I just read What's Wrong with Cinderella? from the NY Times magazine. I highly recommend you go read it, while it's still available and not archived (yes, you need an account but it's free as long as it hasn't been archived. Even NY Times journalists need to get paid).
The premises discussed in this article make me so angry I can't even spit straight. And perhaps I might be a wee bit drunken, which just makes me even angrier, but maybe that means if i offend you, I can claim it was the booze? But no, not really.
I am not, never have, nor will I ever be a princess. You think that blog name is something cute? I'm big, people, and I always have been. I've got size 11 feet. I really and truly am big-boned. I hope you enjoyed your prom 'cuz I never went to one, and I can count on one hand the number of "dates" I've experienced. If I were walking down the street, you wouldn't say that I'm fat, but I'm large. The word "petite" would not ever apply to me, even if I were starving. I'm not delicate, graceful, nor do I have a waspy waist and size-A non-existant breasts. I'm BIG. And I look like I have consumption when I wear pink.
There shouldnt' be ANYTHING WRONG with being a waspy waist and having size-A non-existant breasts. Or any variation on this. My problem with this is that there IS something wrong. And there's something very wrong when there's no other choice than to be Pink pink pink princess all the time and if you're not, you're not truly a girl.
From the department of too much information:
I have long hair. I've got the big, thick, to-die-for gorgeous hair, but you know why I keep it that way? Okay, one, I'm lazy and unwilling to spend time with either "product" (gah, when did THAT become a descriptive noun?) or hairspray in my hair, but also: to prove I'm female. No one disputes that you're a girl when you've got long hair.
I've got bad skin, big feet, I look ill in pink and I haven't got that "natural femininity" or whatever that all these other women have. I went into a very "masculine" career. It makes me unbearably sad when I see that even fewer woman are going into this particular field and the sciences in general. Why? because it's not "feminine". As if feminine is supposed to mean more hugs and less brains. I like hugging. This should not be a separate thing than brains.
And it makes me furious that marketers are setting up these kind of role models all for the almighty dollar. "We're just giving them what they want," they say, but the point of parents is not to feed your children candy all the time. And not perpetuate the myth that either you are delicate and fragile and must be catered to and good and kind and sweet and perfect and dance impeccably and look great in ball gowns but oh, we couldn't have you doing anything that gets your hands dirty, not in that lovely gown. Or you are a big MANLY MAN and you take care of your little princess so she doesn't worry her little (dumb) head. Don't lie to yourself that this isn't about brains and capability. There is no adjective for 'capable' in the whole Princess mythos. It's about being coddled. Why else would you be wearing a corset and gown. Why else would you need Prince Charming to COME AND SAVE YOU. Fuck that.
At the same time I always so desperately wished Mr. Charming would show up with 2 dozen roses and tell me I was beautiful and lovely and everything he ever wanted in a woman. Oh sure, grow your own garden and I did so, thanks very much, but that doesn't make you not stop and wonder just what the hell's wrong with yourself that you seemed to be so at odds with The Perfect Girl.
Now, I go shopping for clothes for my little 6-month-old neice and it makes me ill to see the choices. Pink, pink, more pink, maybe some purple for the girls and flowers and teddy bears and cute sayings and "born to shop". The boy's clothes? Navy, grey, bright red, army green. With lots of machinery and camo mixed in. All of the boy's clothes say "capable" and all the girl's clothes say "delicate". At 6 months?
Please realize what this all might be doing to little girls. I was never, ever good enough. NEVER good enough, despite the grades and top schools and the hairspray (oh yes, for a bit) and the goodness and kindness and tight shoes and frilly dresses. Years and years and I'm still fucked up in the head about all this crap and just what is "feminine" anyway? Is it really Sleeping Beauty in her gorgeous gown, waiting for El Charmino to slash through the thorns, defeat the evil witch, and wake her up? Thanks, I'd rather be Maleficent. At least she's handy with a wand.