Thursday, March 28, 2013

Disney Princes

That's right, I said princes, not princesses.  I've written plenty on the Disney line of princesses... how they are portrayed, how they are marketed, and even how they are twisted to fit the "passive Disney princess" mold (see Mulan).  However, I've also written on their strengths, and how Disney has recently released the "I am a Princess" short video to inspire admirable character traits in real girls of every age.  Girls of all levels of princess-love can find their appropriate level of realistic girl-power or fantasy fun and Disney has created a facet for it.

But what about the guys?  Popular male-centered kid character categories range from pirates to talking Cars.  This is great for play time and imagination exercises, but when it comes time for teaching boys character building, you kind of want to steer clear of the pirates there.  There's no real established theme, like "I am a Princess," and I really think there could be.

I was especially alerted to this by an article I read recently. The author questions the innocence of "girl power" but I say why not empower both girls and boys in the bounds of virtues and character building?  Why can't we be inclusive of all children?

Can we get an "I am a Prince" short video?  Very similar to the girl version, we would see boys at play intermixed with clips from Disney films of princes doing great things. There are plenty examples of brave acts and other qualities we can teach our little ones while empowering them.  Who says chivalry is dead?  Both girls and boys should be able to feel like they are similar to the heroines and heroes of their beloved films, all the while treating each other with respect and dignity.  No one person above another or leaving anyone out.

We've got plenty of Princes and Princesses with minds and manners ready for shaping. Long may they reign. 

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