Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I hate tiaras!

     Walking through the lobby at work yesterday my eyes caught (to my horror) a pair of middle-aged women on the television wearing tiaras on their heads.  Was this some sort of Disney-induced, walking nightmare?  
     No.  It was apparently an afternoon info-rama called The Doctors, where Dr. Lisa and her interviewee sported matching headgear in an episode called "Menopause Party."  The esteemed t.v. doctor had many "menopause must-haves" in her box (no pun intended), including some hot-flash spray and a tiara.  I was aghast. No kidding, the episode is on their website, Menopause Party
     A tiara ... of course!  Right along with my own surgically-induced menopause from an early-in-life hysterectomy, I ran right out and grabbed a freaking tiara for my menopause party. 
     This past the weekend I was nauseated to see that you can make your own tiara from a kit at Hobby Lobby.  If you are self-absorbed enough to want a tiara, for any reason, would you buy a DIY version at Hobby Lobby?  Surely there's one on ebay pretty cheap.
     See, I just don't understand this whole societal princess obsession. The princess fantasy seems to be about being beautiful (in a socially acceptable American way), wearing lush gowns, batting your eyelids, and waiting to be rescued by some only-existing-in-fairy-tales prince.  Guess what, girls? Prince William got married.  Kate Windsor, you are not!  That's the only kind of princess there can be today.  Lil' Harry is too much of a player to get hitched, and you don't have a shot anyway!  It's such a daydream waster to imagine being a celebrity on that level.

     Maybe tiaras are kind of a fun accessory, in a wry bachlorette party sort of way.  The last hurrah of being single thing, you've found your Prince Charming, all that shite.  But how do females get sucked into it in the first place?  I blame it on that damn Disney.  Society feeds little girls such lies of how playing the damsel in distress is how to snag a man.  He'd be lucky to have you, sister, if you'd only believe it.
     The lies are ever present in modern media depictions.  I'm not saying all media is evil.  It's there because we want it.  We want to watch imagined lives to at least momentarily escape our own.  Escapism is why we go to the movies in the first place.  I simply wish adults wouldn't feed into this princess nonsense.  Sure, kids should be able to make believe.  Why not make believe about being a scientist, a musician, or going on a safari instead?  I would have loved to fly an airplane or drive a motorcycle.  Meh ... princesses.  
     So many people watch that god awful Toddlers and Tiaras, too, it's frightening.  Those over-the-top megalomaniac moms who subject their young daughters to this mania at such a young age.  The young ones are living the "look at me" nightmare early on, as if only their looks and shaking their booties are what will get them somewhere in the world.  It sure didn't seem to get their moms anywhere beyond their prom queen pasts and subsequent suburban existences lived vicariously through their children. 
     My last soapbox point here questions the value of these fairy tale fantasies.  According to Bruno Bettleheim (Bettleheim), American psychologist, there are specific uses for enchantment.  He claimed children gain courage by envisioning themselves as heroines or heroes who battle evil and win, thereby overcoming subconscious fears (Enchantment book).  
     But alas, the ways little girls see it, princesses are always saved by their prince.  They lift not a finger in preventing their own demise.  The ultimate goal is, after all, winning his love and that prized crown.  I'd rather see a character like Fiona kicking ass for herself, ala Shrek The Third.  Apparently she even saved the day in Shrek Forever After.  Missed that one.
     On a more somber note, one of my childhood fears was living in poverty.  We were somewhat poor, so I worried more about having enough groceries than having nice clothes, dates and being popular.  I obviously didn't want to remain poor as an adult and knew I had to make sure that didn't happen.  But ... not by marrying a rich man!  I was the only one who could work hard, go to college, and make a wage above the poverty-level so apparent in mid-America.  For myself.  
     No frilly diamond-encrusted crowns and happily-ever-afters can ensure a dreamy future. Little girls shouldn't depend on that happening for them either.  Maybe my worry was a heavy burden for a little girl growing up in the '70s, but Sunday nights spent watching Wonderful World of Disney weren't going to solve any problems facing females in the world.  Neither were Cinderella, Snow White or Sleeping Beauty.

1 comment:

  1. Well said. I think a lot of this falls on the parents. And the ones in Toddlers and Tiaras have obviously failed. But recognizing the pitfalls of the fairy tale fantasy is crucial for raising a child with realistic expectations. This is the challenge I am charged with. Luckily Peanut likes school and also enjoys Shrek Ever After as well. Thanks for linking, and for reading DKL!