Tania Richard

Tania Richard
Illinois, United States
September 01
creative artist
I am a writer, actress, mother, wife, sister, and daughter.


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APRIL 20, 2012 10:26AM

Disney Needs a Kinky Princess

Rate: 2 Flag



My daughter thinks she's a Princess.


She adores Ariel; a mermaid who gives up her entire underwater life to marry a Prince. Hence, becoming a Princess.


I've ruined her.


I first showed herLittle Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast; those durn Disney films because I love Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.


They are good movies with great soundtracks (granted I'm a musical theater geek but--ahem, I digress.)


When she started playing dress up at preschool and wore the princess dresses and jewels everyday, I couldn't help buying her a few so she could do the same at home.


She wore them morning, noon, and night and would have worn them to bed if I'd let her.




At least when I hear her playing at the park and her dialogue consists of "Save me, Prince. Save me!" I counter it with, "Don't forget you can save yourself, honey!"


That strikes the right balance, right? Riiiight.


Now I'm grappling with the fact that my precious girl, with her kinky-curly-just-above-her-shoulders-brown hair wants long straight hair; like Rapunzel (whom she learned about in Disney's Tangled. What?! I wanted to see it and figured she'd like it, too!)


Anyway, Disney's Rapunzel is an empowered ingenue who doesn't fall into your typical princess stereotypes. Well, except for that long (really long) straight blond hair.


Aw crap.


Now, she runs around the house with an purple checkered apron tied around her head so she can feel it swishing on her back.


While the princess dresses she wears are cute it drives me nuts to look her way and see that apron on her head.


With great determination, she heads for the door with the intention of wearing it in public. I'm all for self expression but there are limits. The apron just makes her look like she's a crazy person.


The desire for long hair that covers your back is a rite of passage for most girls (unless they actually have long hair that covers their back.)


Even Whoopi Goldberg in her 1984 self titled Broadway show played a young black girl with a shirt on her head pretending it was her long straight hair; the hair our culture upholds and adores. 


Generally speaking, black hair grows at a much slower rate than Caucasian hair because the hair coils in the follicle which makes it more difficult to come out.


Therein lies a problem.


I happened upon a solution the other day. In the dress-up aisle at Target there was a kid-size long blond Rapunzel wig made by Disney. I got dizzy thinking how much Audra would love it but then my excitement waned.


I began to think that getting her that wig would be a set up which would exacerbate her desire for a kind of hair she'd never have.


I figured it'd be irresponsible of me to let her wear it. Then again, it is better than an apron. Hmmm...


I haven't bought it. Just like I haven't bought one of those doll heads that lets young girls (and maybe boys) style hair and put on make-up. All of those things have straight hair. Even the black ones have straight hair.


Hey, doll makers! Curly hair needs styling, too! Hey, Disney kid-size wig makers! Why can't there be a long kinky-curly hair wig!


Ah well.


I guess I'll have to make peace with that apron, forgive myself for ruining her, stop trying to micro manage my daughter's childhood, and be grateful from the bottom of my heart that I get to have such "worries".


But that apron is not leaving the house.

Author tags:

mothering, hair, disney

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As a mother, I'd say, buy her the long blonde wig, because it's good to make our kids happy, and it's better for them to get what they want (if it doesn't hurt them) and find out what that's like. But then I'd double down on things that will show her how to build a self not based on appearance, like books and movies about all our strong and accomplished foremothers, both with kinky hair and without.

You sound like a wonderfully caring and conscientious mother. You're daughter is a lucky girl.
man it just really amazes me all this princess-angst and handwringing going on these days. I dont know why old formulas that have been in place for generations have to be thrown away. it feels like throwing out the baby with the bathwater if you ask me. who is it that decreed that princess stereotypes are harmful to girls? some amped up academic feminists Id say. seems mostly harmless to me really.
ps Im really disappointed that you didnt come thru at all on your title haha. and heck how is a kinky princess better than a princess? I mean I certainly would agree but I dont know what *your* definition of "kinky" is.... thought you might get into that....
Did you grow up like your raising your daughter or are you trying to compensate for your unfulfilled princess complex? Sounds like she's building much on her appearances alone. And didn't Rapunzel had long, silky black hair?