Princess Blogaround

Oh man, folks, this is crazy! I need to be blogging three times as much as usual, to make up for the upcoming India trip, but I can barely write at all! Please leave me comments with topics I can write about– movies or books that I should check out, or, even better, essays or news articles (since they don’t take so long to read!) Or just general philosophical questions. Or my favourite color. Anything! Because if not, you’re going to be getting a bunch more blogarounds like THIS ONE:

Princesses!

The Princess Diatribe, by Peggy Orenstein at the Telegraph, touches on the catch-22 where embracing princessism (my new word) is in many ways a rejection of feminisim, whereas rejecting princessism is a rejection of femininity, which should not be defined as less-than simply because of its association with women.

Bonfire of the Princesses, by Barbara Ehrenreich at the Huffington Post, goes ahead and rejects it all anyway, criticizing princessism for sexualizing girls too young and teaching them problematic patterns of passivity.

Resist the Princesses, by Rosa Brooks, at the LA Times, has much the same message, though in an entertaining, lighthearted tone.

And, for a change, Why I’m Cool with The Disney Princesses, by Jessica at DC Metro Moms.

What Penelope says about chasing Prince Charming, by Consuela Francis, is a fascinating review at the Charleston City Paper that has made me add Penelope to my Netflix queue.

At Cerise, we can branch out beyond just Disney with Princess Peach: Feminist?

Feminism in Anime vs. Feminism in Disney is pretty much what it sounds like, comparing Snow White and Princess Mononoke, and Pocahontas and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. The link goes to Pakdoc because I found it more readable, but I think the original is here at Inhuman Decency.

Little Miss Feminist is a sweet personal reflection piece at the Imperfect Parent, talking about entering her daughter in a Little Miss competition. It only lightly touches on princessism but I thought it was a good read.

And, finally, as a present for looking at all those, read Pixar’s Gender Problem, from Vast Public Indifference (and isn’t that a great name for a blog?). This is one of my favourite articles; I keep stumbling accross it, and every time I do so I’m pleased. It really expresses the frustration I feel concerning Pixar– I love every movie individually, and yet, I am really unimpressed with their ouvre. At least Disney has female protagonists (though less often, these days). Pixar keeps forgetting that women exist at all.

All right, that’s it! I’m going to bed! And so should you! Tune in tomorrow, same princess-time, same princess-channel.

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3 Responses to Princess Blogaround

  1. dollyann says:

    Awesome blogaround. Barbara Ehrenheich and Cerise were spot on. I do take issue with the feminism in anime vs. Disney films though. The author goes specifically to Miyazaki as a representation of all anime and suggests that women aren’t sexualized the way Disney characters are. While Miyazaki is a stunning example of a feminist animator (there’s no American equivalent), I’d argue that looking at anime on the whole (hentai porn not included) women are WAY more sexualized than Disney princesses. Disney Princesses may have a rack, but Japan took it somewhere else.

    The Pixar article was surprisingly insightful too. I had never thought about the # of male/female characters in their movies before, but the author’s right… it’s largely skewed in favor of male protagonists. That surprises me considering what a big fan John Lasseter is of Miyazaki. Pixar’s been disappointing me lately though… ever since The Incredibles, I haven’t been too enchanted with any of their films. And I got super pissed when Ratatouille stole the Academy Award from Persepolis. Totally unfair. Okay, I’m rambling.

    Awesome, awesome blogaround! 😀

  2. eloriane says:

    Yeah, it’s inaccurate to conflate Miyazaki with all Japanese animation. But it’s also inaccurate to conflate Disney with all American animation. So I felt like it was still worth thinking about. Especially since, as you say, there’s no equivalent to Miyazaki in American animation.

    And yeah, Pixar! What the hell! I’ve always had an abiding affection and respect for Pixar, so it was really disappointing to see how unearned it was. They tell good stories, but I don’t think I can forgive them if they don’t start telling women’s stories too. And knowing that Lasseter is a Miyazaki fan just makes it more confusing and disappointing.

    I never saw Persepolis; I’ll have to add it to my queue. I love Ratatouille, though. Well, until Collette inexplicably fell in love with Linguini and stopped doing anything.

  3. dollyann says:

    I saw Persepolis and read the graphic novels; both were fantastic. Marjane Satrapi is fantastic. You really identify with her even though she grew up in a starkly different culture. I think what’s cool is she makes growing up/ the desire to rebel so universal.

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