Disney Princesses

Look, you all know that I love the idea of being a Princess, they have the pretty dresses and the tiaras, the handsome princes, dashing white horses, some sort of involvement with dragons, etc.

But in my head the princess is a kind of kick-ass figure. One of my favourite books as a kid was The Paperbag Princess in which the dragon carries off the prince and the princess has to put on a paper bag (because everything else is burnt up) and rescue him through outwitting the dragon. Or Amy in The Practical Princess who learned how to do housework and farming, etc.

The Disney Princess marketing strategy and merchandise bothers me not because it is about princesses, but because it only shows said princesses doing passive things, prancing about in ball gowns, looking at themselves in mirrors, gazing winsomely at the viewer, head on folded, gloved hands. (Although it does crack me up that sometimes they’re all in their ballgowns except Ariel’s still in her seashell bra and fish tail.)
I’ve seen all the Disney movies, I know that Ariel is capable of so much more than wistful gazing. She worked hard to get her man, she was active, not passive. She spent maybe one evening in a ball gown. Sure, she may not have lead the charge against the villain at the end of the movie, but she did stand up to her in some way.

Belle is the one that really breaks my heart to see reduced to the Disney Princess duvet cover. Again, she only wore that yellow ballgown for one night. She proactively went searching for her father through the dark cold night, through the scary wolf infested forest and when she was confronted by the Beast she stood up to him and offered to take her father’s place in the prison tower. She was scared, but she acted anyway, which is a pretty good definition of bravery if you ask me.

She refused to marry the man she didn’t love, she was bookish and ‘odd’, she disobeyed the Beast and snuck into the forbidden wing and was totally going to touch his magical rose (not a euphemism). She was brave is what I’m trying to get at, and she had way better things to do with her time than pose for photos in her ball gown. She would have been reading for Heaven’s sake.

If the Disney Princess range would just show them doing what the movies had them doing I’d be a lot happier. What the hell is wrong with showing Aurora fetching mushrooms from the forest? Or Cinderella scrubbing the floor? How about Belle curled up in a chair reading a book?

One awesome thing about the movie Enchanted is that it showed Giselle moving away from (some of) the trappings of the Disney Princess and towards more suitable actions. Example: at the start of the movie she is happy to marry Edward even though they have never talked, just sung a song together. After talking to McDreamy about how things work in the Real World, she is not satisfied with that and wants a ‘date’ to get to know each other better and ensure that she really does love the man she chooses.

Another thing is they show her at the end of the movie running her own business. Andalasia Fashions is a huge store with heaps of workers (animal and human if I recall correctly) and is shown to be a success.
It also includes the fantastic scene when Giselle and Edward are reunited and he sings their song and she doesn’t.

Edward: You’re not singing!
Giselle: No, I was thinking.
Edward, bewildered: Why?

None of this even touches on the whole ethnic side of things. Sometimes Mulan and Pocahontas are included in the Disney Princess pictures but more often they aren’t, which leaves Jasmine as the only girl with any colour to her skin. Jasmine, Belle, Ariel, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White.
I don’t know. I don’t think it’s inherently damaging to little girls to like the princesses, I just think they need a more rounded princess experience.

Read also:
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-brooks27mar27,0,7487597.column?track=rss

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Things I love Thursday

* We have been in our new apartment a whole week now. It is much more organised now, and there are tentative plans for a housewarming in the near future.
* Chocolate in the shape of eggs and bunnies. I don’t know why but they just taste so good!
* Our new bath is deep and wide. It’s bliss, like my own private warm clean pond. Mmmmmmmmm. I love baths especially when they are full of Lush goodies, especially bath melts or slices of bubble bar.
* Warm sunshiney weather. Even though I hardly get to be out in it, it’s nice to know we had a proper summer and all that.
* Reading a book that is so good you miss it when you are not reading. I just finished The Time Traveller’s Wife for the second time. I wanted to read it again before the movie came out and it was even better than I remembered. I walked home from work and wished I was still reading it, I missed it like you miss a lovely holiday spot.
* My darling Lee, who looks after me, even when I am whiney/sad/cranky/moody/annoying and bought me a new printer/scanner and makes me delicious dinners. Once again I wonder what I did to deserve such a sweetheart.
* Delicious cupcakes. Light, fluffy, tasty and iced.
* Seeing sting rays in Wellington harbour and just knowing that the harbour isn’t too horribly polluted to support sea life.
*The music of Tori Amos, who sings poetry that actually does speak to my heart and I find it infinitely re-listenable.

