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Hate mail

Dear Disney,

I hate you. I hate your message. I hate the way you scramble and scrounge to market your schlock directly to two-year-olds who don't know any better. I hate the way you've given all of your princesses eye lifts and cheek implants and boob jobs so that they resemble a troupe of sixteen-year-old strippers with poor taste in eye shadow. I hate "Any Girl Can be a Princess." How about "Any Girl Can go to College" or "Any Girl Can Learn a Useful Skill" or even "Any Girl Can be Kind and Caring and Generous and Not Worry About Clothes and Boys." I hate that you have the undivided attention of so many little girls, including my own, and you use it to deliver such a purely negative message. And I hate what you've done to Winnie the Pooh and Alice in Wonderland.

However, I do appreciate that you don't put ads in front of your On Demand shows, or in the middle of your On Demand shows. So congratulations, Disney, I hate you, but I hate Nickelodeon a little more.

Warm regards,
Beth Fish

Comments (24)

Yep, I feel the same way. But I don't agree with hating Nik. They are less offensive than Disney to my intelligence.

Mia's probably a bit too young but the Studio Ghibli films have lots of strong female characters. We just gave a 2 year old we know My Neighbour Totoro (the 'youngest' film) and she loves it. Unfortunately the strong females don't wear lots of pink and glitter and I know that would have mattered to me when I was Mia's age!

So true

We have a love/hate relationship with Disney in our house as well. The fact that my kids have spent most of their lives within ten minutes of Disneyland doesn't help either.

Seriously, one of the reasons I was glad we were having a boy: no princesses.

don't EVEN get me started! disney is on my shit list for those reasons and many more...

My SIL just sent my newly-potty-trained child a package of Tinkerbell panties as a YAY for going on the potty! gift. Not only does my 20-month-old have NO CLUE who Tinkerbell IS, we also haven't explained to our young daughter why some fairies look like hookers...

Oh sweet baby Jesus, AMEN to that! The princess stuff *kills* me. Even with Tinkerbell, the story of the movie is not as bad as the princesses, since it's more about self-identity than "finding Prince Charming." But Tinkerbell & her fairy cohorts are all about T&A, so that doesn't help either.

The only thing I disagree with you on is the Winnie the Pooh thing. Yes, Pooh is all CGI'ed up, which is annoying, but I think Darby is a good balance for all of the princess crap. She wears jeans & a baseball cap, she rides a scooter, she's smart, and she has good manners. (And she doesn't speak in ALL CAPS, like Dora.) So, I'm fine with her.

Of course, Disney also owns Pixar, and I do love most of their movies, so.... Ugh. Yeah. There's a weird love/hate thing going on there for me.

I am dreading Disney. Our 3 yo son remains blissfully ignorant of Nick and Noggin and Disney, for the most part. I do not know if it is possible to raise a daughter (due in Nov) who is equally ignorant. I can only hope so b/c I would hate to land myself in jail for the hate mail I might compose to Disney executives after repeated viewings of their schlock.

And what they've done to HISTORY???

Pocahontas anyone????

Beth, will you follow up with an open letter to Mattel demanding that they give Barbie nipples?

That just always freaked me out....

I consider it one of my greatest achievements as a parent (maybe even just as a person) that we've made it to four years old without an interest in Disney princesses. I consider it even MORE remarkable that we've kept the slutty princesses under wraps DESPITE HAVING A GRANDFATHER WHO CURRENTLY WORKS FOR DISNEY.

I know it's only a matter of time, but still....let me believe a little longer.

(in the interest of full disclosure, allow me to add that Lady is VERY interested in being a princess, but she wants to be a princess who can spell, a la Princess Pea of Super Why fame)

I so agree about Winnie the Pooh.

I haven't investigated the whole "Fairies" nonsense but I'm sure they're screwing with those stories, too.

Rrrrr.

I agree with Studio Ghibli films! That's mostly what my kids (2 and 3 y/o's) watch when we have the tv on. Kiki's Delivery Service, Howl's Moving Castle, Spirited Away and The Cat Returns. I had a woman at the airport ask my daughter what her favorite movie was saying, "I bet it's Cinderella!" My kid was like, "Who? I like Kiki!" She doesn't even know who the Disney Princesses are!

Make the world stop giving their children the TV drug, and they won't go running to the dealer for love and comfort.

Kill your TV before it kills you (and takes your children).

