07 January 2008

Pirates and Princesses

I rail a lot about the insidiousness of the Disney Princess empire. Despite having no Princess toys at home (beyond that disembodied head of Ariel, which is at the bottom of the toy box and hasn't been looked at in quite awhile), my child knows all the Princesses, and their consorts, and what color eyes, hair and dress each has. She hasn't asked me for a Princess doll, but many of the girls in her daycare class have them, and bring them in for naptime. ("Home" toys are not allowed, except for nap.)

I was pleasantly surprised when a friend of mine gave her a Groovy Girl doll for Christmas - I'd never seen one before, but it's just a doll. No breasts, no attitude, not plastic. A winsome expression on her face, and a mop of curly yarn hair. She adopted it right away and carries it everywhere. So what happened when she returned to daycare after a 10 day break? The Groovy Girl has been dubbed a Princess.

She also, like Javelin's Z., got a pirate ship for Christmas. Over the weekend, we let it and its many little bits out of the box and Daddy helped her set it up. The ship came with two pirates. She gleefully announced "I'm Jack Sparrow, and you can be Will Turner!"

So, her Groovy Girl has become a princess, but she can pretend to be a male pirate.

It's a conundrum of being.

26 comments:

Life As I Know It said...

That's great! Very cool that your daughter has a pirate ship.
I'm stuck in boy toy land here...

wheelsonthebus said...

That doll is fantastic.

Waiting Amy said...

I don't have a girl, but I think that I too would avoid the princess empire like the plague.

I love the groovy girl! And pirate are awesome, what girl wouldn't love 'em!

Cuodos to you for avoiding the cliched mainstream.

Aurelia said...

My very gentle animal loving youngest son, likes to play bionicles, most of whom are creatures so disgustingly violent, you would never believe it's legal for kids under 18.

I stopped objecting when I realized he was taking care of the bionicles and feeding them and playing doll, in effect. But, I'm never ever allowed to mention that. Offends his manhood.

Her Grace said...

It's what a well-rounded girl should be allowed to be, right? Anything she wants!

We have things both Groovy girl and pirate at our house and both are very popular.

Rhea said...

Happy new year! I collect baby boomer blogs. Wanna trade links?

Sober Briquette said...

Fiona has the Fiona Groovy Girl. But the clothes were hard for her to change, so the doll never was a favorite. On Christmas Eve, she dressed her in a ball gown for the occasion.

We read the book "The Apple Doll" so we're in the process of making a dried apple doll. Today I bought the yarn for hair and fabric for clothes. Total cost: less than $5.00. Each one absolutely unique.

Eva said...

Free to be you and me, right?

T said...

I love Groovy Girls -- we have a princess one. *sigh* I wish my daughter was into the pirates -- then maybe I could get her to watch Johnny Depp with me.

susan said...

We have an apple doll, too, made after reading that book. Very fun.

Sounds like your girl has just a fabulous imagination--she'll make of the world what she needs to.

Julie Pippert said...

We have quite a few Groovy Girls...love them. Patience was attached big time to Siri, but has since let that go. Persistence hasn't shown much interest, I'm sad to say. But we love the Groovy Girls.

MotherPie said...

The whole princess thing is quite an interesting phenomenon. I would rather have the princess thing than the bratz dolls, which thankfully came after mine were at that age. The American Girl dolls came as my youngest outgrew them. I went to the big store in NYC for a 6 year-old birthday party for my cousin. I just couldn't believe the machine behind the idea.

Does anyone ever do handmade one-of=a-kind dolls anymore, I wonder?

NotSoSage said...

It's perfect, though, isn't it? She can dream whatever she wants to dream right now.

And I love the Groovy Girls. They're awesome.

Bill Braine said...

Oh, gad, I forgot having a daughter would eventually result in princessery. We gave her a little toolbench this year. She has a doll of some sort, but I don't know where it came from.

jen said...

we are just entering the princess phenom. it's perplexing in it's voracity.

pootandcubby said...

Everyone's a princess over here, even daddy.

-andi

niobe said...

Do you think you'd feel differently if you had a boy who was going through an intense princess phase? Just wondering....

hsbff said...

Seems like most of the posts are from younger moms (and dads?) From an older perspective, I can tell you that I had a friend who insisted that there be no "gender" specific toys in the home. She vowed, no guns and no GI Joes. She had very little to no TV. The results were pretty interesting. Believe it or not, her two sons picked up sticks in the yard and used them as "guns". POW. She was horrified. Her kids grew up well mannered and now the battles are over things like Halo 2. (A popular killing game on X box)
I am not sure what conclusions could possibly be drawn from this...but it is interesting. How do we keep our children "safe" from certain influences, media/advertisers? How? is some of this genetic? Also what about the parents who guard against all of these caricatures but then let their kids see R rated movies at 10?

Suz said...

I love the doll! The way that kids understand gender at this age is funny. We let my niece create her own character for the Wii over Christmas and thought it amusing when she selected to be a tall, gray-haired, boy.

Melanie said...

Life is all about balancing your inner princess with your inner pirate.

Here's to your little, royal swash-buckler.

Victoria said...

I wish her luck with the pillaging and all...*grin*

My Girl is all princess and pink (but thankfully no Barbie), despite my take on princesses and pink. It's like she was born with the princess thing already brewing. Kids are weird.

dawn224 said...

I think it's the prerogative of a princess to choose to wear a tiara or be a pirate :)

MadMad said...

I don't know if she's old enough for Enchanted yet, but that is a "princess" movie worth seeing - very funny! And Groovy Girls are awesome - but not as awesome as girls who can be pirates, too!

Julia said...

The scourge of princesses! Oh, humanity, short-people style.

And I am jealous of the pirate ship. We went to a pirate museum in Bahamas, and Monkey had a pirate parade at her cruise-ship camp, so she is into it too. Hm, perhaps a girl-pirate convention is in order?

Mad Hatter said...

...and no matter how you look at it, Disney's got her in the end. (They are responsible for Pirates of the Carribean, right? Or am I talking out of my ass again?)

Ophelia Rising said...

As the mother of a two-year-old girl, I am thankful and tentatively hopeful that she will continue her eschewing of all-things-princess, and will instead follow the path of interests that include drawing, music, matchbox cars, and building with blocks. She is WAY interested in big brother's Legos, but doesn't play too much with her doll, which lays in a small crib in the corner of her room.

Not that I mind princesses and dolls, per say. Indeed, there is nothing wrong with them, other than the insidious corporate exploitation that is currently associated with them. But I take wild offense to all the pink, pink, pink, and otherwise "girly" blather that I see plastered in the catalogues and such. Are we still in the 50's, or what? I just don't get it.

I hope for so much more for my girl. I hope that she finds herself, despite all the hype and push for an artificial femininity. I, after all, only hold so much power over this. The rest is up to the village.