PoF: My pjs
CO: The thick soft carpet in my NEW! apartment and keeping it clean. It doesn’t make lint balls, it produces little fluff bunnies.

amazing

Apologies if you have already seen this, but I am constantly amazed by the sad lonely beauty of Garfield comics with Garfield removed. It becomes a psychological study of a lonely modern man….some of it is downright depressing, and some is hilarious and sometimes you really wonder what Garfield was doing in the rest of the frame to make it even remotely funny.

In other news, living in town continues to be awesome, my morning commute is down to a minute and a half. I came home for lunch the other day and put on a load of laundry and read my book and emptied the dish washer.

Unfortunately we have some issues with a cracked cistern on our toilet, but we’re getting that fixed.
We just need to get a few things from Lee’s parents’ garage and the couple more boxes from my parent’s garage and then we’ll be able to get everything unpacked and sorted and we will be officially in.
Bliss.

PoF: Pixels
CO: new apartment

Moved in

We’re in the new place, the furniture is mostly in the right places and the stuff is mostly unpacked. It’s been a full on two days. The new apartment we knew was over ten square metres bigger than the last place, but now that we’re in and the place isn’t completely full of boxes it’s kind of huge.

Living in the middle of town is weird, lots of people shout at each other all day on the street. The vertical bungee is loud. I thought they were making people wear masks when they went on it these days.
The master bedroom’s floor to ceiling windows let in a lot of traffic noise, so we’re using the back room (which is heaps bigger) as the main room as it is very quiet indeed.

I organised the DVDs into TV/anime and then movies and then in obscure categories within that. The movie section has action/adventure, horror/comedy, period romance, contemporary romance, weird ass nightmarish children’s movies and well….sci fi. It makes me ridiculously happy to arrange my DVDs in a way that only I understand….don’t know why.

Lee’s brother is moving into the same building as us next week and has lent us his PS3 and Rock Band over the weekend. I like doing the singing part and the drums but I’m dire at the guitar.
The whole place is very dusty, since it is brand new. I have been vacuuming and setting the irobot to clean quite a lot. Lee and I are both excited to show off the place, and may be having a housewarming as early as next weekend!

PoF: dusty
CO: sleeping is nice

Moving day

Tomorrow we’re moving house. Or rather, moving apartments.

After tomorrow Lee and I will be living in the middle of Wellington City.

I can’t wait! Packing is almost all done. Just the essentials and plates and glasses to go.

Also, and I’m sure you’ve seen this before, but Garfield comics with Garfield removed are amazing. They’re like watching a psychological movie about a lonely man slowly going mad. But way funnier…mostly.

Check it out Garfield minus Garfield.

PoF: Gir
CO: moving moving moving

TV

I love Californication, I really do. I love the character of Hank Moody, he’s so rational and kind and decent. He really loves women and treats them well.

I really hate the character of Mia, who seems to love Hank but is also incredibly manipulative and cruel and horrible.

I love Hank’s daughter Becca, she looks exactly like Emily the Strange and is kick-ass cool. Wonderfully smart and a fantastic actor.

I’m torn on Danni, she’s cool but she’s also manipulative and mean, using consensual sexual experiences as weapons. Which sits pretty badly with me.

