Pop-Culture | Posted by Brenna F on 12/26/2009

The Prince Is Safe Now

This morning I felt extremely lazy, so when I woke up at 11:00 I decided to turn on some cartoons. (Hey, we’re all kids at heart.) There were commercials on, but one of them was a little different than I expected:

When I see Disney princesses, I always think of stereotypical women waiting to be rescued by their prince. In fact, yesterday I was shopping for the Toys for Tots drive my school is holding, and I refused to buy anything with princesses on it. For one, I wanted to stick with gender-neutral toys that boys or girls would feel okay playing with. (I know, gendering toys is pretty messed up.) Mostly, though, I didn’t think that princesses were very good role models for young girls to look up to. The plot of every Disney princess movie revolves around a prince rescuing a princess from whatever horrible situation she is in.

But this commercial flips this idea, making the “princesses” rescue the “prince.” I love this commercial, because it teaches girls that they can do the rescuing, instead of just waiting around for a man to come along.
It also makes me want a bike again, and now I wouldn’t even care if it had princesses on it.

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  • Lauren @ at 1:29 pm, December 26th, 2009

    i know dude! i saw that commercial and was like, HELL YES, the princesses are saving the day!! such a day maker

  • Natasha @ at 1:32 pm, December 26th, 2009

    i totally agree with u! i h8 princess movies cuz of that.

  • Jules @ at 2:41 pm, December 26th, 2009

    Mulan is an example of a disney princess not waiting for a man to save her.

  • allie @ at 4:53 pm, December 26th, 2009

    i think its awsome. you can still be a princess but your the one saving his ass not the other way around.

  • Zoe @ at 4:57 pm, December 26th, 2009

    I would have been really impressed if the Prince were an actual little boy, instead of a teddy bear. Oh well. Baby steps.

  • K8 AH @ at 6:02 pm, December 26th, 2009

    They should make these bikes less pink as an option… When I was a little girl I would have been embarrassed to be seen on something so ultra feminine. I had a Blue Schwinn for my first bike and then traded up to a kick ass black and white checkered BMX. I wanted nothing to do with pink princess stuff. But yes, Kudos to the commercial implying that girls can also go on adventures!!!

  • sammy @ at 7:36 pm, December 26th, 2009

    Yeah i dno, the commercial is really cool and subversive and different, but that’s not the ideal that the movies live up to – not one bit. so i think its a little bit…misleading? hypocritical?

  • Steph @ at 7:42 pm, December 26th, 2009

    Like K8, I like that it has women as active rather than passive, but the sheer…pinkness really bugged me. I mean, pink bikes with pink helmets, pink wheels with pink heart decals, pink and white streamers – it’s a nice ad, but it seems more like they’ve made it with the intention of ‘oh, look – we’re subverting the status quo!’, and done so in one way, but it feels like they’ve missed a few things. I mean, pink for girls (because ALL GIRLS LIKE PINK) and white everywhere? No thanks. I have a gray and black mountain bike that I ride everywhere – school, errands, friends – and I wouldn’t trade it for a mountain of pink bikes.

    Also, as a side note, I’m kind of saddened by the way that these girls, who are still obviously pretty young, have already bought into the whole princesses and princes paradigm. I see it happening to the girls I peer tutor, and it just kills me inside, y’know?

  • Valerie B. @ at 2:16 pm, December 29th, 2009

    Maybe the company’s been catching up on their feminist reading..? :) At least they’re getting it through the girls’ brains that they can rescue the Prince.
    This is a cute idea and that’s the problem. With the pink, as Steph and K8 [who, btw, always brings up great points] mentioned, it just seems too sexist still. Oh yes, all girls like pink, so all of the pretend adventures they have [cuz OF COURSE THE PRINCESS COULDNT RESCUE A PRINCE SILLY GOOSE. thats why theres just a stuffed teddy!] will seem girly and silly and kiddie. Maybe that’s just the way I see it before I have my coffee, but I’d rather have them blue it up a bit. It’d be pretty sweet if they showed a little girl haveing teh time of her life on a kick-ass mountain bike….I sure would.

