Why Do They Always Have to be Princesses?

My six year old’s favorite show, Disney’s “Sofia the First,” recently aired an episode that caught my attention.

Sofia is the wide-eyed daughter of King Roland II, after he married her mother and swept them into royal life.  That means that Sofia, recently a commoner, must learn the ways of the princess.  Shows are full of sparkly dresses and beautiful tiaras.  However, the focus of the show tends to be on the “inner beauty” of princesses — kindness, generosity, and grace.  (This character focus echoes this Disney advertisement.)

In one episode, King Roland had grown weary of ruling the kingdom of Enchancia (which is puzzling, since the only “work” I’ve seen him doing is planning the kingdom’s elaborate balls).   After wishing for a simpler life as a baker, he and his entire family end up as “one of the common folk.”  But soon he realizes a simple life has its own set of problems…. especially when the royal subjects are so lost without their king.

“Wait, guys,” I said to the television screen when they showed the confused subjects, wondering what they were going to do without royal leadership.  “Rise up!  Govern yourself – you don’t need a king.  He’s wasting all the money on dances anyway.”

My fifteen-year old daughter smiled, but my six year old look confused.  I let it drop.

But are there real-world consequences to raising our kids on a steady diet of “benevolent king” storylines?

Please enjoy my thoughts on Rare.

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About Nancy French

Nancy French is a three time New York Times Best Selling Author.

  • SisterCynthia

    The Lord is our king, and He is a benevolent one. Americans tend to view ALL authority as suspicious if not evil, and that bleeds over into how we want our god (yes, little g god) to be electable, deposable, and ultimately superfluous to our self-directed lives. Perhaps consider that not all authority (I assume you claim it over your kids) is inherantly evil, but what is done with it, for decisions must be made, by one leader or many. Maybe point out to your daughter that while God is a perfect King, human rulers are not, and even with God He will allow things we don’t enjoy for purposes we just have to trust Him with. In depth political discussions of self-rule’s tyranny of the elected vs. the tyranny of the inherited leadership of monarchies can probably wait until she’s a tad older. ;) There’s my 2 cents…

  • Surprise123

    “Why do they always have to be princesses”? Perhaps the primordial fear of disruption, of anarchy and all the violence, rape, and horror they bring lies dormant in the heart of most female children (much the way baby chicks instinctively fear the shadow of a hawk, without having ever experienced a hawk for themselves).
    Perhaps the desire to be the daughter of a King, is actually the desire to be protected by a strong, established Alpha male, a masculine figure who is able to ensure order, and keep the disruption and anarchy at bay?
    But…just a guess….