Heroes and Princesses.
That's the name of the new Disney on Ice show. I love Disney on Ice, I took my daughter last year and we had a fabulous time. But I hate the message of the show: boys are heroes, girls are princesses.
Heroes and Princesses. Strong vs pretty, brave vs polite, wild vs fancy.
When I asked my 7-year-old daughter the difference between heroes and princesses, she said it best: "heroes save people, princesses boss people around."
It's not intentional. It's just advertising. But these messages matter to our girls, and shapes them into the women they will become. And I definitely would prefer a hero(ine) to a princess. (Yes, I know princesses can be brave and smart and wild, but not usually.)
Today in New York, women and girls are celebrating International Day of the Girl by marching into Times Square. An alliance of activists and experts called Brave Girls Want have rented a billboard in Times Square that will broadcast girl-positive messages such as:
"#Bravegirlswant media to stop defining them before they can define themselves."
"BraveGirlsWant music that treats them with respect."
"BraveGirlsWant not to be called a tomboy when they are simply being a girl. There are many ways of being a girl."
The Brave Girls Alliance came together following the #keepMeridabrave campaign. They are asking media creators to "expand their version of what it means to be a girl, and recognize our girls as whole, complex people and not as gender stereotypes. Stop profiting from selling girls short."
Check out the #BraveGirlsWant hashtag on Twitter throughout the day to see what they are up to in Times Square.
If the International Day of the Girl has one hero, it's got to be Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old who was shot while fighting for the right for girls to have an education. Malala is someone I want my daughter to know about. She is amazing; the more I hear her speak, the more I am amazed by her. If you have not seen or heard her, watch this. She exudes bravery. I keep becoming more and more wowed by her eloquence and courage.
She is the kind of role model that I want for my girl. I am waiting for the movie that shows Malala standing up for girls' right to be educated. No prince around to save her. The battles we fight here in North America seem small in comparison.
Want more chaos? Is texting making a you a bad parent too?
Image credit: Bravegirlswant.com