Friday, June 13, 2008

Princess Discrimination

Richie and I went to Home Depot last weekend to look at flowers and flooring. We ended up perusing the entire store, and when we went by the lighting section, I decided to look at some lamps that Cathryn would like. I saw a Tinkerbell Lamp, an Ariel Lamp, and a lamp of a castle with Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty standing in front.

Wait a minute--where was Belle? Naturally, I was as outraged as one could be concerning lamps, and ranted (in a whisper) to Richie about it until we arrived at the patio furniture department.

What kind of message is Home Depot sending? That it's OK to wear skimpy dresses like Tink? Or blatantly disobey your parents to go running after boy you've never even talked to the Ariel did? Or maybe that, like Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty, it's OK to sit around and wait for a man to change your life?

Belle was well-read, loved her family, and didn't judge others by their outward appearance--she was only concerned with what was inside a person's mind and heart.

My whole beef with Disney Princess movies (love them though I may) is that all the heroine's only saving grace is in finding a mate. Snow White and Sleeping Beauty were literally brought back from the dead by "true love's kiss", and Cinderella escapes her abusive home life by getting married. Ariel sells her most precious commodities--in this case, her voice and her soul--so that she can attempt to meet Eric. Jasmine bucks convention by not marrying according to her country's law, and instead marrying a man of her choosing, but her character's dilemma is still to find a husband!

Finally, we come to Belle. Her story is the only one that defies the Disney formula--to a degree. She is mostly satisfied by her life, save her craving for adventure, and her idea of torture is marrying Gaston. She finds herself in the Beast's home, where she has selflessly traded her freedom for her father's. Belle and the Beast become friends, and in the end, it is Belle's love that saves Beast.

So, Home Depot--where's my Belle lamp? I don't want one where the shade is made out of that gold dress, either. (Though, that gold dress is a thing of beauty! Wish I had one for myself..) I want my Belle lamp to be simple--Belle in her blue dress, or her green dress, sitting on the grass, reading a book. A super-thick book, like Gone With The Wind, because I think Belle would find Scarlett and Rhett's banter highly enjoyable.



Anonymous said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. Though Cinderella has always been my favorite, Belle is my runner up for her independence!! I would love for Emma Claire to be a Belle and not a pineing away, helpless other princess!!! I too think Belle would love GWTW!!!

The DAVIS & LAMBERT Kids said...

You need to have a column somewhere. Your insight on things amaze me. This was so true but had that perfect wit of yours on it, that I had to laugh. Josie's Journal or maybe Just Josie, something like that.

stacy o. said...

Boys don't do princesses. They do Ironman and Spiderman and Batman--or as my boys say...Supaheroes. I think princesses would be so much more fun.

tracey said...

disney store lamp

mandybouchette said...

I swear Josie I can hear you in the Home Depot ranting about that lmap. This is the funniest story!