I noticed over the weekend that all of a sudden I was getting quite a few new comments on a post I wrote back in the early summer, called If Only the New Disney Princess Could be More Like Mulan, about my thoughts on Mulan as a Disney princess and the then-unreleased, but much talked about, movie, The Princess and the Frog, that would feature an African-American Disney Princess. The topic of whether this breakthrough in the realm of princesses would be a good thing in terms of girl empowerment or whether it would just be another opportunity to sell merchandise.
I was pretty shocked when I realized that somebody Stumbled the post from almost six months ago, creating a peak in readers and commenters that I don’t usually see!
The comments are really good and raise a lot of issues, both good and bad, about how girls are portrayed in these movies and whether it’s harmless fantasy or the foundation of sexist media portrayals of girls and women. As a mother of a daughter who spent several years ensconced in all things Disney Princess and who is now happily a fourt-grade tomboy, I have mixed feelings. In terms of her clothing choices, she’s definitely forsaken the pink and the frilly for the drab and the practical. But when we serve up stories of girls who are willing to give up their voices and their futures for the happily ever after, are they damaging messages we’ve put into our children’s brains we’ll never be able to change?
If you have thoughts on the hold that the Disney princesses have on many of our daughters, or if you’ve gotten a sneak peak at the new movie and have some thoughts on it, I’d love to hear your input, either here or at the original post!