One really hates to encourage the princess thing. The Disney Princesses, as a brand, offer a unidimensional and frankly unimaginative definition of femininity that is somewhere between infuriating and disappointing. I’m deeply conflicted about exposing Nora to this manipulative and stultifying narrative of what it means to be “a girl” –a view in which being pretty is equivalent to being a good person, ugly people are evil people, and one’s wedding day is the goal and the salvation.
Cinderella Castle is sort of the perfect symbol for the Disney Princess brand. It’s beautiful, it impressively manipulates expectations and perceptual illusions to appear whole and substantial, but ultimately it’s completely fake, doesn’t go very deep, and is nowhere near as important as it appears.
At the same time, though, she eats it up. Disney has tapped-into something I can’t quite understand about my own daughter’s psychology and, deep down, that’s probably what really bugs me about it. My role as a dad here is, it seems to me, just like our role with potato chips or television or a thousand other things that are terrible for her but insidiously delicious: expose her to it, give her room to enjoy it, set limits, try to show her how not to be controlled by external things, and trust that she’ll figure it out when she needs to.