Professionals & Princesses

I’ve been a little sick this past week, and when you’re sick, but your toddler is healthy, things can get kind of sideways.

I’ve been coping the best I can, playing games like “Let’s Sit and Read a Book” or “Bring Mommy _____! Now Go Get _____!” (fun fact: she will only comply with toys. she will not fetch a sandwich, or the box of tissues.) or the very popular “Here is a Sticker. Enjoy While Mommy Plays Candy Crush.”

We’ve also been watching more TV than is typically allowed; specifically Doc McStuffins. If you are not aware, Doc McStuffins is a six-year-old girl who fixes toys. They come to life and complain of some kind of toy ailment, she gives them a checkup, and fixes them and we all learn a fun, song-filled lesson about the importance of hand washing or to be careful around sharp objects or something.

Zooey loves Doc. She has a Doc doll, and a Doc bag and a Doc book with Doc stickers. when we go too the store, she points out the place in the toy aisle with Doc toys by yelling “Doc! DOC!!! DocDocDocDoc.” When the show comes on, she flips her little baby lid.

I like Doc too. She’s much less annoying than Dora because she doesn’t yell questions into the fourth wall and then stand there staring in awkward silence. She also doesn’t repeat everything she does four times.

I like her better than Princess Sophia, because she is not a princess. She is a doctor. Well, a pretend doctor, but her mom is a real doctor, and she’s got career aspirations.

Don’t get me wrong, Sophia is fine, but she is the gateway to Disney Princess worship, which is annoying to me. I like Mulan, she never gets included in the princess lineup. Know why? Because she’s good at fighting and riding, but hates makeup. That’s not princess-y.

It’s cool to like princesses and pink and sparkles. It’s cool to think dressing up is more fun than mud puddles. But then the shit hits the fan and you and the prince are stuck in the cave/castle/evil forest fighting the bad guy, and what’s not cool is crying with your back to the wall when this happens. That is my number one irritation with the princesses: the moment in the movie where the battle is raging, and the magic orb/sword/gun slips out of the hero’s (Prince’s) hand and falls to the floor eight feet from our leading lady and she just stares at it all horrified.

Even when I was a kid, that shit drove me up the wall. I remember being like eight and critiquing The Princess Bride scene in the Fire Swamp in pretty much this exact way. “She just stands there! Why doesn’t she help? God. She’s the worst.” Even in grown-up not princess/animated movies that happens all the time, and I cannot handle it. Grab the gun, shoot his face. Don’t just stand there.

And I could discuss this more intelligently by talking about agency or lack thereof in female roles, and gender stereotypes and societal norms and how they are internalized by our children and blah blah blah. But my overall point is this, girls: Liking pink sparkle stuff is awesome. Liking other stuff is awesome. The more stuff you like and feel passionate about, the more awesome you are. But just standing there is not awesome.*

*And I realize the irony of this message coming from someone who just admitted they tried to get their one-year-old to make them a sandwich out of sickness/laziness. Let’s gloss over that. I’m feeling better and made my own sandwich today.