“I’m not anti-princess, but ..” Lisa M. Dinella states during the first few sentences of her article. That’s not as bad as many other sentences that start with I’m not (xxx), but ..”. Still, she makes a clear point of why it’s a good sign that superhero costumes finally become more popular this Halloween than princess costumes. While I can’t really identify with any of the Disney Girls, I think that’s going in the wrong direction. Dinella’s conclusion is as simple as it’s deceiving because princesses are associated with typically female, therefore weaker or less powerful traits, girls who identify with this role model have a high chance of not living their lives as successfully as boys or more boyish girls so let’s be happy that the Princess is finally facing the last curtain this Halloween. Or next, by the latest.
Are we close to freeing little girls from an anti-feminist, sexist and over all demeaning role model? Not even close. We are taking away one of the strongest characters out there, one of the most kick-ass ways to show how great women and girls can be.
There is hardly a fantasy character harder to kill than the Princess. So instead of hoping for her timely death, let’s reclaim that story with the power we have. Who started off with the Princess stereotype in the first place, anyway? If we give the Princess all those stories back that she played the lead role in, then I’d be more than proud if my future daughters were to dress up in glittery gowns on any given occasion.
There have been so many kick-ass royal girls out there to shape a powerful image of what Princesses also were: theologians and philosophers like Antonia of W√ºrttemberg, self-determined stateswomen, like Kristina of Sweden, witty chronists and string-pullers in Versailles like Elizabeth Charlotte, Madame Palatine, or the modern ladies that could serve as role models ‚Äì Victoria of Sweden, Rania of Jordan, or Princess Diana. At Girl Museum, we have a whole show dedicated to Warrior Princesses.
It’s too soon to give up on the Princess. So instead of hoping the glitzy Disney version will just fade away, let’s give our girls some characters to look up to. Let us tell their tales, write their stories, and pressure big companies to step away from the damsel in distress. Because princesses are just as important as super heroes and just as fashionable for Halloween.
Girl News International