." But Korb doesn't connect the dots between worshipping Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Belle with the desire to wear a crown. "Americans didn't grow up with royalty so it's not quite as loaded in meaning," she says. Ah, but we do have royalty in this country, and their realm is in bedtime stories and animated flims. We're serfs in their kingdom at young, impressionable ages. Still, part of being a kid is dreaming of fantastical lives; lion tamer, firefighter and yes, princess. Does princess-worship mean that little girls will grow up thinking a prince will rescue them from doing housework? Or is it simply, as Ellis posits, a phase? And raise your hand if you've ever worn a tiara, just for fun. (I have 3.)

In Defense of Princesses [Huffington Post]
Tiara mania: C'mon Princess, You Deserve One [Seattle Times]
Related: Bonfire of the Princesses [Huffington Post]

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@BiscuitDoughJones: No Willow??!?! Why go on living!? My mom took me to see that movie about 7 times in the theaters. Plus, Sorsha kicks ass. A good way to "trick" her into it is by telling her there's a princess, a queen, and fairies.

@flackette: yeah, the prince really never factored in to my princess fantasies. i mean, there might have been a prince in there, but he wasn't the focus. the focus was the clothes, really. I'm beginning to think this whole "waiting around for the prince" element of "the dangers of the princess myth" is a male construct since "the Man" assumes that's the element we women would be interested in: since it involves them.