I grew up watching princess movies, had probably every Little Mermaid product tie-in made and always pretended to be a princess, but you know what? I grew up, became a generous, helpful person, learned many useful skills and went to college all without developing a distorted body image or eating disorder. Kids like to pretend, and girls want to be pretty, that's just how we are biologically set-up. I love the Disney brand and often willingly give large chunks of my money to them for what they provide despite only having 10 month old boys. If Mia grows up wanting to be a size two with DD's, and refuse's to do anything with her life because one day her prince will come, that will be completely on your shoulders, and you are just looking for someone to blame. But, if you teach her to be a strong woman capeable of anything while being beautiful, then you would have something to be proud of. It is misguided to blame a company you voluntarily brought into your home for teaching your child anything, you need to be the strongest voice in her life.

Not to agree with the person ragging on you ;) but it is up to you to choose what Mia watches and has as toys at this point, right? So if you are so against Disney, I can't say I understand why you're letting her watch it?
And because you are and you will raise her to be a strong woman aside from all that stuff, I think she'll be fine. :)

aw don't hate :-)

Mmm... I was not a huge fan of the regular princesses growing up, but I did love Beauty and Beast, and even though I was a bit old for Mulan when it came out, I like it too. Beauty and the Beast is more princess-y, but I thought she was so brave, and she loved books, and I loved books, so in my mind we were a match.
That had no point, but you made me think about it :)

I love Disney more as an adult than I ever did as a kid. My favorite princess is Belle because she was smart and clearly didn't need anyone to save her -- she is the rescuer in that movie! There's good and bad in all products I suppose, and it gives a nice chance to talk to kids about what they are picking up from it. Seems to me that kids are never reading as much into all these "messages" as we think they are.

I honestly think the movies are not meant for anything more than what they were intended - fun. I know that my daughters will not grow up influenced by these movies, and enjoy them for what they are, because they know that they are just stories, and the real influence will come from the real-life strong women in their lives - myself, their grandmothers, aunts, cousins, etc. I agree every parent needs to monitor what their child watches on tv, but I think Disney is one of the least harmful of all of our choices. Nowadays, we have so much more to worry about, and the generosity, kindness, friendship and forgiveness from the princesses are values rarely seen in our own society, let alone movies and television these days. So I think WE need to be the strong women and let our daughters follow our lead... and let them enjoy a few fairytales along the way.

I have to admit, recently I've become a little bothered by the fact that most of the Disney movies my children have seen in the last 10 years do not have female leads. Cars, Incredibles, Wall-E, Nemo, Toy Story, Iron Giant, Monsters, Ice Age, Madagascar, Bug's Life. Sure, they have female support, but the only movies I've seen with female LEADS are all about PRINCESSES! Hello, Disney, can we have movies about girls that are NOT princesses? Can you make movies with girls in strong leading roles that my boys might actually be interested in watching?

Peggi

p.s. Iron Giant was actually a really, really good movie!

I'm somewhere in between Tess and the Disney haters.
I have a 7 year old girl who is just starting to leave the Princess phase, but who still loves Tinkerbell.
To me, the Princesses (just like The Wiggles before them and Elmo before that) are what you make of them. They can just be entertainment, or the child's whole lives, or for educational purposes. All things, princesses included, in moderation.
How about using it to your advantage? The Disney's Polite as a Princess book did wonders and The Girl has manners better than her teenage brother now. And we balance with books like Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots? to let her know she had options other than cooking and cleaning.
And it's worked. She has a dress-up box in her closet consisting of various Princess dresses that sits below her hanging soccer uniform and beside her acoustic guitar. Why can't our daughters have it all?

I know that as a girl, I was pretty obsessed with princesses. I drew pictures of them all the time. I can't help but be a little jealous of all the princess crap out there - they're not having to make do with their mom's old nightgown. (Even though I'm sure that was good for me and my imagination...)

What gets my goat is how people (especially where I live) go to Disney World like it's freaking Mecca or something. I love Disney World, have been there twice (as a child) and have sweet memories of the place...but it just seems like there's so many OTHER options. That don't involve posing with princesses for pictures, perhaps...

Here, here! I hate Disney, too! They're also sexist and racist against ducks. Seriously, I did a whole post on it

http://bourbonmama.wordpress.com/2009/01/29/in-which-i-analyse-promotional-stickers/

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So the Fish Said...

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