Monday, August 22, 2011

Disney Princesses



If you know me you’ll know that I am a feminist.  This means there are certain things that, as Peter Griffin would say, grind my gears.  One of these is the cultural phenomenon of Disney Princesses, and, in fact, the wider world of Disney-ness.  Because I have some antipathy towards it I’m not particularly well versed in the wacky world of impossibly tiny waists, large but strangely asexual bosoms and bizarre coloured but always long and flowing hair that is Disney Princess world.  I’m troubled that princesses are portrayed as helpless and infantilised, in need of a usually male rescuer and only get that because they are beautiful.  It must be hard being a really unattractive Disney princess, doomed to spend your life up a tower, fast asleep, enslaved to a witch or whatever, simply because you were unlucky enough to have been born with mousy frizzy hair, or a less than retrouss√© nose.  Heaven help you if you’ve got a flat chest or child bearing calves!!!

You might wonder why I have suddenly felt the need to get in such an unfeminine tizzy about this, but it’s because of Mike Pilavachi!  Well, not him personally, but rather Soul Survivor.  This year the fancy dress theme was announced as Disney and people were encouraged to dress up as Disney characters.  Why do we yet again lay these unhelpful images on our girls and young women?  The only Disney film I come anywhere near liking is Mulan, because she shows some spirit and takes on a man’s world and wins.  But even that is ultimately disappointing because in the end she goes home to become a daughter, a wife, and presumably a mother, even though she was offered a top job in government.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing dishonourable about being a wife and mother, I’m both, but couldn’t she have had a crack at running China first?  Surely, Soul Survivor, you could have come up with a theme that doesn’t so easily separate and stereotype boys and girls, a theme that encouraged creativity and fun, without putting so much pressure on the girls to be beautiful and passive, and the boys to be manly and covered in six-packs and strong jaws.