Have Disney Princesses Ruined Girls' imaginations?

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/01/2011 ( 40 moms have responded )

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Ok so it's a horrid title for a debate, but whatever. It was brought up by another member that Disney Princesses have turned girls into anti feminists, I don't agree but I was wondering on other people's thoughts.

My 7 year old daughter plays with Barbies and Disney Princess dolls (she used to have the dress up trunk until she got too big for the dress up clothes) She watches the Disney movies and her favourite princess is Ariel (She had to choose the one who gave up her voice to meet a prince *shakes head* Why not Belle? At least she was smart).

However she also is very good at math and wants to be a doctor (or a pet baby sitter and I haven't quite figured out what that one does) She runs around- mostly with boys because there are mostly boys her age in our apartment complex and plays Halo with her step dad.

So what that her favourite colour is pink and her favourite animal is a cat? I haven't seen anything showing that watching Disney princesses morphs a girl into waiting for her prince charming. It sure didn't do that to me.

Anyone else care to add their thoughts?

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Kellie - posted on 10/01/2011

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I think we think to much and ruin perfectly innocent pastimes worrying about shit that doesn't need worrying about.

I like princess and fairytales, they make a very nice fucking change from all the violence that happens everyday, it's FANTASY for fucks sake. If my kid wants to play with or pretend to be a princess why should I discourage her? Because she *might* grow up to think a man will save her? Save her from what exactly?

How about we stop overanalysing these things and let the kids keep the innocence, fun and enjoyment in such things alive.

Stifler's - posted on 10/01/2011

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It's a story. Does watching Pretty Woman make me want to be a prostitute so I can marry some rich guy? and I agree with Jodi, feminism is about women having a choice.

Charlie - posted on 10/03/2011

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I said it once and I will say it again ....adults have a fantastic ability to read too much into childrens fantasy and play reguardless of whether it is based on a story from a book, a movie, a toy or something made inside their head and utterly destroy it.

Trust me, the kids arent sitting there talking about their stance on anti feminism and their love for body dismorphia.

You know who kills the imagination? parents and over structured schools.

Jodi - posted on 10/01/2011

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Disney princesses have been around longer than the concept of feminism......not all of them, but many have. Many of the stories themselves have been around much longer.

BUT, I would also like to address the fact that feminism is about choice. So if a princess chooses to give something up for her prince, that is not anti feminism in the least. It was her choice. Just as I have chosen to be home with my children now, just as I chose to go back to work when my son was younger. Because of the feminist movement, those options have been available to me.

Kellie - posted on 10/03/2011

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Feen is right, it is Adults that ruin it by looking into and overanalysing things too much.

Far out, years ago woman couldn't do this or that because they were women, now they STILL can't do this or that for fear of being OMG a girl. Our daughters can't wear pink, or watch a princess movie because they might, heaven forbid, act girly. Whatever the hell that means.

So really we're still oppressing girls by not allowing them even the choice of these activities.

I dare any of you to say you've NEVER wanted someone to come along and save you from something even if you've never seen a Disney movie in your life. It's human nature to want someone to swoop in and save us when we feel there is no light, BUT that doesn't mean we can't save ourselves, just that every now and again it's nice to have the support of another person to help you through that hard time.

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♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/03/2011

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So you mean to tell me that my California Dream Midge wasn't supposed to be given a mullet and buried in the sand? That's very dissapointing to me :)

The only things my 7 year old actually uses correctly (Thank God) are her helmet and her bike. Everything else is haphazard.

Stifler's - posted on 10/03/2011

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my kid never plays with toys how they are supposed to be played with anyway.

Brittany - posted on 10/03/2011

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Someone brought up the Monster High Dolls. My daughter likes those dolls. Then again I have noticed that she is not very impressionable. She kind of does her own thing. Dances to her own beat.

When she first asked for one I looked at her and she laughed at me. I asked her if she knew that Vampires are not real. And she called me a silly mommy and told me she knew they were not real but, she is pretty. So eh...

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/03/2011

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I played with Barbies as a child and I never exactly grew out of it so when my 7 year old was 4 I bought her a Barbie that I wanted. One of her babysitters also bought her a Barbie. My mom doesn't like Barbie so she always bought my daughter craft stuff and clothes. My MIL has bought her Barbies, Hello Kitty stuff and craft supplies.

My 7 year old and I do head towards the Barbie aisle, but we live in Canada and everything is double what it was in the States so no more Barbie stuff. She did just recently buy a used Ariel bath toy doll at Vaule Village though.

