Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Big Girl Bed = 15 Cents Less on the Dollar?

Hot Jeff decided Baby Roo needed a big girl bed. And remember that "baby" in my world means 2 in February. Anyway, she hadn't been sleeping well and Jeff was all well-she-needs-a-big-girl-bed and I was all you-must-be-drunk-she's-not-even-two and then Bestie Kim was all he-must-be-drunk-she's-not-even-two and I was all I-know but Jeff won and Emily is sleeping like an angel in her big girl bed and I had to admit I was wrong (which is something I DON'T like). One night of big girl bed madness with her crying and trying to get out and then she's ok, I think I dig this and she's sleeping way better than her brother has ever dreamed of sleeping in his bed.

So we headed out to Toys R Us in the heart of Christmas season which was much like going to Les Schwab the night before freezing rain has been predicted. It was madness and Samuel was pointing to every Lightning McQueen and Buzz Lightyear thing he saw which was EVERY OTHER FRIGGIN' ITEM and screeching that he wanted Santa to bring it to him at this VERY MOMENT or he would DIE and my head was spinning and I just wanted to go home and hide... but a bed girl bed mission we were on.

And you do think in my moment of misery I could just find a sweet little bed? No. Every toddler bed for a girl is pink Disney princess. Every one of them. I hate Disney princesses. Why can't Disney come up with some princess alternative? I just don't understand why every female heroine is unhappy, unsatisfied, and unfulfilled until she lands a man. Why don't I buy Emily the princess bed AND a copy Breaking the Chains of Low Self-Esteem while I'm at it.

I know what you're going to say so go ahead and say it. I'm out of line and I've taken the princess thing too far but let me ask you this: how many "boys" movies end with the male hero being married? Um, let me help you out: ZERO. I've watched a lot of Toy Story, Cars and Peter Pan and the happy ending has nothing to do with kissing or happily ever after.

I LOVE marriage. And I think God designed many of us to be in union with another person, however, I think there is a real danger in teaching our daughters at such early ages (or ANY age) that their self-worth and happiness is wrapped up in finding a mate. I want Emily to grow up finding her value and significance in Jesus and I just don't think Cinderella and the Little Mermaid and all those other princess movies send a very good message to our daughters. Never mind the fact that all those movies end immediately after the "I do's" are said.

So with that said, I was pretty annoyed when the only alternative to a princess bed was a Tinkerbell bed. And while I'm annoyed with the body image issues I think Tinkerbell (along with the others) possibly present I'm a little better with her because she isn't all hell bent on finding a man but is instead a little feisty and the movie's theme is being true to one's self.

So there you have it: my rant on princesses. And someday when Emily comes trick or treating at your door dressed as Snow White you can pull this out of the archive, wave it in my face and tell me how I've gone all soft and that Helene Cixous is going to stop following my blog.

But maybe, just maybe, someday when Emily DOESN'T make only 84% of what her male counterpart makes she will call me up and thank me for never letting her sleep in a princess bed.


Stephanie Rodea said...

I'm not a fan of character stuff in general, and I agree with you...BUT think about when you watched those movies growing up. Did you think you had to get married or think the things you're thinking about as an adult? I totally agree with you, especially in comparison to the boys movies. I just think when we become adults we realize the under lining to these movies, but I don't think little girls pick up on that? I don't know... lol

Jennifer said...

I think are never more vulnerable than when we are young; that's why kids' minds are little sponges. And, yes I think I was affected as were my other girl friends because we all daydreamed about getting married and big frilly dresses. Those ideas had to come from somewhere and media is very impactful. And you are right, it wasn't until adulthood that I realized that these messages are lies and that my self-worth isn't but in finding a man...but that's a long time to live thinking that true happiness begins when you say "I do".

For the record, I'll let Emily watch these movies (culturally, I can't see how you can't get by NOT) but other movies will be my first choice and we will have very open discussions about her self-worth and who she is in Christ.

Anonymous said...

Hiya friend!

I read the title of your blog today about taking on the princesses- and I couldn't resist reading it. As always, your journalism skills are amazing and highly entertaining!

I do think you may be missing an aspect about the movies that is instilled in all girls- we (girls) want to be married. It is instilled in us from birth and we yearn for a mate. I LOVED to play with GI Joe's, and play sports, and wrestle around with boys. I was never the fancy girls who liked to play dress up (unless it involved a cape!)- but I still had a desire to be married. The princess movies just cater to that desire.

The boys movies cater to the desires of boys- toys, cars, animals, outdoors.... It's not until boys start to become men that they lose that sense of selfishness and even consider girls to have anything but cooties!

Think about the movie Shrek. An ogre who is content by himself and on a mission. Doing his own thing and then some lame prince comes along and ruins things for him by taking his land. Shrek is a typical boy. Along the journey to get the girl (for someone else) he becomes a man and falls in love with the person (not the looks). Then they deal in the next movie about in-laws. Then in the next movie about becoming a family. It's journey- sometimes it's from the girls perspective and sometimes it's from the boys.

It's part of the "curse" God gave women:
Genesis 3:16 (New International Version)

16 To the woman he said,"I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."

The trick is to instill in our babies their own sense of self worth without minimizing their God given desire to please their man.

1 Peter 3:4-6 (New International Version)

4Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. 5For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

Ephesians 5:22-24 (New International Version)Wives and Husbands

22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

It's a blessing to know how to harness the desire to please your man. It in turn makes his desire to provide a family stronger. Which in turn makes your desire stronger.... see the cycle? The Princess aren't the problem, it's the mother's who don't take the time to teach their babies about how important their daughters self worth is (or their son's self worth and respect for others). Disney is just feeding off of the desires or people- and making a crap load of money off of it!!!

That's my 2 cents- not worth much to others usually... but it helps me when I wonder if those shows are appropriate (or those Barbies for that matter!)

Kendra said...

Found you through BlogHer. And I LOVE your feelings about Disney princesses. Totally agree! And totally glad I have boys. Happily ever after does not come with a kiss and a wedding. Give me good old Toy Story and Cars any old day, where friendship, truth, and kindness win in the end.