No real surprises:
"I say she seems kind of mean, and she says, `Oh, but she's so pretty, and I really like that song "Fabulous.""' Duplessis said. "It's the
focus on clothes, appearance. That's what bothers me the most. It's good clean fun with Jimmy Choo flip flops, perfect hair and makeup. I would just
rather her focus on being a kid and having fun and getting dirty."
If kids are obsessing over imaginary high school issues at 3 and 4, what's going to happen when they get into high school? If they play these games
of pretend involving people who's games are solely driven by summer romance, when they turn 13 and 14 and actually hit puberty - what happens then!?
Is it all old hat? Will high school seniors "not believe" in relationships because of a massive heartbreak when they were nine?
I'd like to think they would grow out of it, but who knows. I played pretend, growing up, nonstop as a kid from 2-11. I would have gone on well into
middle and high school if the things available to us for emulation weren't so socially unacceptable. As it was, they went from high fantasy comic
book concepts to more realistic fantasies extracted from novels I was reading. But I was always somebody far removed from the world I knew or could
ever know, and never real enough to not feel embarrassed suddenly one day.
Disney Princesses offered a classical unobtainable ideal - a prince at the end to take her to safety. She also underwent an incredible adventure along
the way, complete with action, life lessons, spirit animals, and in some cases disturbing portrayals of supernatural villains. As unrealistic as all
of this is, we still know people to this day that are our age and embarrassingly hold onto some of those ideals. How many girls who identified with
Belle want a fixer upper? How many little Ariels long for someplace that's NOT home? A generation of Cinderellas gave it up to their Princes on Prom
Night and got the story in reverse.
But NOW the princesses are suburban princesses, like older siblings, or the older sibling of a friend. The things an old princess had that were highly
unobtainable to a child have been replaced by things that will be given to them as they get older: cars, cell phones, nicer clothes. The end result of
these new princesses is a date for the dance and, in the sequel, her best friend's new boyfriend. No less damaging than happily ever after, but
again, much more obtainable.
Absolute fantasies, no more unrealistic than the ones that drove my Ninja Turtle days, but set enough in reality that the attitudes, the opinions, the
experiences can all be similar enough to where life begins to imitate without a conscious effort.
It really worries me. This has been constant since the 80's to replace classic images with ones we can realistically grab for, but they're all still
fantasy the same, and until the makers of these fantasies take some personal responsibility for the developing psychology of their intended audience
there's no way in hell any of us should let it go unnoticed.
Feel free to share any observations regarding all media that can be identified as a manipulative influence on small minds.
Thanks for your time, and dhalsim!