"I really, really don't give a damn about the Kate Middleton/Prince William engagement and I really wish posts about it would stop writing, "the reason we are all excited about this is that we always wanted to be a princess."
No, you wanted to be a princess and you care about this."
Jezebel commenter Tchotchke
I can't ever remember a time in my life where I desired to be a princess. A witch, maybe. Rock star? Definitely. I know I wrapped a bunch of my mom's scarves around a broom and swung it around like Steve Tyler, and when cable finally came to out neighborhood, I really wanted to be an MTV veejay like Downtown Julie Brown. But princess wasn't even on my shortlist. The number of grown, successful women who profess a love for princess play as girls never ceases to amaze me, not because I think I'm better for having evaded it, but because the whole culture seems so alien to me.
My primary explanation for this is I was already in my teens during the start of the Disney princess empire. Being sixteen or seventeen when Ariel debuted, it was easy to dismiss it as "kid's stuff," but it goes deeper than that. Class and race are rarely taken into consideration. For a lot of girls, the princess phenomenon is off-limits. Yes, Disney made inroads with The Princess and the Frog, but their latest offering, Tangled, a remake of Rapunzul, takes more than a few steps back. (Read Renee's excellent take on on Tangled.) For a lot of girls -- even within the realm of unrealistic childhood dreams -- playing princess is out of reach.