Look, Mommy! I’m a Princess!

Earlier, at the grocery store, I got shaken out of my pouting about money, thinking of my heady week, by this adorable little two-year-old Asian girl. All dressed in pink, a plastic golden tiara perched atop her precious little head, bubbling up and down the aisle as she giggled and babbled at her mother. She radiated glee.

“Aww, how cute,” I gushed to myself. I turned the corner, pushed my way up, and thought, “Man, she gets too into this princess thing, she’s gonna be one high-maintenance teen one day. Fuckin’ Disney!”

Last year when I was working at an arts centre and had to do registrations, I used to be endlessly amused by all the adorable little girls wanting to sign up for ballet because they thought it was the first step one took toward becoming a real, live princess. A pretty pink dress, a twirl and a pose, it’s all a girl really needs, after all, isn’t it? Paris thinks so.

There are those of us who want to flat-out blame Disney for all of it. It’s Disney’s fault for everyone– the over the top two-year-old at the store, Britney Spears, Paris fuckin’ Hilton– all the bubbly, looks-first, diva-in-training girls. They’re all Disney’s fault.

Disney and their endless parade of fairytale females, girls all victimized by life in varying ways, all left clinging to hope and wishing against all wisdom that some gorgeous man’ll come along and sweep ’em off their feet, solve all their woes, and, yes, it’ll all end happily ever after.

Which works GREAT when you’re a two-dimensional figure in an animation world with a roaring soundtrack and the genius of editing to keep you at your rhythm.

Reality, however, is a wee bit trickier.

There is hope, though. There’s hope that girl who’ve seen the Incredibles will rather be ass-kicking, name-taking toughies who do some saving of their own, ‘cos they know men are just as fucked by fate as females are, and every now and then, even boys need a little savin’.

(Want to explore the alleged evils of Disney, well beyond the social ramifications of their princessifying of a whole generation of girls? Check out Carl Hiaasen’s Team Rodent. Funny but startling expose on the great Kingdom.)