Did we all have a fabulous and frilly Princess Week?
No really. It’s a thing.
Target came up with the idea, and in conjunction with Disney (big shocker there) announced that this past week will be henceforth known as: Princess Week.
Can’t we just pull back the pink curtain and call this week what it really is? “Buy lots of pink plastic crap that reinforces traditional gender stereotypes and frilly dress up for girls only week” – or would that be too much of a mouthful?
And, before anyone jumps down my throat – let me include my usual disclaimer that there is nothing wrong with the color pink (it’s my son’s favorite color!), and there are actually even some princesses out there that I totally dig. Really.
My issue with Princess Week, despite Target/Disney’s insistence that it’s all about finding your “inner sparkle” is that:
a. Let’s be honest – it’s about merchandising and selling more branded crap. They’re creating a week that on the surface sounds great and potentially empowering, but the bottom line is that it’s devised to empty out your wallet and continue fostering a culture of consumerism. Your child’s inner sparkle costs anywhere from $9.99 to $19.99 and beyond.
b. It’s aimed solely at girls.
I’ve written about Princesses before, and in fact had my very own “Princess Week” (pink crap not included) over at Bitch magazine.
I don’t have anything new or earth shattering to add since what I wrote there. I still take issues with the messages that most marketed princesses sell – both their messages about what it means to be a girl, and the branding that comes along with it. The fact that two huge corporations have found yet another way to capitalize on both these aspects pisses me off, frankly. I’d much rather they sell a brand of princesses more along these lines:
Many parents might be rushing to the stores to stock up on “inner sparkle” in the form of DVDs, toys, costumes, art supplies, food, etc… Over here, we’re too busy singing karaoke (no really, it’s the new “cool” thing here. oy.), digging for worms (yay Spring!), and reading books about different kinds of princesses.
In the meantime, check out these fab posts from two of my pals:
And, I would remiss if I didn’t include a link to this little clip of Stephen Colbert interviewing Dame Julie Andrews…they talk princesses, inner sparkle, brussel sprouts, and rusty trombones. No, really.
ETA: You MUST check out this fabulous resource from A Mighty Girl: The Ultimate Guide to Independent Princesses.