Let’s Blame Walt …

The Royal Wedding’s come and gone … and the tabloids already have the Princess pregnant!

In spite of America’s blue collar-ness … lift me up by my own bootstraps-ness … work my way to the top-ness … we seem to have a penchant for believing in princess fairy tales.

And the idea of another American Princess got the crack “Princess Research Team” of Seriously Absurd busy lookin’ for the facts … just the facts!

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You might think that American Princesses are rare … but then you’d be wrong.

Prior to Meghan Markel, there have been 11 other real-life-human-American princesses.

We all know about Grace Kelly … but did you know Rita Hayworth was also a “for real princess?”

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Thanks to Walt Disney, the creator of the “I’m-A-Fake American-Princess-But-I-May-As-Well-Be-Real” … the total number of “American princesses” is in fact twenty-three.

Walt and his Disney Marketeers brought 11 Disney princesses to life from their celluloid world to reign in the dream world of countless little girls.

His fairytale princesses promoted female stereotypes … they lacked color, ethnic diversity and strength … and were all rescued by their Prince Charming.

Another unintended consequence?  Disney princesses literally did “live happily ever after” … and after.

But the reality is that real princesses often disappoint … plus there’s no guarantee of that “happily ever after” crap.  Our mortal princesses die off … some sooner rather than later.

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The Duchess of Sussex, AKA Meghan Markel, is actually America’s 2nd princess of color.

The title of first belongs to “Post-Walt’s” Disney, Tiana, an African-American role model who debuted in 2009 … only 72 short years after Snow White’s American premier in 1937.

So, Black girls aspiring to princess-dom finally have a real-life princess as a role model, the Duchess of Sussex … as well as “The Duchess of Disney,” Tiana.

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Though Walt’s campaign to “princess-ize” America remained sparkling white and limited girls to stereotypical roles … the world does and did change.

And fortunately for us, so has Disney’s continued “princess-izing” of American girls.

More recent Disney princesses include women with strong athletic skills, traces of feminism, ethnic diversity (Asian, Black, Native American), and you can add a fierce independence with Princess Merida … the first to not have a “prince” in her life!

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Hopefully we can add the British Royal Family to that sea of change … Meghan and Harry definitely plan to leave their stamp on Buckingham Palace.

Now if we could only teach our daughters that real princesses create their own “happily ever afters.”

Just sayin’ …

3 thoughts on “Let’s Blame Walt …

  1. But Richard….you left out the BIGGEST princess of them all!
    Of course, this particular princess isn’t at all interested in gender equality. And if she asks you “does-starting-a-trade-war-with-Canada-make-me-look-fat,” you’d better be prepared to lie like a rug…or it’s off with your head!

  2. My neighbors have a daughter, Greta, 5 and a son, Henry, 2. Since Greta was very young, she has lived in Princess worlds, and guess, what? Henry grew up in that princess culture too. I love seeing him playing in the back yard in one of Greta’s outgrown princess dresses, especially the purple one with glitter. I wonder if this is better than the “Cowboy and Indian” culture I grew up in. Thanks, Richard, for making me laugh and think as always!

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