Donna - posted on 10/03/2011

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no my daughters just go right for thoes things, its like when i say no thats too expensive, they sniff out something more expensive and they r only 6 so its not like they understand that this is more expensive than that yet

Jenny - posted on 10/03/2011

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Do you find your girls naturally went for those sorts of toys or have they always been provided? My daughter always had a few dolls kicking around but always went straight for books and crafts. The only time I saw her pick up a Barbie was to sew it a dress.

Donna - posted on 10/03/2011

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i used to hate the doll shoes bc they wouldnt stay on the doll then my daughters would get very very upset and throw fits over thoes stupid things lol

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/03/2011

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Heather... how do you know my brother? :) Of course the vaccuum cleaner at most of my Barbie shoes.

Lady Heather - posted on 10/03/2011

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No need to worry about the heels. They just get lost or eaten by your little brother anyways.

Donna - posted on 10/03/2011

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i totally agree. my daughters are into disney and the whole princess thing, barbie, moxie and bratz dolls, they love dresses and make believe. They love make up and getting pretty and painting their nails and just being girly girls. i dont see anything wrong with it.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/03/2011

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Laura I saw those... yikes! What is with Mattel and come fuck me heels? That is honestly my biggest issue with dolls, the footwear.



I don't have an issue with the monster idea itsself though, I think that was creative.



Oh I have to ask now, has anyone on here heard of Winx Club? That show is ok, but the girls need some more clothes.

Merry - posted on 10/03/2011

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Yeah it's ridiculous! And honestly I don't like the vampire craze for teens, but for little girls are even worse!

Lady Heather - posted on 10/03/2011

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Had to google. Ahahahaha. Now I hate the whole vampire craze even more. Will it never end?

[deleted account]

My daughter has all kinds of dolls in all shapes and in all nationalities.Not because i wanted to make a point but thats what is out now and she loves dolls.So see loves any doll.Not just barbies which is all i had.Again i didn't want to look like barbie.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/02/2011

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As long as my daughters don't want Bratz dolls I'll be fine. Seriously all those dolls do is party, dress up, shop and get collogen injections in their lips.

Lady Heather - posted on 10/02/2011

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I looooved my Barbies and it didn't hurt my self-image or what I thought was normal or anything like that. You know what did that for me? Having an older sister who had double Ds at 13 years old. I was still flat as a pancake at 15. Haha.

I guess I don't read too much into this stuff. I think I'm pretty well-adjusted and I watched all this crap and played with the princess things. I also played with trucks and dirt and transformers. I wasn't really thinking on a very deep level when I was a really little kid. Everything was just fun.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/02/2011

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Well I did ask Abby if she thought Barbie was pretty (all of her Barbies look like they went through a tornado- cross country travel will do that to a doll) and she said yes. Then she asked if I thought she was pretty and I said yes. She was happy with that. Then she ran outside in her bright pink jeans and Hello Kitty shirt to play with a friend of hers in the mud before he had to go somewhere with his parents.

My 7 year old likes baby dolls and princesses, but she also plays Halo with my DH. So since I don't worry about her going out and shooting people I don't worry that she'll get some princess complex either.

Abby also likes finding Nemo... but I don't think she's going to flush herself or her grandma's fish down the toilet to see if it goes to the ocean any time soon.

Brittany - posted on 10/02/2011

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My daughter if four and let me tell you she is the head chick around here. She plays with her brothers, pushes dump trucks, wrestles, watches football.....all of this......dressed in her Tinkerbell costume.

Caoilainn does not like the Princess collection, except Tiana but, I think that is because, we live in the deep south and she can actually see and experience some of the things from Princess and The Frog.

Merry - posted on 10/02/2011

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But they still see their barbies appearance and think they're beautiful and think that's what they want to look like. And it's unreasonable! No one is like barbies.
So idk, it's just not something that will be in our house.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/02/2011

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Commenting on Barbie: The doll has been the following:
A police officer,
A Chef (it's a male dominated profession)
An Archetect
A Doctor
A nurse (The high heels do make me cringe)
An Astronaut
A rock star
A teacher
A pilot
A fire fighter
A soldier (all 4 branches)
A presidential candidate
A Vet
A race car driver
A TV anchor
A model
And the list goes on.

When I played with my Barbies I never really thought of how out of proportion they were, neither did my friends. I usually just thought- how are we gonna beat Shredder (So I played with my brother) Or how will Barbie taste in this casserole (I really played a lot with my brother and a Little Tykes kitchen too) I believe if you put too much emphasis on something then the kid will notice. I doubt my daughter notices anything except how hard it is to get Barbie clothes on some times.

