“Disney is releasing a Latina princess soon, mija,” I declared to my daughter as we drove away from her school and on our way to pick up her dad. “Good!” she said firmly. But of course, I rarely let that be the end of any conversation. “Why good?” I probed.
What followed was a discussion of how we both recognized that Latinas deserve a princess that looks like them — this is despite the fact that my husband and I worked hard to minimize “the princess effect” in our home. Princesses were far from banned. Rather we opted for a different approach: we emphasize strong princesses like Leia, Wonder Woman and Xena (not a real princess, but warrior princesses counted). I also would bring up real-life princesses who did good in the world whenever I could. Oh, the way I used to bring up Princess Diana and Queen Noor! Goodness. We also discussed the strong traits of the Disney princess kingdom: Ariel was adventurous, Belle loved to read and Rapunzel knew how to wield a cast-iron skillet. As you can see, we aren’t anti-Princess, but we are anti-”I’m a pretty-princess waiting for a prince to save me.” Keep reading »
I have a love-hate relationship with “What Would You Do?”, the so-called ‘reality’ show that hires actors to enact controversial situations in public to gauge the response of random people. I don’t actually watch the show, but every time I read about one of the show’s episodes online — What will happen when this neo-Nazi group sits down at IHOP? — I’m off to the races to watch the shit out of that thing.
It’s inevitable, really, that they would do a show about Halloween and little kids costumes. Get your little black hearts ready: an adorable boy is going to find out from some busybody ladies at a Halloween store why he can’t be a princess for Halloween. Keep reading »
Rebecca Hains, best be known these days as the woman who got busted by the TSA for trying to take a red velvet cupcake through airport security, is, in her real life a media studies professor at Salem State University and author of Growing Up With Girl Power; Girlhood on Screen and in Every Day Life. She is also mother to a little boy who loves “My Little Pony,” a show, Rebecca says on her blog, that, like the beloved Powerpuff Girls, appeals equally to both sexes, defying the notion that boys/men won’t watch stories about girls/women.
I have to admit I’m not a “My Little Pony” aficianado — my daughter was never into them and I recalled the old show as being inane, and largely about selling toys (the fact that the ponies were revived for the Hub, a TV station owned by Hasbro, and are skinnier and “prettier” in their new incarnation only reinforced those impressions). Creator Lauren Faust writes on the Ms. Magazine blog that she was not initially a fan, either:
[Shows based on girls’ toys] did not reflect the way I played … I assigned my ponies and my Strawberry Shortcake dolls distinctive personalities and sent them on epic adventures to save the world. On TV, though, I couldn’t tell one girl character from another and they just had endless tea parties, giggled over nothing and defeated villains by either sharing with them or crying – which miraculously inspired the villain to turn nice. Keep reading »
Let’s do the Time Warp, yeaaaah!
Amelia has gone back in time and unearthed a video of Baby Jessica Wakeman (real name: Riley), who is just as opinionated as she is in adult form. Riley is seen shopping in a toy store, with a man I presume is her father, when she goes off on a rant about how pink is not just for girls. You tell ‘em, Riley! And in another 15 years, there is an internship waiting for you at The Frisky. [YouTube] Keep reading »