Feminism in the Age of Disney Princesses

A new crop of women is coming of age, matriculating into the universe of higher education, and entering the workforce.  They grew up in an age of intense marketing towards children, and an age of specialty marketing towards girls.  The Disney film franchise was entering a Renaissance period with the release of “The Little Mermaid” in 1988–with a wide-eyed plucky mermaid dreaming about growing up and becoming part of the world, and then “Beauty and the Beast” in 1991 with a wide-eyed plucky village girl dreaming that there must be more than her provincial life.   In fact, Disney made a fortune on remaking the image of girls in movies.  The old Disney films were filled with beautiful but vapid, lifeless girls who needed to be saved by even more vapid, lifeless princes.  This new crop of heroines were defined in a different way:  pretty, plucky, adventurous–they were corporate packaged junior feminists.  They got into scrapes, they got out of them, they learned to love, and everything came up roses.  Ever wondered how Ariel would fare in corporate America….

I see a lot of resumes in my job.  I do lots of hiring.  I do a bit of managing.  One thing I’m convinced of?  We’re not doing girls a favor by teaching them that sass, verve, pluckiness, and style are the keys to success.  The bottom line?  People succeed in jobs through competence, hard work, and common sense.  How do you develop those traits?  Well, hard work is just something you have to suck up and do.  Practice helps.  Competence?  Well, see, ironically, that comes through hard work, and a fair amount of thoughtfulness.  Common sense?  That’s a bit more tricky.  It does take experience, and you have to get out there and just try to get that experience, but it also comes through empathy, through calming down and seeing other people, through seeing past yourself.  Ultimately, I think that the Disney princess image, while attractive, is ultimately terribly self-centered, with personal success an accidental feat, but something that you are naturally entitled to.  This attitude is not compatible with the modern workplace.  I’m sorry, it just isn’t. Pluckiness, by itself, doesn’t get papers filed on time.  Killer shoes, nails, and a sassy suit that sets off your curves doesn’t lead an efficient meeting.  Doe eyes can’t conduct a useful training session.  An adventurous spirit can’t prepare a project proposal that looks professional and is free of errors.  Ultimately, the accessories don’t make the woman.  It’s a hard lesson for young career women to learn, and I see it all the time.

So, where do we go from here?  I’m not one of those people who thinks we should all turn off our t.v.s, eat only vegetables grown in the garden, and only allow our children to play with carved, wooden toys.  I think we all live in this world, we have to get to know it.  Pop culture is part of the world.  It’s fine to partake.  However, I do think it’s important to round out the world for our young people.  Sure, let them watch t.v., but also give them the chance to do hard things.  To succeed.  To fail.  Love them, and help them try again.

Are current Young Women programs geared towards helping girls learn the life skills they’re going to need?  Sure, they’ll need to know how to cook,  (otherwise, life can be pretty darn expensive), and serve others, and have spiritual church experiences.  But are we teaching them to be competent people?  To work hard?  To achieve?  To gain communication skills, to have the chance to practice personable interaction with adults, to set hard goals, to learn, to enjoy life as it is, and not to try and reproduce some filmy, stylized, sheen of plucky romance over it?  What can we do to help these girls grow into competent adults–no matter what they choose to do with their lives, whether it is pursue an education, a career, be a mother, be a spouse, be a friend, be a community leader, be an activist, be an artist, or any combination of these?   How do we raise competent women?


  1. SLO_Sapo says:

    Somewhat off-topic, but one of the Sunbeam girls in our Primary has assured us that all the Disney princesses have been married in the temple.

  2. Benjamin says:

    I actually think the new Personal Progress program is a big step in the right direction. It has plenty of room to provide an individually tailored path to growth and development. The one flaw I see in it is that the open-endedness can easily result in too easy a path to completion if parents and leaders don’t guide their young women to greater challenges. I fear that there will be a lot of, “Let’s sign it off because she tried” without really letting the girls learn from their mistakes and failures.

    In my opinion, if the current Personal Progress program fails, it will be on the hands of the leaders.

