Thursday, December 11, 2014

Making a List

Not that kind of list, denizens.  I have everything I need or I want and Santa is focusing on the littlest member of the clan, while being certain that the rest have socks and underwear to last a life time.

No, this list is for FlapJilly.  Her grandfather and I were sitting on Douglas, disgruntled viewers of gender stereotyped advertising on every channel we tried.  All the little girls were in pink... sparky pink... and most of them had tulle.  The ones with the biggest smiles were wearing tiaras or fairy princess wings.

Though Little Cuter went through a fairy princess stage in second grade, I think it had more to do with her friendship with Rachael than any real infatuation with spangles. Her wedding dress came from J Crew; it had pockets in lieu of lace. The notion of success through princess-ness is not part of her repertoire.

FlapJilly may have different ideas on the subject, and those will have to be treated with respect.  With that in mind, I started to make a list of Acceptable Princess Movies.

The first, most obvious, undisputed champion is Princess Bride.  True, Buttercup spends most of the movie being kidnapped and rescued and kidnapped and rescued, but it's the most quotable movie in our family pantheon, it's a good introduction to Christopher Guest, and the lessons it teaches are fairly perfect: sportsmanlike behavior, dedication to a cause, respect for genius, and, of course, believing in true love.

Next, I went to one of my classic Top 10 - Roman Holiday.  Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck and William Wyler and Rome.... what could be bad? as G'ma would say.  There is deception on both sides of the romantic equation, just as there is attention to duty and to a job well done. There are downsides to every career, princess-ing included, but Audrey manages to squeeze in one weekend of motor scooters and ice cream cones and haircuts before sucking it up and moving on with her life. 

SIR and Little Cuter treated us to Frozen on one of our visits.  I remember that it was beautiful and that the animation was incredible but I'm having a hard time recalling the story.  The kids were enthusiastic about it, and perhaps I will be, too.  But I've seen Princess Bride and Roman Holiday dozens of times; this list is too important to be added to randomly.  Ask me in a few years, after I've had time to watch again, and again, and again.

I know we'll watch Cinderella, because all those early Disney movies should be watched.  Big Cuter opines that in the first Star Wars Princess Leia is brave and heroic and he is my life line on anything Skywalker so I'll include it for sure. 

But that's as far as I can go.

There are Queen Movies we can watch when she's older, films like Elizabeth and Essex, but that list can wait for a while.  Can you think of others? 

It was a nice way to spend an afternoon, thinking back on movies that made me smile.  If you're so inclined, I'd love to know what you'd recommend.


  1. AB, the one movie you do need to watch is Maleficent. I walked away from that movie in love with the character. The movie is amazing. I'm really trying to get away from all of the traditional princess stuff 'cause my nine year-old will not have any of it and I want her to still feel empowered--even without the pink and tulle. She absolutely loves blue and nothing frilly. And I'm tired of people calling her a tom-boy. So what if she doesn't like pink and frilly stuff? She's still a girl and we need to get away from defining genders by colors, clothes and actions. She's just who she is. Trust me, I'm having a hard time with this myself and I'm trying to fix it within myself too. She's constantly reminding me that just because she doesn't like "girly" stuff; doesn't mean she isn't a girl. Or that to be tough, she has to be called a tom-boy. I'm glad you posted about this 'cause I really need to fix my own perceptions about gender. I find myself relegating my children into traditional boy/girl roles and I want to stop doing that. If my little man wants to wear pink and a TinkerBell costume, he can.

    Let me know if you watch Maleficent and what you think of it.

    Megan xxx

  2. There are always Princess Leia, the warrior, and Princess Mononoke, environment and sustainability. :)


  3. I'm a fan of Maleficent and Brave. Both have a lot of lessons for girls. Not ones quite as young as your granddaughter but that age will come-- sooner than you will want.

  4. Just got back to these comments..... more watching and posting will ensue.
    Gender roles and colors..... don't get me started.... or is that another prompt?


Talk back to me! Word Verification is gone!