CELINE SALAMEH speaks with some strong young women in western Sydney about what being a “princess” really means.
The Anti-Princess Movement was originally a blog created by parents who want more for their daughters than the mindless idolisation of princesses that has swept the nations.
It was made in the belief that young girls around the world should be allowed the intelligence and the freedom to choose their own futures, without society forcing upon them the expectations of pink, frilly dresses and an over-preoccupation with body image and reliance on the opposite sex.
The founder of the movement, Samantha Turnbull says: ‘My only goal is to inspire other parents or guardians to take a long, hard look at the growing trend of princess-dom that has afflicted our society. What values are we teaching our young girls? How does this contribute to the manner in which females are subsequently viewed by their male counterparts?’
Disparities in the representation of men and women in children’s media has long been an issue.
In recent studies, academics at Florida State University found that gender bias in books has existed for more than 100 years. They identified that in almost 6,000 picture books published between 1900 and 2000, only 7.5% depicted female protagonists. And that is just one aspect of children’s media!
“If all children read is about princesses waiting to be saved by a prince, then the message they learn is that women are not as valuable as men – that we are not equals,” says Samantha. “We need to start early and show children of a young age that men and women are absolutely equal.”