  3. Anecdotally speaking, I personally have known YW leaders who shied away from teaching practical and/or professional skills to girls—things like how to write a resume or prepare a college application—out of fear that it would discourage the girls from wanting to become mothers. I also know folks who have encountered similar anxieties on the part of YW leaders and even ward and stake leadership. I have no idea if, today, such attitudes are representative or are the minority. I assume their ubiquity is slowly waning. It’s amazing how much super-angsty, super-obsessive, singleminded effort convincing girls not to recklessly and thoughtlessly abandon the thing that is supposed to be intrinsic to their biological and eternal nature.

  4. Karen, these are excellent questions. I’ve thought some about the repackaging of the Princesses Disney pulled off, and if the sheen of the stronger woman was somehow more than just the thinest veneer. While the new princesses are stronger at the outset, they do all ultimately get themselves a cardboard cutout of a Prince. The window dressing is different, but the story is the same.

    So are the girls internalizing the same message, but with slicker packaging? From your experience, it would seem so. Another example, off the top of my head, would be the Reese Whitherspoon character in the Legally Blonde franchise. Be smart, but being savvy and cute are what get you places. Ugh.

    I’d love to see young women encourage in some realistic endeavors. I’d love lessons and stories on what to do when Prince Charming never shows up, or how if he does, all your dreams are not going to be fulfilled- at least for long. We need financial planning, career planning, education goals, and sexuality all to be a part of what our YW are learning, or we continue to do a disservice to ourselves.

  5. I love your analysis of the newer princesses. I would add that, in terms of story, these characters are fundamentally disruptive to narrative. They require irrational mechanistic plotting to make room for them and are seldom taken to task morally for their actions — which you pointed at when speaking of entitlement. The real world isn’t going to give way so easily (and I think this is the crux of your post).

    As to the earlier princesses — I don’t think they’re as vapid as you suggest though, perhaps, wanting in some ways as viewed through the lense of a more modern culture.

  6. Kristine says:

    Benjamin, I think (alas) that you’re dead wrong about the new Personal Progress. Personal Progress has gotten significantly _less_ open-ended over the years, and the current version points girls towards a romantic fantasy more relentlessly than Disney movies ever have. Every single value refers prominently to the Proclamation on the Family–even “Knowledge,” where you might think the girls would get a break from domesticity, suggests asking a mother or sister in the ward to teach them things that will be helpful in managing a home or raising children. Because learning that Faith is about teaching their children (e.g. the nameless mothers of the Sons of Helaman), the Divine Nature of women closely prescribes their roles, their Individual Worth depends on being a daughter, sister, and mother, Integrity involves describing the “dangers” to the family, Good Works should be practiced by “prepar[ing] to be a homemaker by collecting recipes, shopping for food, and preparing meals for your family…” apparently just isn’t quite enough.

    The only difference is that all the Mormon princesses are supposed to wear the same color dress.

  7. I saw an earlier, non-Disney version of the LIttle Mermaid when I was a kid, and I loved it. Instead of a happy ending, the Little Mermaid dies (turns into the foam at the sea shore). I was upset when Disney came along and made it all happy instead.

  8. Ponyo is my favorite version.

  9. Excellent thoughts and questions, Karen.

    So much of our narratives for our Young Women is tied up in historic representations that are, at the root, a product of apostacy – but it’s hard to realize that when it’s the apostacy of our own Christian heritage.

    Swinging from one version to another isn’t progress at the most basic level; it’s just cosmetic change, in too many instances – and the last thing our girls and young women need is more cosmetics that obscure even further their true individuality.

  10. Re Brad’s comment,

    Anecdotally speaking, I personally have known YW leaders who shied away from teaching practical and/or professional skills to girls—things like how to write a resume or prepare a college application—out of fear that it would discourage the girls from wanting to become mothers. I also know folks who have encountered similar anxieties on the part of YW leaders and even ward and stake leadership. I have no idea if, today, such attitudes are representative or are the minority.

    Minority, I do hope. In our ward/stake we run a YW college essay workshop each fall and do some career/college major planning with the Laurels. This is a no-brainer in our region (New England) where NOT going to college does happen but it’s very, very unusual.

