Back to this morning: it was a normal Christmas break kind of morning. The boys were playing with their new toys, and Sweet E and I were working on making some Christmas treats while listening to the soundtrack of the latest animated Disney movie. Since two of the main characters are sisters, Sweet E and I each picked a sister and were going through the songs singing the correct parts. It was silly and relaxing and just plain fun. Until...
See, this is where all this thinking of mine gets me into trouble. It was all fun and games this morning...until the evils of the "Disney princess" syndrome crept into my mind. You know, the "we're doing our daughters a disservice by letting them watch movies where the princess is always saved by a prince" argument. When I first read about this several years ago, I have to admit that I took the bait. I clamped onto this idea like my youngest does an Oreo cookie. There was no way I was letting go of it, no matter how much I loved the movies. My daughter was not going to grow up thinking she needed a man to save her.
Time passed and my resolve started to soften, for some good and some not so good reasons. The inescapable marketing of each new Disney princess movie reached my young girl and pulled her in. She was so excited. How could I say no? (Don't judge. I was young and didn't know any better!) At the same time, I started rethinking the whole thing. Why was it that I didn't want her to watch these movies again? As a young girl myself, I loved it when I found a book or movie where a girl was the strong and brave character. But, I equally loved the stories of valiant rescuers, epic battles, and the damsel needing to be saved by someone stronger. Watching every Disney movie ever made, I didn't turn out thinking a man would solve all of my problems. So, why had I thought that these narratives would ruin my daughter? Disney had even turned the tide a bit and had started making their female characters strong and brave. Was this even a real issue anymore? A quick Google search told me that it was still an issue for a lot of moms, but being the mature (young) parent that I was, I said "Whatever!" and dove whole-heartedly with my kids into enjoying the beautiful music and epic stories of Disney movies, old and new. And we loved it.
My daughter is 10 years old now, and with each new movie, there has still been a seed of doubt. I reanalyzed my decision with every movie that came out. I wondered if this was the one that was going to send my daughter off the deep end and cause her to turn into some girly-girl who did nothing but sit around and sigh and wait for her prince to come. I second-guessed my decision everyday...until today, that is. Now, readers, I have to ask you to hold on for a minute. Partly because my kids are starving and waiting for me to make them lunch. But also because this is turning into a way bigger post than I had intended, and I don't want to lose anyone before we get to the good part. It is just around the bend, I promise. Stick around for part two!