I like Hank’s agent Charlie, who is corrupt but loyal. Ugly but awesome, and sticks with Hank no matter what.
Karen is an interesting character but kind of pisses me off in the messed up choices she makes. I admire her, she is like a real person.

It’s an interesting show, set in a kind of heightened porn world where all the problems between people are cured by sex. But it is also incredibly fun and funny and cool with excellent jokes every couple of minutes and real drama as well.

Yay for David Duchovny.

PoF: New spotty hoodie
CO: Californication

Mutants and Masterminds: Potential part 3

…part three of the game, part two of the write up.

We shot forward about a month in time. Giselle had dealt with Lawrence’s unwanted affections by sleeping with Lucas. Dell Dell tried to be friends with Lawrence by forcing him to go shopping for bling and playstation games. Lucas had fun with Giselle and Mark kept his head down and fixed a car. The whole gang stayed in the weird alien secret base…which didn’t go so well…

Mark: I think that fucking alien thing is operating on us in our sleep!
(it totally was.)

Traba didn’t like Lucas sleeping with a mere human, so he tried to get him together with another woman. He organised dance parties for us with random kidnapped drunk people.
Lucas: I’m trying to dance with Giselle.
Giselle: I’m trying to dance with lots of other people.

We also started fighting crime, so as to get the public on our side and hopefully get the police off our backs. Giselle and Mark were mostly the instigators and the others started joining in after a while. Giselle and Mark insisted on X-Men style black leather supersuits from Traba but the others let him choose and got terrible gladiator style stuff.

But for concealing our identities…what to call ourselves?
Mark: I think we should be like Spiderman and use the names the public give us.
Giselle: But what if they name me something skanky?

Traba informed us that the superhero virus was flooding our systems and growing everyday.
Mark: let’s hope we don’t get super cancer.

We discovered more about the evil aliens that had infected us and were trying to take over the world. They were called the Groo, so I suggested we call our super group the Groo Fighters.

Then we were lured into a super giant action scene with a huge meteor plummeting to Earth, opening up and releasing a gigantic purple dinosaur.

Dell: I’m looking for something to punch.
Dale the GM: There’s a big burning strut?
Dell: I punch the big burning strut.

I used my emotional powers to make the dinosaur love me. It stopped it rampaging anyway, although it did sit down on a building. A Star Knight super protector came down to sort things out.
Star Knight: Is this yours?
Dell: what?
Star Knight: Gigantasaur.
Dell: Oh that? Nah.
SK: It shouldn’t really be here.
Dell: Yeah the Groos put it there.
Giselle: We’d like it if you took it away.

The bad guys moved in and started trying to kill us. The Star Knight was disabled by them pretty soon, we were not impressed.

Mark: Obviously the job market for Star Knights is poor right now.
Dell: Now who’s the punk? (pushes over the Star Knight.)

We see Heiress, another kid from the detention centre, who was blonde and tall and thin and wore pink.
Jenni: Does she have the power of small dogs in handbags?

Giselle attacks her with super strength after Heiress blasted Mark.
Giselle: Plastic surgery this!
Mark to Lucas: I’ve got a good superhero name for you, Friendly Fire!

The warden was there by this time and we kind of took turns beating him up.
Mark: how do you like this jell-o warden!?
and also….Damn you warden, fry!

Then there was the whole problem of the invading Groo ship that we had to stop…we were up in our ship arguing about what to do.
Traba: It would be easy if I had a bomb, but I don’t have a bomb.
Dell: Yes you do! I’m the bomb!

Lucas decides to give up his life essence to the ship to power him up: You may have an infusion of me.
Giselle: Gay.
Dell: Yo! Groo brain! (Punches the brain operating the ship.)

Once he’d destroyed it, we got out of the ship and back to Earth and that was it. We’d saved the world and looked good doing it. Well, I looked good anyway.

It was an amazing game and I loved it to bits. All of us were psyched to continue playing so maybe when Dale gets back to the country in three years we can pick up the characters in three years.