  11. Naismith says:

    How about Mulan? Not a princess per se, but definitely a Disney movie, and kick-ass female lead.

  12. Anecdotally speaking, I personally have known YW leaders who shied away from teaching practical and/or professional skills to girls—things like how to write a resume or prepare a college application—out of fear that it would discourage the girls from wanting to become mothers. I also know folks who have encountered similar anxieties on the part of YW leaders and even ward and stake leadership.

    This attitude is alive and well in my stake.

  13. The goal of the Church has anways been to create youth that wishing to be good Mormons for marriage and families. Never has it been to raise a generation of competent or even complete persons. Luckily, some become competent and complete anyway. But, one can’t just look at a few local counter-examples and have hope for a future change by the Church.

  14. “The goal of the Church has anways been to create youth that wishing to be good Mormons for marriage and families. Never has it been to raise a generation of competent or even complete persons.”

    Sometimes I read the comments here and wonder if we’re talking about the same church.

  15. I meant Ponyo was my favorite take on the Little Mermaid tale.

  16. “The goal of the Church has anways been to create youth that wishing to be good Mormons for marriage and families. Never has it been to raise a generation of competent or even complete persons.”

    Sometimes I read the comments here and wonder if we’re talking about the same church.

    I’m with you, MC. If Bob had any familiarity at all with the lesson series taught to both young men and young women of the Church in the early 20th century, even he couldn’t say something that far from the truth. I’ve posted lessons and articles regarding employment opportunities for women (outside the home), everything from commercial artist to department store buyer to physician; I’ve just finished transcribing a vocational manual for young men, taught by the YMMIA, that demands education and competence and personal satisfaction. Another series, on doing common things in an uncommon way, is all about excellence in everything the young men did. While much of the YMMIA and YWMIA programs could be applied in providing a living for a family or making a home for a family, very much of it had no particular role in marriage and families — very much of it had to do with personal fulfillment, being skilled at anything and everything that could promote the Kingdom of God, and generally living the best and broadest life possible. We’ve never been limited to being the spiritual studs and docile brood mares whose interests are limited to the four walls of a house that Bob’s description would make of us.

  17. Gee, I guess I did miss all the classes on how to live my personal life other than the ones on being worthly of becoming a missionary, of Temple marriage, and building Zion. But if you say there were also ones on “Join the Navy and see the world.” “It’s OK to date outside the Church.” “Follow your passions”. Then, I stand corrected.

  18. Thing is, I have no doubt that Ardis is right about turn of the century manuals. Turn of the twentieth century, that is. But this is an issue on which the past century, and particularly the past half century hasn’t exactly brought progress in the Church…

  19. # 17: Wow Ardis__ you’re right, I wasn’t there a hundred years ago to hear those lessons. So I don’t have the familiarity you have. You win!

  20. I agree, Brad; ever since we’ve focused so keenly on what the Church can do that no other organization can do, we’ve left every other part of life to outside organizations. But now we’ve reached a point where too many of us are suspicious of the work of all outside organizations precisely because they are outside — “It’s the world that teaches our girls to want to be commercial artists and department store buyers and physicians — that comes from outside the Church so it must be the philosophy of men. Bad! Bad!”

    And we’re reluctant to use Church time for anything that isn’t solely the purview of the Church (what did they say when they came out with the new nursery manual? something about the world being so threatening today that we had to start teaching the gospel to children 18 months old — they had no time to lose?). I’d like the teaching of YW to change as much as anybody does — I wish it had changed before I was in YW. But incorporating life skills for life beyond marriage and children would require a lot more than some new manuals and Personal Progress requirements for YW. It would require convincing a lot of people that the world has a lot to offer that is compatible with and complementary to the Gospel, and that young people need to be taught how to integrate it all.

    We did it a hundred years ago. We could do it again, theoretically.

  21. Obviously from the comments we all have had and are having our own unique experience within the church, with the lessons, with the leaders. I’ll bet almost every comment comes from personal experience so there’s no need to be belittling just because yours was different.

