An open letter to Disney, from the mother of a princess

Dear Disney,

First off, let me start by saying this: Frozen? Well played, Disney, well played. While I've watched this movie countless times, surely enough to have dissected every last scene, it's kept my daughter, 18-month-old son, husband and myself completely entertained every.single.time.

Sure, I could do without hearing yet another rendition of "Let it Go." And I may or may not be on edge if someone asks me if I want to ... (I'm so afraid they're going to say snowman!). But overall, I was a parent on the Frozen bandwagon. Thank goodness we've got good guys, bad guys, a reindeer, a talking snowman (hello, can we get more of these?) and finally, some chicas who can save themselves. FINALLY.

So I applaud you. Between Brave and Frozen, I am so willing to give you a pat on the back for finally getting some princesses with a little spine. (Don't get me wrong, I'm not neglecting the power of Pocahontas or Mulan, but my pretty-in-pink, only wears frilly dresses, sugar and LOTS of spice, little girl likes to watch the uber-feminine princesses).

But there are a few issues, I'd like to address. For starters, do your princesses all have to have CRAZY long hair? I mean, for reals, Disney? Is there some fairy tale code of conduct that requires them to have flowing locks past their buttocks? Couldn't we have one with a cute bob? I mean on behalf of mothers everywhere, if I have to hear my daughter tell me she wants hair like Rapunzel one more time, my head might spin. This is how a typical morning and night go in my household:

Me: "Pear, sweetie, come here so I can braid your hair." (because princesses don't have ponytails, they have braids)

Pear: "I want to wear my hair down. Like Sleeping Beauty."

Me: "OK, well then we're going to need to brush it out, we don't want it to get more tangles."

Pear: "OKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK, I'll wear it in a BraaaaiiiiDDDDD. But it has to be one, not two. I want to look like Elsa. And one braid looks like Elsa. Two looks like Anna."

Me: "You do know it was Anna (oh shit, I accidentally said 'Anne-UH,' my daughter is going to eat my heart) who saved Elsa. I think two braids are pretty cool."

Pear: "It's ANNA (pronounced "ON-UH"), mom. I want one braid. Like Elsa."

Me: "You know, if we cut your hair some it wouldn't be as hard to brush. It doesn't have to be too short, maybe to your shoulders."

Pear: (Makes a face of complete and utter disgust like I just suggested we buzz cut her hair) "MoooooOOOOOOOoooom, then my hair won't be beautiful like Rapunzels. I want to have hair as long as hers."

Me: (Says nothing, but a tiny piece of my soul dies as I imagine the drama that will ensue while brushing out stories-long hair). 

Actually, an addendum to the above request. Maybe, you could just make it cool to brush their hair, constantly? Because part of my daughter achieving her Tangled-esque hair involves me, combing out said tangles. Which usually ends with one of us in tears. And seriously, it's not just my daughter. It's daughters everywhere in the world who don't want their hair brushed. These are the things that drive mothers to drink. We sit in the corner, hugging our knees and rocking back and forth, praying the clock will freeze so we won't have to take a comb through our offspring's 'flowing locks.'

Eventually, one of two things happen in my household: I win, we comb the hair and my daughter sobs for the entire one-minute ordeal. (And let me make it clear, I do it as gently as humanly possible. I hold the ends so she won't feel it, but she's either got the most sensitive head in the universe or she's crying in anticipation.) Sure, from time to time I dream of taking the clippers to her head, but I'd never actually do that. Unless you could help a sistah out and maybe give a princess a buzz cut? Think G.I. Jane meets Brave. I think it could totally work.

If I can't seem to gather the courage needed to brush my four-year-old daughter's hair, I usually just put it in a ponytail (which results in a clumpy, knotty, mess, but hey, at least she didn't cry). This would be the most succesful option however, other parent's tend to judge me allowing my four year old to have dreadlocks, so after a few disapproving stares, I usually end in tears).

And hey, while we're changing up the princess' image, maybe they could rock some darling shorts and a t-shirt more often? You know, with a cute pair of sneakers? I'm not against all things girly, I'm totally down with the tiara and heels, even after I spend 20 minutes getting the tiara UNTANGLED from my daughter's hair. But these elaborate gowns, well, they just need to go. My daughter begs and begs to wear them and when I finally cave and let her don the fancy schmancy dress, she whines for the rest of the day because "it's hot," or "it's scratchy" or "she can't find her legs" or "a small forest creature has ended up inside the dress somehow." A pair of cute shorts and a t-shirt would really eliminate these first-world problems we've got going on.

Oh, and while I'm thinking of it, your DVDs and that damned "fast-play" option, it makes me want to pull my hair out (which would solve one dilemma I suppose). Fast play = the BANE of my existence. You don't need all that extra marketing, really, do you? I mean we'll be at the store and the second my daughter sees one of your sparkle-covered princesses she's all over it (be it a shirt, toy, movie, coloring book, blanket), regardless if she's seen some crappy minute-preview on one of your DVDs. So for the sanity of us parents who BUY your dvds, can you just do me a favor? When I stick the DVD in the player, can it just start the movie. Seriously, just play the movie. If I want special options or features, THEN I'll use that hoax of a "fast play" menu.

And lastly, Disney, dear, sweet, sucks-my-kiddo-in-every-time, Disney, could you please, for the love of everything in this sweet, sweet world, STOP killing the parents? STOP making us evil? I'm cool if you want to just push us into the background, but after watching Frozen 90 bajillion times, my daughter is convinced every time her father and I leave the house we're secretly sneaking off for a boat ride to some foreign country which will end with her parents at the bottom of the sea.

And because I'm playing nice, Disney, I'm not even going to bring Bambi into this. (You know, the ole' classic where ya go and kill that precious baby deer's mommy?) I, and parents everywhere, have solemnly sworn off that monstrosity of a flick.

Unless Bambi's momma starts sporting a cute bob and some shorts, then we might be game.


The mother of a princess

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  1. I am so in with you about the hair. Brushing our daughters hair has become a wrestling match to get it done. Im embracing the dreadlocks. :)

  2. So good! However, we have Snow White, don't forget, and her cute bob. I'm with you on killing off the parents! Is is Pixar that makes Ice Age? When we first watched that, my younger daughter was four and was devastated when the mother drowned. She actually wrote them a letter, asking them to not do that again. Why do children's movies always have to have orphans as heroes? Bleh.