Thursday, August 12, 2004

Let Me Count the Ways I Despise Disney

I am the mother of a three year old girl. Despite the fact that I hang with a rather unconventional crowd, the world of Walt Disney has managed to reach her. She's not into the princess scene, thank goddess. For some reason, she holds a fascination with Disney World, and wants to visit. This is the very LAST thing on my list of what to do with Lily. Right after visiting a morgue. Crowds, sun, a mini-fascist regime, and $18 cheeseburgers. How do people buy into it? Especially parents of girls? The messages sent are the opposite of what I hope to instill in her. Sure, it opens up a nice forum for communication: "Do you think that mermaid should give up her whole family and life for a man she saw once and never spoke to?", or "Why is that beast so grumpy? Do you think that Beauty's patience and kindness will change his violent ways?", or "Hummm, where are the biological mothers of Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel, Mulan, Pocahontas, Beauty, even Nemo? Would these kids make different choices if all of the adult women around them weren't EVIL?" And those are just a few of the issues I see surrounding the heroines. Not to mention the bizarre racial undertones in many of the films. Oh, I know kids process things through different filters than my cynical mind. But are these conversations we should be having with small children? So I grit my teeth and accept the gifts of movies from well-intentioned relatives, and try to steer my kid in other directions. She still squeals when she sees something at Target with a Disney character on it. She also gets excited when she sees McDonald's. Ah, that's another post, eh?


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