    I’ve known YW leaders who only taught makeup and dating but I’ve also known others who were teaching how to live gospel principles in every setting — school, social, work, etc. There were some (unfortunately the minority) were concerned with emphasizing the need for education and workplace skills. Perhaps that was because the majority had little personal experience with either.

  22. Karen H. says:

    Bob, stop being a jerk–not necessary. We’re just having a conversation here. (And, by the way, there’s a big difference between lessons on career development and lessons on joining the navy or following your passions. So there are some rhetorical issues with your comments as well as tone issues.)

    Ardis, those lessons sound interesting–must have been fun to do the research. I wish there were more like that when I was growing up.

    Naismith, I’ve never seen Mulan. If you didn’t catch from the OP, I’m not exactly a fan. :) Happy to be corrected by someone more familiar with the entire oeuvre.

  23. Kristine says:

    “ever since we’ve focused so keenly on what the Church can do that no other organization can do, we’ve left every other part of life to outside organizations. But now we’ve reached a point where too many of us are suspicious of the work of all outside organizations precisely because they are outside ”

    Ardis, I think that’s as brilliant and succinct a diagnosis of what’s happened to our pedagogy in the last few decades as anything I’ve ever read. Now I’ll have to learn how to properly footnote blog comments. :)

  24. andrewh says:

    SLO_Sappo – your Sunbeam may be right! Somebody once made a family group sheet for Mickey and Minnie Mouse and uploaded it into the IGI. It was in the church data base for a while before it was caught and removed.

  25. #23: Karen,
    Being called a jerk is hard for me to walk away from_but I will. Continue your conversation.

  26. For the places where Brad’s comments (3) apply, I wonder if it has anything to do with the stereotypical 20-something YW leaders we often call to lead YW?

    I visited YW once as a missionary. I remember the YW leader telling her mia maids that she was glad to be in YW so she didn’t have to go to RS.

    Do older matriarchs usually just refuse to do YW, or is this tradition just about practicality? Baby Boomer women could probably teach teenage girls plenty about work ethic and making a mark in the world.

  27. Chris Gordon says:

    First off, great post title. I was hooked without reading a word, especially as a daddy of two daughters.

    I know there’s a strong undercurrent of loathing of correlation, but I can’t see a correlated curriculum driving the kind of programs that many of the commenters wish were available in church. Keeping things towards whatever definition of “the work of salvation” is hip will probably be the limit of what comes out of any official program.

    I wonder what more is possible or appropriate. Part of me thinks it’s sad that it depends so much on the individual leaders to think outside the box a bit and really find new ways to benefit the youth, particularly the girls. Part of me thinks that’s probably intentional and a positive thing–what works in the U.S. might not in the Philippines or even Switzerland. Part of me feels like we shouldn’t expect the church to jump in on things other than, you know, church, but then why shouldn’t we be willing to expand the scope?

  28. Seriously, very well put, Ardis.

  29. I’ve never thought is was the church’s job to raise my daughters and teach them how to be prepared for the real world.

    That said, as a serious disney princess hater, and as a mother of 7 daughters..it matters to me. The individual leaders really make the program, BUT Mom and Dad can sign off on any goals and projects too. I’m currently doing the personal progress program myself. Just as a mom. I’m hoping my goals inspire their goals and vice versa.

    Within the current PP program they can learn to achieve and work hard-I just hope making money isn’t the only way we measure acheivement. I never held for that

  30. Brent C says:

    #24–For anyone else: we know how I love formatting 1000-word URL’s in the notes! ;)
    But for an Ardis cit.–anything!

  31. As one of those Mormon girls who came of age in the “Disney Renaissance” period, I wrote a blog post the other day with my feminist deconstruction of Beauty and the Beast, and my own version of happily ever after. http://casteluzzo.com/2011/06/01/movie-night-beauty-and-the-beast/ Enjoy!

  32. YvonneS says:

    This is thought provoking. My first reaction to the question about teaching girls to be competent etc. was give them music lessons. Enroll them in sports. Let them try out for plays. It was then I realized that is what we used to do and still do on a smaller scale. MIA (pre YW and YM) taught youth how to give talks and sponsored an annual speech contest on both the ward and stake level. They sponsored and still do sponsor basketball tournaments for both YW and YM. We also had a baseball tournament in the summer. MIA sponsored one act plays that were judged.

