For all the parents like me, out there, sick and tired of the whole Pink Princess thing – as if pink Barbies weren’t enough – there is a good article on Anti-Racist Parents titled : “The Princess Problem : There is more than one way of being pretty” that shoots a much-deserved cyber bullet into the infuriating brainwashing that our children are exposed to, thanks to the mass-marketing of white dolls or white movie characters always getting the “enviable” part of the princess heroine.
The other day, only, I was reading Snow White to my daughters for the first time ever, it seems, and I started jumping words and whole sentences when I saw that Snow White was born with a skin white as snow, which of course made her the most beautiful girl. Problem is : my older daughter can now read, and what worked when she was little, not longer does now. She noticed something amiss, looked at the book, and caught me red-handed. I told her I was annoyed to see white people constantly portrayed as being the most beautiful, because it’s an old lie, and everyone is tired of it, and if some are not, they definitely ought to be. I never know whether my reaction is a good one, when this kind of thing happens. I guess honesty is always right, and even if I don’t convince them, right now, some nuggets of those conversation will hopefully remain lodged somewhere in their psyche. My youngest daughter has taken to saying all the time that she loves her Scandinavian friend’s hair because it’s smooth and platinum blond. I simply respond that her hair is different but just as beautiful.
To go back to the whole princess thing, it’s hard, because I remember being fascinated with princesses, as a child. And living in a totally white world, I never even thought that princesses could or should be anything but white. So, there are two problems in one, really. First, princesses don’t have to be all light-skinned and blond. And second, what’s so enviable about the princess waiting helplessly for the prince to rescue her?
Anyway, that article mentions several titles of books that show princess heroines with brown skin. AND there is apparently a book that also discusses the whole Princess thing by asking a sound and much- needed question : “What does a princess do?” Indeed.
I can’t wait to be in the US, this coming summer, so I can check these books out and buy a few. And they just reduced the baggage allowance on transcontinental airplane journeys. OK, that’s totally off-topic.
To end on another off-topic, it is HOT in Hyderabad !