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Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Princessification of America: STOP THE MADNESS

     A couple of years ago, when my angel was 4, we took a family trip to Disney World. BEST VACATION EVER! I'm a Disney girl. I would go to Disney every year if I could afford to. So let me preface this by saying that I love everything Disney! And when we met the Disney Princesses, I was very impressed. They were kind and gentile and made each little girl feel like she had a personal relationship with her. It was beautiful. My favorite Disney Princess, however, is not a princess by any stretch of the imagination, but they group her in with them anyway. My favorite "princess" is Mulan. In case you don't have any Disney kids in your life, Mulan is the Chinese girl who's elderly father is called to war. She cuts her hair off and goes in his place risking death by both the Huns and her own people because the penalty for impersonating a man is execution. Mulan is the Disney heroine I want my girls to emulate. What did Cinderella do? Cry into a pumpkin because she couldn't go to a party? Wait for a fairy godmother to put some more diamonds in her tiara? Sorry Cindy, you're cute and sweet, but the last thing I want my kids to expect is that their godmother (or their daddy) is going to come along and dry every tear and fix every misfortune.

     And this is the problem with America. (Okay, so maybe it doesn't trump the budget deficit, but it makes me just as crazy.) I am so sick of listening to young girls whine about their lives. "FML" That phrase turns my stomach. Really? Is your life SO hard? You didn't get those designer boots you asked for. Or you only got to wear 1 gown at your Super Sweet 16. Or your daddy won't send you anymore money to spend on pot and beer at college. Get a friggin' job like I did!  How did American girls get like this? Surely we can't  just blame Disney's singing mice, but a girl doesn't just start acting like this.  It starts at a very young age. "Mommy, I want that!"  "It's not fair, she got presents and I didn't."

     Whatever happened to the word, "NO!"? Now I have 2 adorable little girls. They are both so cute that at some point in their short little lives, they have already realized that if they are sweet and cute and charming that they can get just about anything they want from most adults. This is dangerous! Mr. Jones will tell you I am the softy parent. I don't like to say, no. Sometimes it's really hard, but I do. I've gotten really good at ignoring the crying, stepping over the bodies wailing on my kitchen floor while I make dinner, and carrying a screaming child out of a toy store empty-handed. I just look at them and say, "I have an idea,  maybe you should cry about it." I am so afraid that my girls will grow up to think they are princesses, sometimes I just say no for the sake of saying no.
     I am NOT a princess! At first glance at work or in public, you might be fooled by my professional camouflage and think that I care who sewed the label into your pocketbook. I don't. You won't see a flash of red under my shoes. (I'm only wearing shoes because the health codes say I have to.)  As I told you before, my father raised me to "cowboy up." My mother let me scream in the toy store too. And somehow, in my group of girlfriends I was always "the muscle" (which is why I always get the job of carrying the heavy stuff at baby showers.) I've hiked up riverbeds in rainstorms with blisters covering my feet inside mud caked hiking boots. I've ridden mountain goat trails in hail storms and literally had get back on the horse after I've fallen off. I've mucked horse stalls, been thrown up on more times that I can remember, slept on the ground, showered for 5 weeks straight in cold water at dawn, not showered for days at a time because there wasn't any running water, and eaten whatever I was served because it was my only option. I don't really need much to be happy.  I chalk it all up to experience. You won't ever see a tiara on MY head. (Maybe a crown of flowers or a wreath of leaves....but NEVER a tiara.)
     When Will and Kate got married this year, the whole world watched. A real Princess! And I think the Duchess of Cambridge is a good example of a princess for the most part. She has grace and class and so far has been a positive role model for young girls in the way she conducts herself in public. The problem is that she is not the kind of princess American girls are aspiring to be. They want to a princess like Paris, or Lindsay,  or Kim. They want to be famous and rich and tell everyone what to do and have no consequence for their actions. I am so done with that. Women in popular culture have become rancid. They disgust me with their never ending materialism and vanity. All they are teaching our children is that it's what's on the surface that's important, Money = Happiness and that acquiring things and getting attention is more important than giving of oneself, sacrificing for love, and being grateful for whatever we do have.

They wear tiaras, but they are no princesses.

So, if you've ever wanted to smash the tiara off a 14 year old girl's head, join me in my princess revolution. Say no to your child. Turn off MTV, any show with "Housewives" in it, and stay away from stores that put their logo across your tween's backside. Put down the credit cards.  Teach your children to pray and be grateful for the many blessings in their lives. Be an example of humility and selflessness,  and if you feel so inclined, pass this on to anyone who will listen....or just click "like" or "share." That'll do.