I read so many Disney books and princess-related books (especially on the history of the parks, biographies of Imagineers, Cast Member memoirs, and fairy-tale psychology books), that I thought I would spotlight one of my favorites at the beginning of every month.
Having just finished re-reading In Defense of the Princess by Jerramy Fine, this is definitely one of my favorite books.
I am both a feminist and a champion of all Disney princesses/heroines- yet a lot of people think that liking princesses is something to look down upon. They think wearing pink and acting feminine somehow makes you weak and inferior- I highly disagree. These same people are also usually critics of the Disney Princess stereotype; the thought that all princesses need saving by a man.
Ms. Fine proves that you can be a both a feminist AND a princess. Not all princesses are weak, especially the more modern princesses like Moana, Tiana, and Merida. They are determined to make their own destiny, with or without a man. Some even do the saving themselves- Ariel, the mermaid most critics love to bash for “giving everything up for a man,” saves her prince (a fact which most viewers conveniently continue to forget). These are all women we should celebrate- even the older heroines, like Snow White and Cinderella. This book shows that it is the spirit of the princesses, and not their love lives, that count- their courage, their kindness, their bravery, and their determination.
The author even goes into the psychological effects that Disney princesses and all things pink have on little girls growing up, and why it’s not such a bad thing to have your child want to be a princess. She makes the argument that ALL girls are princesses, whether or not we have a tiara. As long as we feel and act royal on the inside, that’s all that matters. Ms. Fine wants parents to understand that going through a “princess phase” can actually be a wonderful thing for a little girl to experience, and that it won’t make her weak or seem inferior to others. In fact, this phase can instill girls with a stronger sense of self and tons of inner strength.
If you’re like me and still haven’t grown out of this “princess phase,” then this is the book for you. If you have children, especially little girls, then this is the book for you.
I wish I could write my thoughts on this book more eloquently, but it’s just lovely to see someone defending all the heroines and princesses I grew up with and whom I admire. Girls can still be feminists and sing “Let it Go” from the top of their lungs, and they should not feel guilty for that.
Embrace your inner princess. Your reign has just begun.
Hugs and Fishes,