Do you want to be a pretty princess?

My sister has two little boys, too. She told me a story about a ride in the car with them. D., your classic “toughie,” just three years old, had picked up one of his mother’s sparkly gossamer scarves, and put it around his neck. Boys like accessorizing, too, you know. He was sitting there in his car seat in the back.

W., he’s five. W. was taunting his brother. “You’re a pretty princess. Hey D., you’re a pretty princess.”

D adopted his deepest, most intimidating voice. We call it “The Voice.” He said, “This pretty princess is gonna kill you.”

Although I couldn’t stop laughing about this story for weeks, it tells an interesting tale. Where did they get this whole thing about pretty princesses? If even little boys are noticing the pretty princess phenomenon, well, there’s a good chance the girls have, too. And a lot of parents are angry. They hadn’t planned to bring up a daughter in the 21st century to dream of being a beautiful princess and pine away the day, at the age of 5, thinking about who they are going to marry.

When the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood asked on its Facebook page last week, “What company, product or marketing scheme do you want us to take on this year?” Disney was the most often mentioned.

When Disney announced the all-Disney channel to replace daytime soaps, this is what they said:

“Around the world, our Disney-branded channels are burgeoning, distinguished by the special place Disney has in the hearts of kids — who delight in our characters and stories — and parents who trust our commitment to entertaining and helping their preschoolers, kids and tweens grow through engaging, relevant programming . . . we look forward to enhancing that sense of magical storytelling and parental trust, and expanding our offerings, locally and globally, from morning to night, to deliver more Disney-quality content that will resonate with generations to come.”

Or, do Disney merchandise tie-ins bring in more profit than laundry detergent?

So, that brings us to the question of the day: Do you trust Disney? Do you? Do you think Disney has your children’s best interests at heart?

Disney is In The News today in the blogosphere. Read on:

The Real Toy $tory, by Susan Linn

A Real Toy Story 

A sexualized Miley Cyrus? One word: Disney

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