In Defense of the Princess: How Plastic Tiaras and Fairytale Dreams Can Inspire Smart, Strong Women Book Review

At first glance, the idea of the princess and feminism seem like they are on opposite sides of the spectrum. The princess is a delicate creature in a large ball gown, waiting for a prince to rescue her from whatever peril she is in. Feminism states that women can stand on their own two feet and be counted as human beings without relying on a man.

Author Jerramy Fine believes that not only can both exist, but they can co-exist. The daughter of hippies who has been infatuated with the idea of princesses and royalty since her childhood, Ms. Fine published her latest non-fiction book, In Defense of the Princess: How Plastic Tiaras and Fairytale Dreams Can Inspire Smart, Strong Women in 2016. Drawing examples of both fictional princesses (i.e. the Disney Princesses and Princess Leia from Star Wars) and from real princesses (Grace Kelly and Princess Diana), she writes how a woman can still be a princess, but still be strong and stand on her own two feet.

I really liked this book. I find that the my belief in feminism is often at odds with the “princess” ideal that, like many girls, I was raised with. Ms. Fine is able to put to bed, once and for all, that these ideals are at cross purposes and can never come together. My only disagreement with the author is the notion that Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Cinderella (especially in the forms that Disney has presented) can inspire young girls to be strong, courageous and independent. While some of the latter-day Disney Princesses are role models, I hardly think that “Someday My Prince Will Come” is going to embolden future generations of girls to break the glass ceiling for good.

Do I recommend it? Yes.


Class Vs. Classless

When Gabi Finlayson went on vacation to Paris with her family in December, she could have bought a trinket that might have become a dust collector on her shelf. Instead, she bought something that she hoped she would remember for the rest of her days: a formal dress that she planned to wear to her school dance.  Like most teenagers, Miss Finlayson hoped that the dress, in future years would trigger fond memories of a rite of passage that many young people go through. Instead the night ended in tears.

One of the adults chaperoning the dance asked her to cover her shoulders,  forever changing what could have been a fun night out into a humiliating and unhappy evening.

This dress is beautiful. Whomever designed the dress had Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn in the back of their minds. It is simple, elegant and age appropriate. She covers more skin than she actually shows. And yet this adult forced her to cover her shoulders.

I understand that the school district has certain requirements for the students to be able to attend the dance. But why, once again does the dress code only pertain to girls? Why is it that girls and women are responsible for the “impure thoughts” of boys and men?

Miss Finlayson has class. The adult who forced her to needlessly cover up and ruin her evening? Classless.


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