Thank goodness for all those who registered their complaint to Disney about the revamp (emphasis on the vamp) of Brave princess Merida. If you visit the Disney princess page you’ll see the feisty gal as her wonderful self, but if you’d looked last week you would have seen a skinny, sexy-standard Merida sans her trademark bow and arrow. It was a Disne-fied version of herself. The outrage was fast, and Disney has replaced the image- for now.
Like many, my girl went through a Princess phase when she was little. She wore a green t-shirt of mine with a hairband wrapped around her waist for safe length and the look, et voila- Princess Fiona from Shrek. My partner and I loved Fiona’s feistiness, but squirmed a little when Princess love turned to speechless Ariel. Thankfully princesses prompted many conversations with our talkative girl. We had lots to share. We also had a great book that she loved- Princesses are Not Quitters. In it, the three princesses swap spots with their servants and learn good lessons about hard work. Then they use their privilege to make changes to benefit everyone in the end.
My girl is now of babysitting age, and looking after a little one in love with princesses. She’s seeing princess imagery all over again, although with different eyes. It’s a good opportunity to talk about the marketing of femininity from a different perspective than you ever could with a preschool kid. But it also reminds me it stinks that preschoolers are inundated with this prescriptive femininity- skinny, seductive, and no matter the skin tone, white. What impact does it have (again) on my girl?
I’ve been thinking about how to introduce the concept of the male gaze to my daughter. We talk about unrealistic beauty ideals (ok- I talk and hope she listens). But I think it’s time to take a further step back to talk about who is defining the ideals behind the messages. I want to help her understand why she’s seeing what she’s seeing – whose lenses colour the vision? The underlying message that girls and women must please outside forces is one I want her to be able to battle with might.
PS- Then there’s The Bloggess’ take on the whole thing- more lighthearted than me yet very much to the point.
I’m very lucky to work in a place that supports flexible schedules. I work at home a couple of days a week, I work early in the morning and at night as needed. It benefits me and my family in many ways. The other day I was at the kitchen table with my laptop, looking [...]
If you’ve been following the Plan B birth control debate in the States, you’ll know that about a month ago Justice Edward Korman said that anyone who needs the drug should have access to it regardless of age. Last week the Food and Drug Administration decided against the all ages access and said it should [...]
Oh yes, I’m happy- the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada has called for provincial and territories to extend HPV vaccination programs to boys. Prince Edward Island has already done so. (You can’t get abortions on the Island, but you can get an HPV vaccine. Count some blessings). This advocacy push thrills me from [...]
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