"Disney steals you at the age of 2 and sells you this whole 'Princess Thing' "
In honor of Mother's Day this year I want to talk about an issue that is near and dear to my heart. The notion that women as young girls are indoctrinated into thought patterns and behavior that is misleading and destructive to their psyche as they grow into women.
Please don't misunderstand me. I love Disney. In the course of full disclosure, as some of you don't know me personally; I have two boys and no girls, so this issue would surely be even more sensitive to me if I were raising young girls. Growing up female in America today is a challenge as there are a lot of mixed messages for young women. Girls need to be armed with good information to battle some of the stereotypes that they are being bombarded with mostly on a sub-conscious level.
Photo: Walt Disney
Now back to the Disney Princesses and Kelly Cutrone. The reason why Kelly has become one of my most favorite people is because she is unafraid to stand up for women and serves as an honest voice in the "get real" organization of our society. She feels that the mainstream media, (she is the master of Public Relations for a reason), does a huge disservice to women and that society in general can be destructive to women if they don't have the tools to look at it in the proper light. Walt Disney has done a bang up job over the years of evolving the three choices of princesses that we had growing up, (that would be Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty), to an array of nine princesses all politically corrected to represent may different ethnic types. (even throwing in red-haired princess, Ariel, for equality to all young girls). Yet while all these different races are now represented two large issues cannot be ignored: 1) all the princesses are the same size and shape as they ever were from day one, (perfect proportioned, tall and skinny) and 2) they always set out on some level or another and meet a "prince" that somehow saves them and they live happily ever after. The largest "elephant in the room" is that the message that young girls take from this is that there is a PATH..an unspoken "road" that you must travel into womanhood. This is the part that we all need to understand as women.
Try to stay on a path that was hammered out for you by someone else's expectations; your parents, your grandparents, your family, society in general, and you will fail. You will never be happy if you try to drive on someone else's road. This is true both personally and professionally. As Kelly referenced in the video, our mothers unbeknown to them, sold us a bag of goods: first comes love, then marriage, then the baby carriage... then what? Find your own path, be true to yourself and listen to your own instincts. Only you know what's best for you. While our mothers are mostly good intentioned (although there are the evil few who for one reason or another, project their failures onto their daughters--but I digress as that's a whole other post), only you know what is best and what path you should be on. Your OWN path..not one mapped by society, stereotypes or the mass media. Happy Mother's day.
Information on Kelly Cutrone's book:
"If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You" (HarperCollins, 197 pages, $22.99.), by Kelly Cutrone, with Meredith Bryan, avaialble at Amazon.com Check the sidebar on right hand side of my blog for the link to her book and also check out my earlier post: http://mooninthetenthhouse.blogspot.com/2010/03/book-review-kelly-cutrone-if-you-have.html)