Princesses. Love them or hate them, they are archetypes which touch the heart and soul of millions of little girls (and boys, and women and men) around the world.
Many people love to point out the anti-Feminist messages in the Disney Princess movies - the damsel in distress, waiting for a man to rescue her, whose only worth is her pretty face and tiny waist. And it's true, those messages are there. But I've been playing a Princess for almost 10 years now. It really doesn't take a lot to look a little deeper. If all you see is negativity, you aren't really paying attention.
The nature of stories is that the listener hears so much more with her heart than the teller ever says aloud. A story told to a group of 10 girls will be heard, filtered, and interpreted 10 different ways. Everyone takes what they need from a story. This is the way human beings are made. Our very deepest selves and souls are built on stories. We are made of stories. What is society (or reality for that matter) but a story we are constantly telling ourselves and each other?
A story itself is a tool for self knowledge and for knowledge of the world around us. A tool is neither good nor bad unto itself.. it's how the tool is used that makes it good or bad. Is a stick inherently evil if someone uses it to hit another person? Is it inherently good if it's used to build shelter or fire? Stories are some of the most powerful tools around, but they are still tools.
If the only thing you can see in a Princess story is negative, misogynistic messages, then please take another look - for your little Princess' sake. These stories have so much to give. Please look deeper, and point to the beauty, the truth, and the love these stories embody so your little girls can see them more clearly.