Where Have All The Good Princesses Gone?

Posted: October 31, 2005 in Uncategorized
My daughter is a princess for Halloween.  Was speaking to another father whose little girl is also going to be a princess.
 
My friend asked me, "which one?"
 
I said, "I don’t know.  The good princess kind."
 
He said, "better be careful, princesses are role models… and there are some pretty bad princess role models out there."
 
"Really?"
 
"Yep.  Take Ariel from the Little Mermaid.  Basically told the dad to shove it and made a deal with the devil.  Classic stuff.  The dad had to eventually go to hell to save her."
 
"What?"
 
"No foolin’.  Not something I want my little girl to model after."
 
I said, "wow, I hadn’t thought of it that way."
 
He said, "oh, believe me, you will.  How about that Belle in Beauty & The Beast?  Chick dates animals, for cryin’ out loud."
 
I responded with a shiver and went silent for a moment.  Then I had a thought:  "I see what you mean.  Hmmm.  Even Snow White hung out with a pretty motley crowd… a bunch of sloppy under-achievers, eh?"
 
"Yes, yes, that’s right!" he said enthusiastically, seeing that I was finally clueing in to this modern day dad dilemma.
 
I was dazed.  A world that I thought was innocent and safe was now riddled with danger and questionable behavior.
 
" ‘Bout the best princess role model out there is Cinderella," he finally ventured.
 
My brow furrowed.  I was suddenly distrustful of all princesses.
 
"No, seriously," he said sensing my angst.  "Think about it.  Great work ethic and a phenomenal attitude, especially with such a rough upbringing.  Always presentable.  Likes gardening.  Can dance up a storm.  See what I mean?"
 
Again, a bit of silence, until I said, "yes, but it would have been good if she went to college and was more of a self-made woman, not completely constrained by that Prince Charming thing, don’t you think?"
 
It was his turn to furrow his brow.  "Hmmm.  Bummer, maybe she’s not such a great role model, either."
 
We both stood there, bobbing our heads in a faint, resigned way, reaching that wall of inevitability:  Where have all the good princesses gone?
 
I could only think of one thing:  As a female role model, good thing her mom is as good as gold!
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Comments
  1. Unknown says:

    Agreed, ditch the Disney role models their out dated. Life isn\’t about enchantment, it\’s about achievement. Be the role model they look up to, don\’t out source it…

  2. Royal Farros says:

    Was going to put, "It\’s time to buy PIXR"… but while Pixar\’s role models are updated, not sure they\’re just strong _male_ role models. Sigh.

  3. Melanie says:

    Let\’s see, Princess Jasmine hooked up with a vagabond thief Aladdin… Pocahontas went against her fathers wishes and hooked up with the "white man" John Smith…Sleeping Beauty didn\’t grow up with her parents, but again- couldn\’t live on her own either- she went straight from fairy babysitters to a man to take of her… but Mulan actually went to war to save her fathers life…true, it was against his wishes…but it was valiant nonetheless (However, I\’m not sure she was an actual Princess) However, if you look at all these stories… it\’s the mother figure that is really absent in all of them… maybe that\’s the real story to bring to Dr. Phil… how the lack of a mother figure is what is the downfall for these foreboding women of aristocracy. Good thing your little girl has such a great Mom- so you\’re right, she\’ll be the perfect princess.

  4. Royal Farros says:

    Hey, Melanie. Gotten a number of verbal comments about Pocahontas, who seems to be everyone\’s choice for best female role model.Can\’t tell from your tone how you\’re reacting to my partially tongue-in-cheek posting.But — as someone that grew up with three sisters (no brothers) — and as someone that has been in a company with more than 70% female employees — it *is* hard for me to look at the "classics" and say, "wow, now there\’s a strong female role model for this day and age."To be honest, conflicting this, though, is the "new dad" factor for me. It\’s truly an amazing effect. It moves things from the academic to the first-hand observable.For example, the nature vs. nurture debate that has been going on in Psych 1 classes forever. Every student knows *to their core* that environment dictates how a kid turns out (Jung, et. al.)Until you have a baby.Then, you realize that they\’re hardwired… they *are* who they *are*.So what is my point with this?Really, it\’s triggered by your last sentence: "… so you\’re right, she\’ll be the perfect princess."Academically — and with everything in my background — I want to gag and be offended.But as a new dad, I *like* thinking of my little girl as a princess.So I think you\’re right: Ultimately, dad\’s may just be mush in all of this — but the absence of a strong mother figure is really what\’s lacking — is the real tragedy.P.S. By the way, I haven\’t seen Mulan. But here\’s a thought: If my daughter died trying to save me, I\’m not sure I wouldn\’t feel like my life was over anyway: I can only imagine a life of immense, bottomless grief and guilt. Maybe mom\’s & dad\’s are just hardwired that way, too… ?