Friday, January 11, 2008
A Princess Who Kicks Ass
As the mother of a 3-year-old girl, I'm the middle of an all-out Princess Attack, as is every woman I know with a daughter under the age of five. I'm not in the Death to Princesses camp, though. After all, princesses are pretty; they wear sparkly gowns and are frequently attended to by friendly woodland creatures. I can see the appeal. But what does bother me is how homogenous and frequently pathetic they seem to be. My daughter is enthralled by Barbie's "Twelve Dancing Princesses," and the least nauseating character is the black-hearted cousin, which one of my friends (the father of a 4-year-old), referred to as "an evil, thieving, lying bitch." Is it wrong that I prefer that to "simpering, twirling, naive tool"?
Anyway, having a 7-year-old brother and comics-loving parents means that my daughter is regularly exposed to things that aren't colored pink. Things like Wonder Woman, a princess who regularly kicks ass. My daughter loves her — so much so that instead of asking for the requisite princess costume at Halloween, she went as Themyscira's finest. She seems to have Wonder Woman and Supergirl a little mixed up, but that's OK. The important thing is that she identified with a character who is beautiful, wise AND strong. The costume got rave reviews, and one fellow parent expressed surprise that a 21st Century kid even knew who Wonder Woman was.
So let Cinderella, Belle and Snow White wait for their prince to come. Wonder Woman's too busy saving the cartoon world.