Jenny - posted on 10/02/2011

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We have taken an active stance against media, marketing and gender expectations since the kids were born. So princess stuff has always been out. If they want me to advertise their product on my children, they need to be paying us. They're not getting a dime of our money.

We wanted to raise a girl who sets her own expectations and did not have them mapped out ahead of time. It pisses me off to no end that I have to go to multiple stores to find a simple pair of shoes that aren't covered in pink, sparkles or characters from shows. Or toy bins. We wanted a set and the only ones at Toys R Us were either Disney Princess for girls or Cars for boys. Is there something wrong with primary colours? Hell, the entire "girls section" looks like a Pepto Bismol factory threw up on it. It has been a constant battle but we are seeing in our 8 year old that we are raising a trail blazer, look out world.

[deleted account]

Laura, maybe if you had been allowed to watch the movies as a little girl you would've grown out of those thoughts... like MOST little girls do. Just a thought. I have no clue.

I STILL want a 'prince' to rescue me and it has nothing to do w/ a movie or anything. This life is HARD to do alone.

[deleted account]

"I dig Shrek cause that woman can fight :) But, even she spends time waiting for a man to rescue her, fix her, save her ... she figures it out in later movies and learns to fix, rescue, save herself ... so better "

My issue with Shrek (which I love btw) was the message that also sits in Beauty and the Beast. That love alone with change a 'beast' or 'ogre' into the perfect husband.

Merry - posted on 10/02/2011

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But if you want to stir up this debate a bit ill go into why I disapprove of Disney princesses and barbies.
It's not the damsel in distress thing really.
It's the body image
I'm so sick of all the little girls obsessed with these stick thin tall tall tall gorgeous perfectly shaped faces and big old boobs!
Tbh I would rather my daughter find a good decent man to 'save' her then be a police officer or soldier.

Merry - posted on 10/02/2011

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Ok I have a few conflicting thoughts
1- I wasn't allowed to watch Disney princess movies until i was a teen
2- as a teen I was very much looking for a man to 'save' me and protect me
3- I really like being saved and protected by matt :)
4- we don't want our kids watching Disney princess or having barbies. We don't think they're good movies or toys.

Jenni - posted on 10/02/2011

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I can't stand the whole damsel in distress image some of the princess role models portray. Useless characters like Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Ariel and Snow White who are lost until their leading male character comes and rescues them. I don't want my daughters growing up thinking they need a man to complete them or feel whole.



I don't mind Fiona... because she kick's ass and is a pretty strong role model. Or even Rapunzel in Tangled, Tiana (Princess and the Frog) and quite a few newer princesses. But I still think they have a long way to go before they reflect Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth I & II, Hatsheput, Cleopatra, Queen Isobella etc. Powerful female royalty.



You can still be into girly, girly stuff however, and be a kick ass woman. ;)

I would never deny my daughters princess stuff. I love seeing my girls dressed up like princesses or fairies, too darn adorable. I think if I teach them strong enough messages on what it means to be female... they will know they have the option to decide for themselves whether they want to be an business executive or a mommy. :)

[deleted account]

I asked my two year old what she wanted to be when she was a big girl.Just after i asked my 7 year old the same question and her reply was a police woman.
My two year old got very excited and and said"A princess and i will live in a big castle"lol
Its harmless and i agree with most of you moms.Why look so much into harmless fun for kids.
I was very much into princess stuff and was sure i was going to meet my prince..i would pretend to get married by putting the end of the curtains on my head as a veil.lol I got older and it did not appeal to me anymore.I am not an anti feminists.

JuLeah - posted on 10/01/2011

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I don't think it is Disney per say that is the problem, but the gentle message given again and again that life will be perfect IF ... we have a man who ....

I dig Shrek cause that woman can fight :) But, even she spends time waiting for a man to rescue her, fix her, save her ... she figures it out in later movies and learns to fix, rescue, save herself ... so better

Bridgette - posted on 10/01/2011

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I think it is more people tired of the pricesses altogether that think this, I believe what a kid likes (trains, dolls, etc) has nothing to do with what they will end up like. Better liking these characters than others which are a bad influence!

[deleted account]

Disney princesses ruin nothing. An obsession can do that, but an obsession over anything can be equally as harmful.

My girls liked princesses quite a bit as younger girls and at almost 10 will still watch and enjoy princess movies (both Disney and Barbie). Life is currently all about school, gymnastics, and surfing though. They want to be the next Bethany Hamilton.... minus the shark attack. ;)

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