OK, I love the Disney princesses and I don’t care who knows it. So, I got a huge kick out of Jon Cozart’s sweetly hilarious youtube video about what happens to Disney princesses “After Ever After.” This is the guy (AKA “Paint”) who did the viral video on Harry Potter in 99 seconds. This new one, which is already nearing a million views, is really fun: Here it is.
This was especially timely for me, as I have just come from a whirlwind trip to Disneyland with my daughter Liza, having been at the University of California Irvine last week to give a talk on Avon in Africa.
I really wanted to take a picture at the Bibbity Bobbity boutique, but it seemed intrusive. They wouldn't even let me walk through there, so I had to be satisfied watching these little girls getting transformed from a distance. It really looked like a lot of fun.
Disneyland has a new feature (at least new to me) that I am sure many will find objectionable. The Bibbity Bobbity Boutique is a hairdressing salon where little girls can get their hair done up as Disney princesses (and buy the appropriate clothing, sold in the same site). This boutique gets 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor and is, according to them, the Number 2 best attraction in Disneyland. And you could totally believe it when standing there watching. There were all shapes and colors of little girl with their hair tied up on top of their heads, held with net and spray and glitter. You could see them all puffed up with pride in their own beauty. It was just great, even if blatantly commercial, enforcing of old stereotypes, and so forth.
I would have killed to have my hair done up like this when I was six or seven years old, as would either of my daughters. And–guess what–none of us were turned into weaklings by having had a girly girl childhood.
Liza says her favorite is Alice, though I think she is much like Merida.
Though my daughters have grown up clearly feminist, the Disney princesses were as much part of their childhood as of mine. Of course, their princesses were different: my favorite will always be Sleeping Beauty, who appeared during my childhood, and I suspect theirs is Ariel, who appeared during theirs. The Disney princesses of their era are stronger, more rebellious, and certainly more diverse.
Now, Merida in Brave ( see previous blog post here) reminds me so much of Liza that this wonderful new heroine may ultimately win my heart over Sleeping Beauty. Maybe.