Monday, February 8, 2010
How to Find a Princess That Can Handle Her Own Drama
We grew up on stories of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, women whose looks could have shot them to the top of Vogue's MVP list but didn't have the common sense to get themselves out of trouble. Without Prince Charming (and a Fairy Godmother or two) to ride to the rescue, they'd still be sweeping up ashes or trapped in a Never-Never-Land of eternal snoozing.
Not to belittle the contributions these women made to present day literature (although I probably should), but isn't it time we started telling our daughters bedtime stories about women with a more promising future than a lifetime spent as a trophy wife to some nameless man walking around living on Daddy's money? Is that really the kind of role model you want her to have? If you're sick and tired of watching princesses smile charmingly while they take whatever dirt their evil stepmother/father's enemies/kingdom's version of a Wicked Witch decides to dish out, try these princess stories for a change!
Mulan. She decides her crippled father's being an idiot, so she runs away from the promise of an arranged marriage to join the army. Saves the kingdom. Becomes a national hero. Do I really need to go on?
The Princess Novels. These modern retellings of our favorite childhood fairy tales turn everything you ever thought about Snow White, The Little Mermaid and Cinderella on its ear. These aren't princesses that need rescuing, I can tell you that! (Although you might want to emphasize that going on a bloodthirsty rampage isn't the best way for a 16 year old princess to pass her time…)
Star Wars. Yes, Han Solo spends some time digging Leia out of trouble on a regular basis, but this hardy princess pulls her weight! This isn't your typical, fainting miss.
Dora the Explorer. She turns into a Snow Princess, that should count for something! This adventurous first grader doesn't back down from anything, always minds her manners, and can make her way from Mexico to the Arctic Circle and back without paging the media first. Who doesn't love that?
The Princess Diaries. She's a little inept. She's a lot lost! And let's face it, Prince Charming is nowhere to be found. But girls will fall in love with Princess Mia as she bumbles her way toward royalty without letting go of what makes her so delightfully normal in the first place.