Friday, July 1, 2016

It's Okay to be Brave

As a child, my experience and exposure to Disney was probably considered quite limited.  My relationship with Barbie was much more prevalent and influential.  I can remember having multiple Barbie dolls and pretty much all of their accompanying paraphernalia.  My Barbie dolls had to have all of the houses, clothes, cars, pets, etc., and as I grew older I too wanted to have all that my Barbie dolls had.  Having read Christensen's chapter, I can relate to the "secret education" that she writes about in that Barbie and all her notions and potions were my Disney.  The dream that Mattel portrayed in having a Barbie was everything I thought all girls wanted.  Barbie's life and all that she had became the standard by which I hoped my life would become; pretty high standards for a 10-year old girl.

Now, I have a five year old girl who is everything Disney.  She loves the princesses and knows all their names.  She wears their dresses, tiaras and carries their wands.  She knows the lyrics to their theme songs and the names of their princes.  Her birthday cakes and parties have been modeled after their themes and her nickname is "princess".

That being said, let it be known that Gabriella is what we refer to as a "tom girl"; yes, she loves her ribbons, bows and all that is girlie but don't be fooled though, she is one tough nut.  In fact, if I had to find a connection between my daughter and any of the Disney princesses it would be Merida from Brave.  She doesn't sacrifice anything to realize her dreams; in fact, she is rather unyielding in most circumstances.  She is fiercely independent and shakes off the notion of help before trying anything herself first.  At a young age, she appears to have found a balance between Disney and all its subliminal messages and her own strong, free-willed personality.  The movie Brave appeared to be more progressive than its predecessors in that Merida is a strong-willed, independent young girl.  I think the word could use a bit more of this type of princess.

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