A world full of princesses: the new feminism?

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Princess car stickers, princess T-shirts and baseball caps, princess lunchboxes, booster seats, luggage… Stop! We’re not all royals!

In Britain (how is it in the rest of the world?) parents douse their daughters in this sickly pink, totally false and irritating fantasy. Every month, some innovative manufacturer designs a new childhood accessory which can be ‘princessified’.

I have to ask why.

A few things strike me.

1.     Why don’t boys get the same treatment?

2.     What do parents have planned for their girls?

3.     If our Kate and William have a girl, will they have this paraphernalia?

I fear those parents might be raising the most self-centred, boorish people. After all, as laypeople, how do we perceive royalty? That they get everything they want. Is this how these glittery pink girls live?

Hoards of princesses now populate the UK. Will they all end up vying for power and kingdoms in their virtual world of monarchy? Millions of girls who’ve been brought up thinking they’re princesses because they’ve got a plastic tiara and some daft plastic shoes. (I wouldn’t have my daughter wearing those…) will one day have to make the transition from royalty to subject.

Something grates on me when I see a girl in a silly T-shirt claiming to be a princess. I want to know what’s behind it.

Is it simply attention-seeking? If so, who’s the attention for? Is it the latent wish of parents (maybe Mums more so, though I hate to point the finger) to dress up as a princess? Be treated as special?

Do parents hope their little one will get red carpet treatment? Is the subtext for this, ‘Please treat me nicely, I’ve been neglected all my life’? I suspect so. Or is it to show the world that if they have a special daughter, they too must be special (Kings and Queens, we assume…)

In fact I think they’re two sides of the same coin. The equation looks something like this: neglect as child = hunger for love in adulthood = craving for attention to substitute lack of real love (including through one’s own offspring) = lost and desperate buying of shiny, bright princess stuff for daughters… It’s just an educated guess.

It reminds me of Michael Caine in The Cider House Rules instilling in the orphans that they were loved, wanted, special: ‘Goodnight, you princes of Maine, you kings of New England.’

But I take it even further. What kind of philosophy does this teach girls? That they can only marry princes (rich guys) or that they’re too good for anyone! (Come on parents, time to get those ‘prince on board’ stickers on your car.)

I’m not a great one for banging on about women’s rights: people need right and that’s that. But I feel slightly frightened about what these boa-wearing, blinged-out, precocious girls will grow up believing about the world.

Is this a parent’s way of opting out of the whole issue?

I think some of it is rooted in the lack of time parents have for their children (boys and girls). So the princess culture is a sort of wholesale, easy, throwing all the elements of good parenting at their daughters in a feather-ridden, diamante, netting-flounced heap. There! Now be a good girl…

Well I’ll watch with interest as a generation of girls realise somewhere in their teens that

  1. there are millions of other princesses out there and
  2. a princess sticker doth not a princess make

If anyone needs royalty status, it’s boys today. My God! Surrounded by waves of these overblown, proud girls who are too good for everyone! Boys, better watch out!

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3 Comments on “A world full of princesses: the new feminism?”

  1. Princess programming is kind of what happens when traditionalism meets corporatism/ consumerism/ feminism.

    In the old days of traditionalism little girls played with dolls and prams and this taught (or allowed them to express) empathy, compassion and mothering instincts. Sure, there was a bit of pressure to conform to your gender role, but no more so than the pressure put on boys to accept their gender role as hardworking, selfless breadwinners who must eschew all desires for comfort, safety, protection, individuality, nice clothes and good health. Feminists often argue that the idea of ‘femininity’ being regarded as demeaning is proof of misogyny in society. In reality it is how women have always maintained a *monopoly* on the right to enjoy comfort, security, protection, individuality etc. Women have always shamed boys for daring to desire these things. This conditions them to reject these things, if only out of the desire to be attractive to women (ie to be called as ‘real man’ and not be called a sissy). But I digress….

    In the post feminist age motherhood is ‘oppression’ and babies must be abandoned as quickly as possible after childbirth to minimum wage workers in day-abandonment centres (AKA daycare centres) so that the mother can get back to her ‘fulfilling’ career in some trendy office, wearing designer suits and serving the corporate hierarchy (ie serving the ‘patriarchy’).

    In this post feminist age many girls (and boys) grow up with virtually no interaction with adult males at all until they are in their mid teens (single moms and her female friends, female daycare staff, female primary school teachers etc). In this all-female environment little girls are much more likely to grow up to define their identity strictly according to their gender, rather than a more healthy self identity as ‘people’ first and as ‘female’ second (which is what happens if they get to interact with their fathers at an early age). As for boys…. without father figures they tend to join gangs and get into criminal activities.

    And so when this hyper-sexualisation of girls (due to lack of male interaction) meets the dumbing down and consumption agendas of the mega corporations the result is an explosion of pink plastic glittery crap. The fact that parents now work six jobs just to pay the bills means children are shoved in front of the Disney channel to be raised by this ‘princess/ warrior programming’.

    Thats my very brief and scatty summary of what’s happening 🙂

    1. Why don’t boys get the same treatment?

    Boys get warrior programming. See video below.

    2. What do parents have planned for their girls?

    They don’t have anything planned. Planning is oppression! Consume, consume, consume!

    3. If our Kate and William have a girl, will they have this paraphernalia?

    That’s a very good question. How about a toilet cleaners outfit….?? 😉

    A silly video…
    Princess Intervention

    A more serious discussion about Hollywood including a discussion of “Princess / Warrior Programming” after about half an hour…….. worth listening to the whole thing… there’s a part 2 out there as well ….
    Freeman, Jamie & Wash Your Brain-Hollywood Mind Control

    • colonelklebb says:

      About the only thing I would dispute in your radical reply is: ‘As for boys…. without father figures they tend to join gangs and get into criminal activities.’ Hmmm, any evidence for that?

      Will watch the videos a bit later but a considered reply which I like!

      Ahh Disney channel… Those girls with huge eyes, waists you can grab with one hand and shapely legs… The shape of things to come…

      • “… Hmmm, any evidence for that?…”

        Yes, studies have shown fatherless upbringing to be the No.1 determining factor for a whole range of childhood/ teenage ‘issues’ in boys and girls including depression, drug abuse, teenage (unwanted) pregnancy, criminality and gang culture.

        In areas where black street crime/ gang culture are prevalent if you factor in (or should that be factor out?) fatherless households the black vs white crime figures balance out…… what I mean to say is, it’s not that black youths are more criminally inclined, it’s that youths with fatherless households are more criminally inclined. More black households just happen to be fatherless, for a variety of reasons, and so this makes it appear that black youths are more criminally inclined – they are not. The point is, the less involved men are in family and community life the more criminality and social dysfunction there is…… which then results in a lot of young men being put in jail, which means a lot more fatherless households…. which just makes it worse.

        And feminists AND the government love to depict young men as thugs because it fits both of their narratives…. narratives which are based on men as a threat – requiring a big ‘daddy’ government to protect us all from them.

        Unfortunately things like feminist attitudes towards parenting and the need for men in the lives of children, rises in divorce rates, welfare which incentivises fatherless households, the war on drugs (caging fathers just for owning the wrong kind of leaf) etc all mean there are more and more fatherless childhoods. This female-heavy upbringing seems to bring out the worst of BOTH sexes and makes them both sexes feel alienated from the opposite sex ie they view the opposite sex as an alien species, defined by their gender. And this only serves to turn every social issue into an over-simplistic ‘gender battle’ (or a competition) which just drives a wedge even further between the sexes.

        It’s a vicious circle 😦

        I’m sorry I can’t provide links to specific studies, but they are out there.


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