    The important thing to teach and pass on are the qualities of perseverance, and self discipline along with others mentioned above. These skills are not confined to any particular activity. Everybody needs to know how to take care of their own life including housekeeping and hygiene. In my view the thing that has changed is that we now rely more on the self direction of the youth. We have entered the greater society and shifted away from the self sufficiency model of LDS living. We have to take full advantage of what the greater community has to offer.

  33. Matt W. says:

    re- teaching competence and hard work. I think it depends on the local leaders and on the leadership opportunities the Young Women have. I think, sadly, most of a Young Woman’s experience with Young Women is decided before she turns 12. ie- If she’s a good/smart/outgoing 11 year old, she has a good chance of being a beehive leader, who then, because of her experience, has a good chance of being a Mia Maid leader, who then has a good chance of being a Laurel class president. I think those youth get more experience interacting with Ward Council/Adults and come off with more leadership skills/competency/perseverance because of it.

    It also depends on if the youth comes to mutual or not, because mutual is where we normally/regularly have lessons on going to college/writing a resume/getting a job.

    But the only time I’ve ever been to mutual has been as either the spouse of the YWP or as the YMP, so my opinion is probably a bit skewed.

  34. Matt W. says:

    Oh, and Naismith, I love Mulan!

  35. Shannon says:

    I was obsessed with LMMontgomery as a child, and this post reminded me of the Mark Twain quote on the Anne of Green Gable’s packaging that she is the “pluckiest” heroine since (?). I think you could also level this criticism at Jane Austen and the Brontes to a lesser extent bec. at least Jane Eyre gets a job.

    Mulan is great, def worth a watch!

  36. I always figured “real life” aspects were taught in school and through life experiences. When I wanted help creating a resume I wanted my business teacher, who’s job it is to teach us the right way to write a resume, not my YW adviser who hasn’t had a steady 9-5 job since she got married. Because of this, I think the YW organization tends to focus on the aspects of life that are not taught in school–ie: there is no Make-Up 101 elective, nor is there proper dating advice learned in sex ed–and the things that youth who don’t have baby siblings miss out on but need to know if their future circumstances require it.

    Though honestly, anything that is not taught in school is by friends.

  37. So what happens when YW is Disney princesses? My floor almost dropped to the ground when I heard that was our stake’s camp theme this year… apparently to teach them about their individual worth. Gahhh.

  38. Re: Competence etc. — I think the church focuses more on those things the youth don’t get from the academy. They spend the majority of their waking hours being instructed about the world in the way the world thinks best. And as such it seems only natural that the church would hammer a little on what it thinks ought to be included in their education.

    Re: Mulan — It isn’t great. Don’t let your social views justify mediocre art as great.

  39. Natalie B. says:

    I really like your analysis of the Disney Princess.

    I absolutely agree that hard work and competence are the foundations of success. But, when I was a studious young woman, I think I underestimated the extent to which social skills also matter. While the social skills that the workplace demands are not necessarily Disney Princess pluck, networking and self-marketing really do matter, and YW need the confidence and skills to do it well.

    One thing that the YW program really should do: Teach YW that they can have conversations with YM that don’t have a dating overtone. They need to learn to spend long hours, sometimes, yes, alone with men, getting work done.

  40. The YW program is supposed to be an extension of (and support to) the family. I don’t believe it is intended to be driven by workforce needs.

    Disney is trying to make money, not redefine what it means to be a woman.

    That being said, I agree with most of what the OP has to say about the necessary attributes needed for success in the workplace (and they apply just as well to men).

  41. While there may be a former Princess or two may be leaving comments on this post it seems there are no real Princesses among this group. I can’t believe no one has pointed out the most important features of a REAL Princess — a tiny waist and large breasts. That has been Disneys consistent gift to the female dream of being perfect. Duh? Doesn’t the high rate of plastic surgery in Zion support this fact?

