Cool Female Characters- Where are you?

She-Ra Princess of Power

Originally written on October 22, 2009.

Ana’s Princess Ring blog has really got my super cute panties in a bunch. Moms, we need to do something. I have a three year old girl. Of course, she loves princesses. And, because her favorite one is Princess Jasmine, I try and enjoy it. But, I have to be honest with you– there is something in the back of my head that just nags at me wondering, is this really ok?

Let’s play a game. I say a word and you jot down the first ten words/phrases you think of. Ready? Set?

PRINCESS!

1. Pink

2. Girl

3. Soft

4. Weak

5. Pretty

6. Prince

7. Damsel in distress

8. Castle

9. Clouds

10. Fluffy

Is this the stuff I want feeding into my precious daughter’s molding brain? When I think back to my childhood, and I think of toys and characters I think first and foremost of She-Ra. Then, Rainbow Brite, Jem, Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony, and Barbie. Correct me if I’m wrong but some of these are really different characters than Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Ariel, and Jasmine. As a matter of fact, it drives me absolutely NUTS that the three princesses Disney puts on absolutely everything are Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty– total pansies!

Cinderella is a maid who needs a fairy godmother to rescue her. Snow White? Where do I begin? A housekeeper for seven male dwarves who is stupid enough to eat something a stranger gives her and waits around in a glass box for some guy to kiss her. Sleeping Beauty? Another airhead and blonde to boot. She has to be hidden away until she’s 16 years old because she might be dumb enough to do something she shouldn’t (i.e. touch a spindle and DIE), but she falls in love over some crazy guy that sings and dances, touches the stupid thing anyways (ok fine she was under a spell but she wouldn’t have that problem if she wasn’t all woe-is-me over some dude she just met), and then has to wait for said dude to kiss her awake again.

She-Ra was a WARRIOR PRINCESS! She had a sword! She invoked the power of GREYSKULL. That is hardcore awesomeness!

Rainbow Brite? There were only like two guys there! And as a bonus, in this case, I do believe the only “Princess” on the show was a villain. Rainbow and her girls ran amok spreading colors everywhere! And they were happy! Without boys!

Jem was a freakin’ rock star! A real one not like that totally annoying Miley Cyrus. As a matter of fact, did you know the creator of Jem was a staff writer for GI Joe and Transformers? And isn’t it great that the main guy on the show was a total jerk?

These were cool characters. They were colorful and well-mixed. They were strong and independent women who rely heavily on their girlfriends when things got tough. By the way, did you notice how few pastels were present in these shows? It just seems to me that there is a really dangerous underlying theme with these Princesses. I guess I prefer a Princess doll in my house to a Bratz doll (completely forbidden) but where are the really cool characters? And have you noticed that with the Princesses, the “spunkier” ones get less exposure? I actually like Jasmine in that she’s pretty feisty AND has a gorgeous tan (like my daughter gets in the summers). Mulan goes to WAR. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get merchandise for those two? Why? Is it the leaders of corporations pushing images down to us or is it us telling them what we want to see by buying this merchandise instead of the other?

I don’t want a fluffy daughter with indulgent fantasies of living in a palace and waiting to be rescued. Do you?

If you know of any great female characters, please share. I just can’t feel good about the princess obsession. I don’t mind liking princesses as long as they’re just a part of her tastes. Christmas is, after all, around the corner. I’d like to see how few princesses I can get away with this year.

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7 thoughts on “Cool Female Characters- Where are you?

  1. Sister! I loved all those 80’s shows and you were right! I actually don’t pay much attention to it. My daughter does love the Princesses and feels she must marry a prince, but she also wants to marry her cousin.

    Jem is actually back on TV, no remake either! It’s on the HUB, Rio, The Misfits, the whole gang! My daughter LOVES it, she’ll watch it over Disney any day. For now, I’m going to let her do her own thing before I start pushing her in one direction or the other.

    But I do agree with you. And Rapunzel, firey and ninja like as she is…huge boobs!

    All I can say is your truly, truly, truly outrageous!

    Reply
    • LOL! Thank you thank you. I didn’t even notice the boobs on Rapunzel. I’d heard rumors about Jem’s return. My mom called me to let me know my daughter was watching it at her house. I don’t have cable so she doesn’t get to enjoy it at my house. I feel you on the pushing. I let her unfold but I expose as much as possible. Lately she’s gaga over Yo Gabba Gabba so you never know!

      Reply
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  4. You need to start playing the Cheetah Girls’ song “Cinderella” as background music for her (“I don’t wanta be like Cinderella, sittin’ in a dark, cold, dusty cellar waitin’ for somebody to come and set me free…”). We need a G-rated Laura Croft character for our daughters!

    When your daughter is older, I recommend the Sisters Grimm Fairy Tale detective series (Snow White is a martial arts instructor in those books).

    Reply
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