Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Princess Phenomenon

We are slowly treading water here at casa de phillips....pink tinted water known as the "Disney Princess Phase."

Lord, help us.

Honestly I am not really sure what I think about the whole princess phenomenon. If you have been a reader for any amount of time at all, you know by now that we have no issue with the Disney Corporation itself. In fact, we are likely responsible for the top CEO's receiving bonuses this year despite a recession.

It is the notion of a princess that causes me to pause just a bit.

When Evelyn was a baby, I decided we would not take the Disney Princess route when she became older. We are not fond of calling her "Princess" because quite honestly she holds not one drop of royal blood in her little body that we are aware of. We love our children to pieces, but in no means do we believe either of them to be of such prestigious lineage.

Evelyn is beyond precious and the world is at her feet, but I feel a bit hesitant about calling her a nickname that might promote a feeling of entitlement. Long story short, we have never called her a princess. We prefer to stick to such endearing terms as "Bay-wa" or "Ev", which will likely cause her great embarrassment when referred to as such names during the adolescent years.

When we began Christmas shopping this past fall, I spotted a plush Cinderella doll and coordinating pony that would make a perfect gift for E. Cinderella's hair can be combed, the horse can be groomed, and both are soft enough to be loved on fiercely by a 1.5 year old little girl. My idea of "No Princesses" was a bit lost as I admired Cinderella's beautiful, yet durable, ball gown. "Cin-a-rell-a" has become a cherished toy, often spending her days being pushed to and fro in the baby stroller.

Due to that Disney brainwashing magic, the Princess fire was lit by that small gift. Evelyn can now spot a "Pin-cess" fifty yards away. She owns a pair of Princess house shoes and I just lugged home a Seek and Find Princess book over the weekend, in which she quickly learned how to identify and name all of Princesses.

Obviously, I have backtracked a bit on the whole "No Disney Princess at My House" rule just a bit. Now I am left wondering how one juggles princess play without becoming princess obsessed. How do I let Evelyn soak up all the romance and beauty of a dew faced young girl matched with a strapping lad while letting her know that despite their stunning effect, Sleeping Beauty likely is pretty rough looking at 5:30am and Prince Charming often times leaves old dirty socks laying around the castle? That although fun, very few of us get to ride around on a magic carpet over our kingdom and rarely does my Fairy Godmother stop by for a visit.

Ugh. This whole parenting thing is tough sometimes.


Leslie said...

I'm right there with you! Our house has been overtaken by princesses, but sometimes I think it's gone too far. In fact, while watching American Idol, the girls thought the contestants that were "going to Hollywood" had actually just won a chance to go to Disneyland and meet the princesses. You know, Hollywood = California = Disneyland = home of the princesses. It was all very logical to them. They wanted to go to Hollywood, too.

DCVol said...

Fab post~ that dress she is wearing is SUPER cute, by the way. I will be interested to watch how the princess fever progresses~ I think you are being totally reasonable!

GPaty said...

Precious Lynley,
I like to flatter myself and think that you and I share MANY of the same parenting philosophies...I am hard pressed to think of anything that we have discussed regarding our babies (or read on your blog for that matter) that I blatently disagreed with. So let me say this: I always used to gag at the thought of having the whole princess thing in my house. But as Claire has gotten older, and that has obviously taken hold...it's not nearly as bad as it seems. She loves all things Cinderella, but I would not call it an obsession..because at the end of the day, you are still the parent. Claire LOVES her princess stuff, and I'll even cringe long enough to admit on the WWW that she LOVES her Barbies. But by no means is she overtaken with them or do I think it's gone too far. And as far as I'm concerned, I'd much rather have my daughter be excited about Cinderella than Hannah Montana or those BRATZ dolls. Just consider CInderella as the lesser of the evils...and moniter it. Miss E will be fine, I promise.
Love you!