  42. Jones– Wasn’t plastic surgery perpetuated by the use of reality television more than Disney? Disney was popular in the early 90s, elective cosmetic surgery was just beginning to spread awareness then. At least, that was the case in the Mid-West. Plus, shockingly the majority of breast sizes in classic Disney characters ranged from a large A cup to a small C at best. Take Belle from Beauty and the Beast–her breasts would be considered small according to modern ideals of size. The only one I can recall who really had anything worth bragging about would be Jasmine, but I don’t know very many girls that grow up wanting to be like her since Aladdin was the main star in that film.

  43. Oh. Oops. I’m sorry, I just realized the sarcasm implied in your comment. Please forgive me for the short coming.

  44. Norbert says:

    Disney’s focus on the plucky, sassy young woman is probably applying an American ideal presented to young men for a century. I think that figure is central to American culture, and it has become less gender-specific.

    Our ward’s YW programme is largely focused on art, music and design because of the expertise of the YW leaders. I think, generally, that’s the way it works: the YW (and YM, and primary) activities will reflect the interests and expertise of the leaders. Church programmes would benefit from leaders/teachers/advisors thinking of themselves as ‘lead learners’ rather than teachers and directors.

  45. Indiana says:

    As what I believe someone described as the “stereotypical 20-something YW leader”, I think I’ll chime in. I realise I’m using myself as an anecdotal example, but even though I’m mid-20s, married, and have just left my job to have a baby, I’ve travelled and am now living abroad, I got my Master’s degree, and developed my career path as far as I knew how before I took the time off to get ready to have a kid. So, do I think my YW should be taught how to write a resume or do research or give an intelligent accounting of themselves in a professional setting? Absolutely. But when I wanted to learn those things, my YW leaders weren’t who I asked. Not because they wouldn’t have known those things, but because there were people in my life like professors and school counsellors whose job it was to be incredibly good, not only at doing these things, but at explaining them to someone like me. What I think the focus from the YW program on these sorts of subjects should be is to state categorically that they are important. That way, even if the leaders can’t adequately teach some of the skills required for life outside of marriage and motherhood, the girls will understand that those skill still have value and they ought to figure out from whom they can learn these things.

    And yes, I think that more of the lessons can and should be tailored to remind girls that the values and skills and so on that they are taught in YW can be a part of being a healthy, functional, self-sufficient adult – not just a perfect wife and mother. (I said this nearly verbatim at the end of my Beehives’ first “marriage prep” lesson with me.)

  46. Second City did an excellent job of getting to the core message of each Princess- youtube it.

    People don’t become princesses because of YW- girls don’t decide they need to be pretty to catch a good husband and live happily ever after thanks to weekly 45 minute lesson or 1 hr weekly activity- it’s mommy and daddy who bought pumpkin the Ariel and Barbie the Fairy Princess DVD’s and let their child watch them multiple times. It’s mommy and daddy that decided that their princess shouldn’t have to work in highschool to pay for anything because she’s a ‘good girl’ It would be nice if we could blame this generation of eyelash extentions and iPhone princesses on YW or even Disney- but sorry folks, it all starts at home.

    No YW leader or program can undo years of Disney Princess brainwashing, no out dated YW manual will convince a girl with a knack for math and lacross that she should not pursue her academic interests.

  47. Karen H. says:

    “no out dated YW manual will convince a girl with a knack for math and lacross that she should not pursue her academic interests.”

    Actually, I disagree with that. I think that girls take YW terribly seriously. They do, because they’re taught to take church and the gospel terribly seriously all the way from nursery on up. Especially if parents are following up withe family home evening, family prayer twice daily, mandatory church and seminary attendance, and enforcement of “For the Strength of Youth Standards.” YW can’t be everything, it can’t take the place of school. But it can send a message that there are other things that are important besides homemaking skills.

  48. Karen H. says:

    In fact, I think it has a responsibility to do so, because it is holding itself out as the arbiter of values. If you are really helping girls develop their own sets of values (which the program explicitly does) then, it ought to be well-rounded. Girls listen to their leaders. I know that I did, and it took me 3 years into college until I firmly decided to major in something I wanted to do instead of something that I thought would be compatible with family. Some women never do make that break, never do pursue their interests, and our culture is poorer for it.

