I read this interview/article with a journalist/author whose latest book is Cinderella Ate My Daughter. Um, seriously? (Seriously is one of my favorite words by the way.) So here's a blurb I pulled off of Amazon.com:
According to the American Psychological Association, the emphasis on beauty and play-sexiness at ever-younger ages is increasing girls’ vulnerability to the pitfalls that most concern parents: eating disorders, negative body image, depression, risky sexual behavior. Yet here we are with nearly half of six-year-old girls regularly using lipstick or lip gloss. The percentage of eight- to twelve-year-old girls wearing eyeliner or mascara has doubled in the last TWO years (I ask you: shouldn’t the percentage of eight-year-olds wearing eyeliner be zero?). Meanwhile, the marketing of pink, pretty, and “sassy” has become a gigantic business: the Disney Princesses alone are pulling in four BILLION dollars in revenue annually.
Okay, I'm sorry but where are the parents of the six year olds wearing lipstick! Come on!! Doesn't this all come down to parenting? Are we really going to blame poor parenting on Disney? Do people not realize that girls have always been this way? Our world has changed. Thirty-five years ago, we didn't have VCRs or DVD players or cable television or the internet. And guess what? I had a long dress that was a hand-me-down from someone and I loved wearing it. I was a princess in that dress. I also loved wearing ballerina clothes.
And you know what? I think I turned out just fine.
I admit that Disney has done an excellent job of marketing the whole princess thing but parents need to take some responsibility when it comes to their children. They need to parent. Isn't that the main complaint now? That parents aren't parenting. Princesses and fairy tales have been around for a long time, folks.
Now that my kids are in school, we have discussions about accepting people for who they are. Cripes, Anna has spina bifida. Don't you think we could end up in a situation where other kids are mean to her? I have already started teaching my children that we are nice to everyone. I can only hope that others are doing the same.
The world is theirs. My girls can be whatever they want to be. And for right now, if they want to be a princess or a ballerina, well, that's okay.