  • Toongrrl @ at 10:02 am, December 30th, 2009

    I am developing ideas for a Disney lesbian fairytale. It’s about a young woman ironically named, Jezebel, who has to adhere to a tradition that dictates she starts a 3 year engagement at her present age of 19 or she spends the rest of her life in celibacy like her bawdy and insecure aunt Aggie. Jezebel is quiet and awkward and obviously holds no intrest in any man, even the young man that woos her. She spends her time with Aggie, her animal friends (a sassy and psycho flying pig named Peggy and a loudmouthed bunny named Jolene) and Auntie Aggie’s friend Chantal (based on Mo’Nique) and soon happens to have snuck into the forest where a gay party occurs. She soon falls for and meets a clarivoyant and witty princess named Rosalyn (named for fmr. First Lady Carter and based on Rachel Maddow) who is already together with a beautiful fairy (sad sigh), on top of all that Jezebel has accidentally been outed in her family (disappointment follows) and she ends up selling her special talent (making the most out-of-this-world potions) to an evil coven (based on Rev. Dobson and Anita Bryant, with Sarah Palin as a minion) in order to be able to be close to Rosalyn. What she doesn’t know is that she’s been part of a 36 year plot to kill Rosalyn (based on “Sleeping Beauty” and Rosalyn’s age). Music by Taylor Swift?

    Well what do ya’ll think?

  • michelle @ at 5:38 pm, December 30th, 2009

    This is an interesting commercial and a little better than their normal ones.
    I do agree with some of you though, I wish there was a bit less pink. I was never really a pink person and my sister only liked blue, but we did like princesses when we were little. So, it would have been nice if there were more choices than PINK, or pink and white.
    Also, to comment on gendered toys, I have a 3 year old nephew and he loves to play with dolls. He also has a 1 month old little brother, which probably has a lot to do with this. His dad hates it and I almost bought him cabbage patch kid dolls for christmas just because I knew it would make my brother in law mad. But I’m a firm believer that kids should play with all toys, whether they’re considered “boy toys” or “girl toys”.
    Unfortunately I’ve found not very many people share this idea. Especially when it comes to boys. I know when I was little I had tons of “boy toys” like trains and cars.

  • Colleen @ at 3:38 pm, January 9th, 2010

    I loved it, cause I think girls are afraid to seem strong because it makes them seem like too “boyish” and of course there is nothing wrong with that, but if they aren’t particularly “boyish” or “sporty” and they like to feel pretty and wear dresses they choose to reject that strength and be a stereotypical princess. This shows them that they can be strong and beautiful, because strength goes hand in hand with beauty.

  • marta1 @ at 6:03 pm, January 25th, 2010

    i dunno…
    the woman’s voice is pretty patronising, and i dont know whether that is just because it’s an advert aimed at small children or because it’s like- ah, look at them, having their cute little GIRLY adventures (rescuing a toy) on their cute little GIRLY bikes (pink, with princesses)- ie, the advert doesn’t change the cutesy-girliness (for want of a better word)of the product itself.
    Also, maybe I’m over-reacting, but the final line is ‘so all girls can be princesses’, rather than ‘so all girls can have adventures’. Just a thought…

  • Retro Sarah Haskins: Disney Princesses | Pop-Culture | fbomb @ at 9:25 am, February 16th, 2010

    [...] to say Sarah Haskins pretty much gets it. It’s a debate that we’ve had before, about commercials and cartoons and even videos, but one I love to have since it’s a pretty basic part of most [...]

  • Renee @ at 2:22 am, May 31st, 2011

    all princesses didn’t havemen save them belle tiana I think ariel not even that tangled girl…and she didn’t even marry a prince

  • Neon Zeitgeist @ at 8:17 am, June 8th, 2014

    why couldn’t they have a real adventure?
    or maybe a animted shot, whwre they go on a cool quest? whats with the pinkness? And why does the whole thing end up with ‘..every girl can be a princess’?? Why can’t every girl be a hero?

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