Friday, April 12, 2013

Plastic Princesses

Our house is filled with everything Disney Princess; books, dolls (we actually have 5 varieties of Belle, ranging from lego to plush in size), costumes (including wigs, crowns, wands and other accessories), toy hair dryer (which came with a straightener that M calls a tweezer), placemats, stickers, plates, cups, clothing, blanket, movies, name a few.

I never thought I would allow this much glitter and pink in my daughter's life, but once she got the first whiff of princess via the Beauty and the Beast movie, she was hooked. I really don't mind it as much as I thought. What's the harm in M dressing up in a gown now and again when she still loves running around and playing with non-princess things most of the day.

But I feel like every time a new princess item comes into our house, the image of the Princess on the box looks a little different. Some artist out there has decided that the beautiful drawings from the original films are no longer acceptable in today's world. Wh0 used to be soft and beautiful girls now look like the cast of the Real Housewives of OC (the housewives group with the worst plastic surgery if you ask me - have you seen Vicky lately?). It makes me so mad that these plastic looking princesses are who M is used to seeing, and not the softer versions that I knew as a kid.

I know that some of the hardness of the princesses these days is due to the fact that they are now digitalized and are no longer drawn by hand. They aren't going to have the same look obviously, but is that a reason to put them under the knife? They are all supposed to be around the age of 18 (Ariel is 16) and they now look like 40 year old cougars.  Who said it was ok to slut up the princesses? Why must they have cleavage showing? Walt would be rolling over in his grave if he saw these ladies.

So I decided to do a side by side comparison to see how they have changed over the years. Let's start with the least severe of the bunch:

Jasmine's transition to the digital world was pretty seamless. She did get the tattooed eyeliner removed from her lower lid, and now she looks young and fresh. If only her stylist would quit accessorizing her with those giant guitar pick earrings. Jasmine I will give you credit - you look better than the rest of the crew!
Cinderella my look even younger now than you originally did. I see you had some cheek implants, a little pinch of the nose and some fat injected into your lips. You look a tad plastic, but all in all not terrible. I am happy to see you didn't fall into the bigger boobies trap!

Snow White, the original princess...the O.P.. I don't remember Snow White being half Asian? She certainly has blossomed from a plain Jane into a beauty queen (with mixed race parents). Looks like she also visited Cinderella's surgeon for a little nose pinch, and I think I detect a hint of implants? I'm not mad at you Snow. You are more attractive than you used to be (is that a good thing? I don't know). And much more sparkly (as are all the princesses nowadays). 

Aurora, it has been how many years and you are still rocking those awful swirly bangs? You have somehow made a huge comeback in the last few years, and M loves you having only seen your movie twice. Seems like you got a whole new plastic face though - definitely something severe done around the eyes, in combination with plumper lips and a pointier nose. I am assuming the larger chest area is just due in part to the ole "trying to touch your elbows behind your back" trick the boys used to play in middle school. 

Belle, you are not a princess in our house, you are a queen. My daughter would dress like you every day if I would let her. She knows every word to every song you sing and has watched your movie countless time. Why is it that nowadays you look like a slutty old time-y barmaid??? Maybe the dress was always a little barmaid-y, but those new extensions and that loose tousled look (speaking of looks, why does she have that "come-hither" look on her face? Creeps me out.) Can we talk about the face? So sweet and innocent before - so sharp and severe now. 

Ariel...naive, selfish teenager that you are. I see Prince Eric is a boob man, as I believe you had them enhanced. And you are either wearing some fabulous Spanx, or like Janet Jackson, you had some of your ribs removed. To me you look the most different in the face...I can't quite put my finger on it...collegen in the cheeks? Maybe even a nip and tuck as you are looking a little tight in the face. 16 is way too young to be having work done lady. 

I know what you are thinking, they don't look that bad, it is just due to the computer animation. And to that I say "Good day sir!" Being computer animated doesn't mean you have to look like a working girl. Check out Rapunzel:
She is young and cute - not sexy at all. And she gets even cuter when she cuts off all that crazy hair. Why isn't there another princess with shorter hair? Her eyes are a little Gollum-esque but I still think she is adorable. 

And finally my favorite princess ever, Merida: 
Sure she is a bit selfish in the beginning of her tale, but all-in-all she is a strong and brave role model for all girls. There isn't a hint of sexuality when it comes to Merida - she is a teenage girl, acting like a teenage girl. She has strong hips, unruly hair and is soft around the edges. 

I will have to say her movie is my favorite princess story to date, largely due to the fact that it is a story about the struggles between a daughter and a mother. Sure it has the classic marriage undertones that all princess movies usually put at the forefront of the story, but it isn't about her adolescent love for someone she barely knows. It is about her struggle for independence and her realization that her mother only wants what is best for her in life. If you haven't seen it, get on it!! 

So to you, Disney animators, I say this: look at your target market for all things princess. She is a very young girl, most likely 3-8 years old. She is innocent and sweet. To her the idea of being a princess is dressing up in a costume and escaping into a fantasy world where she can talk to animals or dance the night away. Make your princesses look more like someone from the real world (Merida or even Rapunzel if she had normal sized eyes :) and not like a Botox-ed up Barbie doll. 

Will M even realize that the princesses of today are not the princesses or my childhood? Probably not. Will their severe faces and sexy bodies really make any more of a difference than if they still looked like they originally did? I have no idea. 

I just asked M, "What does being a princess mean?" 

And her response was, "I dress up and I shoot my arrows!"

I love my girls!!

Oh and just for fun I wanted to include the SNL sketch where they do the Princesses as Real Housewives. Lindsay Lohan brings absolutely nothing to this, but the SNL cast is amazing. Enjoy!


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  2. I am in the animation industry, and I just want to point out that the new merchandise these older princesses are now on, at least the examples you show, are not computer or 3D modeled. They are illustrated by hand, but colored and shaded very heavily in a 2D computer illustration program. Rapunzel and Merida are built from scratch in 3D, the others are still just illustrations.

    I do have to agree that the new representations of them are significantly sluttier and I don't think that's a good thing. But I think part of the point you've been making is the fact that these are "make-overs" and Rapunzel and Merida aren't old enough to have the chance to be updated in any way. And their physical design from the start came from a completely different intended purpose. They have nothing to do with the "redesigns" of the old princess marketing strategies. They are of different ideologies than the repackaged slut princesses. Even though they all now fall under the same Disney moniker, they were all made by very different people at different times. The problem is, the redesigns are homogenizing the old princesses to appear now as if they exist in the same world, and that new world is slutty.

  3. wow....

  4. I think belle looks more like tarzans jane now that her face has changed so much with the sharpness

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