Fairy Godmothers, Disney Princesses, and a Big Question
I’ve just finished a book I’m calling PAY ATTENTION TO THE FAIRY GODMOTHER. Title comes from a twist my grandmother gave the ending of the Cinderella story. At the end of that classic tale, she would sit back and say, “The prince is nice. Nothing better than a fine, handsome prince. But YOU pay attention to the fairy godmother; she’s the one who got things done.”
Here’s the thing. She was my fairy godmother. She made me feel like I was somebody, a princess, capable of anything. I remember the day I bought my first pair of high heel shoes. My mother told me I had to take them back. I was too young. The proof was in how I wobbled when I wore them. Grandma watched me trying to negotiate my first, long-legged strut and then proceeded to tell me exactly how to carry it off. To this day, I don’t put on a pair of heels without also assuming several inches of attitude.
My own granddaughters, ages 7 and 3, are all about the Disney princesses. They dress up in the gowns; visit the characters regularly at Disneyland–it helps that their father works for Disney Toons. Recently the youngest sent me a card saying she got an Ariel doll for Easter. She was excited. I loved the card. Here’s my concern, if we commercialize feeling like a princess, does it become merely dress-up? My grandmother made sure I knew I was a princess on the inside, no matter how I looked on the outside. Is that different? Or the same with better gowns?
I’m asking because I don’t know.
Love to hear your comments.