My family has very strong women. My mother never laughed at my dream of Africa, even though everyone else did because we didn’t have any money, because Africa was the ‘dark continent’, and because I was a girl.
My family has very strong women too. I’ve talked in a previous post about my mother being a feminist; being unstoppable. Growing up I witnessed her doing everything and anything she was capable of, including plumbing, electrical wiring for the house, changing a car tire, fixing the washing machine, building a closet and fixing the car’s engine whilst on the road. My father wasn’t much of a handy-man, so my mom was the default fixer upper.
It’s time for the second installment of my article “don’t make your child into a princess”.
This section will focus on the idea that as women, media tells us we have only one source of pride and value as a human being: our physical beauty. Without youth, smooth skin, white teeth, shiny strong hair and a thin figure we are valueless and completely unworthy – or so we are told. We have to do anything it takes to be pretty in order of deserving love and acceptance.
Within fifteen minutes of watching TV or looking at a magazine, 80% of women start feeling bad about their appearance. Their confidence fails and their self-esteem lowers, making them become self-conscious and self-critical. This strategy has been developed by advertising with the sole purpose of selling us women products that we don’t really need, anything from make-up to tooth paste to hair coloring to face creams and weight loss products and programs.
I have noticed lately a great amount of little girls, some as young as one or two years old, all made up and dressed up as princesses. These little girls are not rehearsing for a play or dressed in costume for halloween; they are “embodying” an “every day” princess.
This, of course, is nothing new; the archetype of the “princess” has been around for a very long time, and it is prevalent in children’s books and stories. Disney has done a lot to push into little minds the idea that “every girl is a princess”, and it sells millions of dollars in videos, dresses, accessories and plastic toys to complement the illusion.