Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Past Deadline: Invasion of the Disney Princesses

Here is this week's instalment of "Past Deadline," published in the Perth Courier on Wednesday, Sept. 24/08. Any of you have this "problem"? ;)

Invasion of the Disney princesses

I’m not sure how it happened, but we have been infested by Disney princesses. In a way, it’s worse than ants.


I only turned my head for a second (which is something you hear on the news a lot), and suddenly Cinderella, Snow White, Belle and bunch of other skinny-waisted, ample-chested pretty girls festooned in gowns and bobbles found their way into Girlchild’s life.

It can be a bit nauseating by times.

The whole thing started innocently enough. I think the first item that sneaked in the door was a bright pink pop-up storage bin/hamper that is now loaded with stuffed animals. It was a handy gift. Then one day Groom-boy innocently enabled the addiction by bringing home a little mounted (on vibrant pink, of course) poster of a triumvirate of the princesses. It now adorns Girlchild’s wall.

Then she received a pale blue flannel nightie adorned with the babes. This became her “princess dress,” and for a while I was afraid it was all she would ever wear. Serves me right, I guess, for trying to stick her with her brother’s old pajamas for too long.

Tucked amid some gorgeous hand-me-downs from a friend were a few more clothing items bearing the lovelies. You would have thought she’d been given a pony when she saw this new-to-her clothing adorned with her favourite girls.

The collection grows. She’s got a Disney princess cup, a toy phone, a magnetic sketch pad, a cutlery set, a backpack and a pencil case complete with pink pencil, eraser and pencil sharpener.
When she moved from her crib into her big-girl bed it was a tough sell at first, so we marketed it as a “princess” bed. At that point there was nary a princess on the bed, except for Girlchild, of course.

Not for long. When we let her pick out a set of sheets for her new bed she shunned beautiful flower patterns and even Dora the Explorer for, you guessed it, those Disney princesses. Lest you were worried – fear not. The sheets have a pink background.

I’d also like to point out Disney princesses are more expensive than run-of-the-mill, no-name princesses. You can’t stick a crown on just anyone, I guess.

Except for the personal nausea factor, I’m not really worried about this phenomenon yet. For now the attraction seems to be more about the colour pink and the pretty ladies and less about the fairy tales. Besides, we spend lots of time ambling around the backyard investigating toads, bumblebees, dragonflies and moths. Girlchild likes to let worms crawl in her tiny hand – she calls them “her pets.” Sometimes she’s more into “gross” stuff than her six-year-old brother.

When she does hear the stories behind the pretty princesses I wonder if it will dawn on her that these girls spend an inordinate amount of time waiting for princes to do things like investigate feet, kiss a sleeping girl or hear lovely voices before being swept away to live in enchanted castles amid all manner of riches and blah blah blah.

Yes, dear, life’s a fairy tale. For sure.

Before the vibrant pink girls traipsed into our lives, Dora the Explorer was queen. Someone said to me recently they would prefer the princesses to Dora, but I disagree. Dora’s voice can be grating after a while, but she’s all about adventure. She wears a backpack. She’s bilingual. She reads a map. She uses her brain and solves riddles. She’s a team player and she knows how to drive a bunch of different vehicles. She hangs with a talking monkey.

Sure, she may not be able to clean a castle like Cinderella, but oh well.

That said, even the Dora people seem to have bowed to the girly girl pressure and have come out with a fairytale Dora – complete with long flowing hair and a blue (not pink) gown.
We have the fairytale Dora doll. We also have a regular backpack-toting, short-haired, T-shirt-wearing Dora doll. Sometimes the two dolls get packed up in the Disney princess backpack which, I should add, is bright pink with shiny gold trim.

I’m starting to think my issue may be more about the pink than the princesses. Or maybe not. Go, Dora!

1 comment:

Evenspor said...

You had me worried until you got to the caterpillars. Maybe there's hope for the girl yet. ;) Interesting how it all kind of creeps up on you like that. Personally, I am happy to currently be dealing with a search for every robot movie ever made. I can deal with robots. ;)