Shrek the Third, Princess Confrontation

We took our kids and my mentee to see Shrek the Third (Widescreen Edition).

I was thrilled to expose the girls to the scene where the Disney Princesses, Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, deliberately nod off to sleep to “wait to be rescued” when the villains of children’s literature lock them up.
Fiona and her mother look mystified by such a stupid response and take matters into their own hands – effectively saving themselves.

HELLO! It’s about time someone had the nerve to confront those girls about the stupidity of waiting around for someone to save them. Thank you Fiona and Queen of Far Far Away!

I used to allow princesses at out house, I’ve since banned them. (We still have some videos and books that were sentimental gifts.) But the messages of the Disney Princess culture is that girls are valued for beauty rather than competence. That a prince must come save them for they are incapable of effective action. See Cinderella Should Have Saved Herself, Belle – Battered Codependent, and Ariel – The Little Mute for details about why I’ve restricted access to the princess message.

If parents are going to offer their daughters the Disney Princess culture, and it’s really not possible to isolate them from it completely because it’s so pervasively marketed, at least offer up an alternate view of a girl’s role. Shrek the Third should join the others on the DVD shelf, at the very least. Use it to point out to your daughters the (dis)functionality of the Disney stories. Give them permission to envision saving themselves and be proactive about their lives.

Tell them the truth about men they will date someday – that prince grows up and turns into a fallible man that picks his nose and turns right back into a frog – just like the King of Far Far Away does in Shrek The Third.

Watch Shrek the Third (Widescreen Edition)and tell her that you think Fiona and her mother’s actions are more admirable than the Princesses who passively nod off to sleep and wait for someone to save them.

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