This post may surprise you, but I’m a huge believer in eradicating gender stereotyping, especially with our children. The reason is very simple. As I once wrote my five year old twin girls are definitely a superhero and a princess.
Disney, I have decided makes no excuses about the fact that all girls are princesses and all boys are superheroes. There is no doubt staff are told and trained to use the word princess when talking to little girls and superhero or prince when referring to boys.
The first major thing that I noticed was that all staff, and I have to assume that they’re told or trained to do this, call every little girl, princess. Most regular readers of my blog will know that I have five year old twin girls, and they couldn’t be more different. M is without question a princess and R, well she is and probably believes that she is a superhero.
I found that staff really took notice of the fact that she was wearing a baseball cap and shorts. It appears to me that the staff are all brainwashed that all girls must be referred to as princesses. I will add that R never seemed put out by it, but she is only five and I think it had a hint of 1950’s about it.
The one incident happened when we had lunch at ADC, which is where you can have lunch with the princesses. We did this primarily for M because she is huge fan of princesses and that’s absolutely fine, but R, I think can take it or leave it. I would say give her Spiderman or Peter Pan, and she is a lot happier.
So we sat down to lunch and the waitress came and took our drinks order, and asked what food we would like for our lunch. This was all fine until we got to our desert. The girls had both decided they wanted Cinderella’s surprise.
The waitress then looked at my wife and focussed her attention on R.
She then said, “Is it a girl?”
My wife very quickly replied, “Of course she is a girl!”
My thoughts were I’m very sorry (not really), that she is wearing a baseball cap, shorts and a t-shirt and not Elsa’s dress, but hey ho! We live in the 21st century and girls as well as boys can wear what they like.
What was also worrying to me was that if R had been a boy was she not allowed to have Cinderella’s surprise for her desert? Totally crazy!
I might add that Cinderella’s surprise turned out to be a chocolate slipper. Correct me if I’m wrong, although I know I’m not since when is desert that is named Cinderella’s surprise for girls only? I was shocked and actually disgusted that this was even an issue.
Disneyland Paris, I will add is a truly awesome place to visit. It’s magical, wonderful and to go with my five year old twin girls who without question believe completely in the magic, and to them every character is real. The magic in their eyes when they meet the characters melted my heart every time.
Disney is one of the largest brands and corporations in the world and their influence in the world is enormous, so when I heard and saw what the staff say to children, I felt they are stuck a little bit in the past and need to embrace the new world, and help eradicate gender stereotyping with our children for a better future for the world.
I would love to know your thoughts.