  49. Kristine says:

    Karen (48)–I agree. At least for girls with a certain sort of people-pleasing temperament and/or a lifetime of training to “follow the prophet,” the messages in YW are EXTREMELY important and trump just about every other source of values inculcation, including parents (at least during the teen years).

  50. Kristine (50) those girls who have a lifetime training of “follow the prophet” probably got that way in large part to what they were taught at home. I agree with SaltH20- I was a shy, people pleaser in my YW years, but what I learned at home had more of an influence on me than YW’s did.

  51. Mommie Dearest says:

    Often, what you learn at home is a reiteration of the attitudes that are perpetuated at church. I’m dealing with the fallout from this, wondering how I could have raised my family and at the same time built some sort of life outside my home, if not a career, with no support from any quarter. I’m surprised that no one told me it was a bad idea to drop out of school. No one encouraged me when it was hard, and in fact I was ignored by professors at BYU. I was told by another student that it because I was female and thus a waste of their time, since I was only going to be a homemaker anyway. It’s pervasive enough that when I was young and inexperienced, and under the pressure of raising a family, it was ok with everybody that I not develop myself better. Including me. Some of you are lucky enough to have had wiser parents to guide you or were savvy enough to get a clue at a younger age. All I had was what I learned in church, which was reinforced by everyone in my culture.

    One thing I am sure of, there is a whole lot more to women than being a mother, things that are given to us by the Lord that he expects to be developed. I don’t see why the church doesn’t recognize this better and teach YW that they need to learn more than homemaking, that caring for a home and children should be integrated with other work and study, and that it’s hard but possible, and you should have at least the moral support of those around you, including the dh and kids. It’s only the truth that we all learn sooner or later, and it should be recognized and taught sooner, otherwise we are failing our YW.

    I’m late to the discussion, as usual.

  52. On a bit of a tangent, one aspect (of many) that annoy me about the Disney princesses are the commercialization of the dress up box. My sisters and I used to dress up in my mom’s old prom dresses and discarded church shoes. Kids today have to have fitting, matching CinderellaBelleSnowWhite dresses. Where’s the imagination in that?!

    I haven’t read it yet, so I can’t recommend, but Peggy Orenstein’s “Cinderella ate my Daughter” book looks good. http://peggyorenstein.com/books/cinderella.html

  53. Benjamin says:

    The images you are witnessing on the hypnotic TV screen are carefully crafted and subtly, almost subliminally, push a world view. We must be spiritually sensitive of the source – it may not be blatantly apparent – and contemplate whose interests are served by the establishment of such a worldview within the popular culture.

    You may find an interesting day’s reading by googlink Disney, MK-Ultra, and Project Monarch.

  54. Benjamin, I love that link that resulted from your recommended Google search.


    Project Monarch sounds fascinating. How did you find out so much about it?

  55. john f, you’re positively wicked.

  56. haha, well MK-ULTRA is the future — sooner rather than later.

  57. #57: John, I don’t know about the future. But in the late 60s, We who were graduating in Anthropology were recruited by the CIA to work in such programs. I passed on it.

  58. Benjamin says:

    I went to vigilant citizen .com

  59. Benjamin says:
  60. I will solve this dilemma by taking my kids to Picard and Woody Allen films, and enrolling them in real camps and activities and college prep schools. If they want to attend a Church service that’s their choice, but constant Church indoctrination (by any sect) is a waste of time. I personally find Sleeping Beauty to be a better-told story than boring Seminary yarns.

    And I don’t know what data the Original Poster uses to conclude that 20- something employees are shallow, can’t work, and are obsessed with Romanticism derived from European folk tales…. Is she looking at someone’s résumé and concluding that she simply doesn’t want to work with an Amber or a Brittany? Dressing fashionably is not a sine qua non for being a bad worker. it is hard enough to get a good career if you’re between 21 and 25, regardless of gender or religion, that I don’t see what something we watched on VHS at age three has to do with it.

  61. Smart phone corrected “pixar,” but the Portian offspring will certainlybe familiar with Jean Luc Picard, too!

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