The 7yo Original Pigtail Pal went to school today with unbrushed hair. Again. I asked if we could run a comb through it, specifically for the pieces sticking straight up in back. She flatly refused, saying she they were her crown and she wanted to show her friends that there are different ways to be a princess.
I asked why this was important to her, and she said “Princesses are supposed to be powerful and smart and daring. Have you SEEN what they did to Merida? I know, right? She isn’t ready to rule Scotland or Ohio. She is with a bunch of girls standing like they are trying to catch frickin’ boyfriends or butterflies. *gasp* Mom! I swore!”
“No worries, Smalls. It is pretty frickin’ insane,” I relied.
Disney, and specifically the Disney Princess brand, was a major influence when I was creating my company Pigtail Pals back in 2009. Back then we were Pigtail Pals – Redefine Girly with the tagline that girls are “Smart, daring and adventurous”. I know have a seven year old girl who has been raised with empowering messages and has had a girlhood virtually free of Disney Princesses.
Until Merida came along. We fell in love with Merida. We purchased Merida toys, my first purchase as a parent from the Disney Store. Our whole family loved “Brave” and we spent the summer galloping on imaginary horses and shooting arrows from our pool noodle bows. There were early indications that Disney couldn’t help itself, and because the Princess brand is so narrow, Merida would be made over super dainty and “princessified” in order to fit in with the rest of the merchandise. What Disney doesn’t seem to get is that people loved Merida because she was different.
A child’s brand should not be sexed up in order to be more profitable, but that is exactly what Disney does. That is why my family does not do Disney. The “come hither” eyes and delicate poses and coy looks….No. That is not how we raise little girls into self confident and strong young women. My daughter’s worth is not her sex appeal.
My daughter has the natural born right to plant her feet firmly, look you directly in the eye, shoulders square, and claim her right to take up space in this world.
You can sign our petition HERE.