i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings. i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds. i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

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it’s OK to like fairy tale princesses

Sometimes I miss the days of being able to enjoy something without having all of these other little voices in my head reminding me that people will be complaining about it or trying to ban things or whatever. And I’m not talking about horribly, awful things. I’m just talking about harmless fun that so many people now feel the need to denounce and burn at the stake.

Last weekend I was in Ottawa visiting Monkey and I happened to be perusing the exciting English flyers (because ours are all in French only) and came across this in the Toys R Us flyer.

The second my eyes saw this picture of dolls, they lit up. I posted that photo to the internet and said, “I don’t know what these are but I WANT THEM!”

You see, I am instantly drawn to anything remotely fairy tale-ish. I love Disney. I love regular fairy tales. I love Disney Princesses, not because I WANT to be a princess but because there’s something about them that ignites a spark inside me. Something about fairy tales and princesses fills me with happiness and wonder and whimsy.

I love to be enchanted. Fairy tales are enchanting. These dolls have shiny, whimsical clothes (although those heels look deadly.) I was oddly drawn to the one on the far left instantly and then to the purple one. I had no idea who they were but the one on the far left reminded me of Alice in Wonderland.

Turns out, she’s the daughter of the Mad Hatter. I’m good.

Then I found out that these dolls were part of the Ever After High series. And there was a book. A BOOK! By one of my favourite children’s lit authors – Shannon Hale. She writes amazing stories. She’s written Princess Academy (which, by the way I did NOT want to read and refused to read it and Monkey told me I would like it and I still refused but then I was stuck on a couch after breaking my toe and read it and it quickly became one of my favourite middle grade books) and Goose Girl (the entire series is fantastic). She can really, really tell a story and weave a great fairy tale/fantasy, and she doesn’t make it cutesy or silly.

Then… I SAW the book in the store.

If I had seen this book before the dolls, I’d have still lusted over it and wanted it. The book is gorgeous and eye-catching and pretty and just…makes me so happy. (So I told my husband that this was one of the things I HAD to have at Christmas. ;))

The thing is as I am getting so excited and happy about this series (which is sort of like Monster High, although I never really felt any connection to that line of dolls or stories. Odd.) but all I can hear in the back of my mind are those people who are going to complain about these “princess dolls” making “girls think that all they need is to be a princess and wear pink”.

I’m sort of tired of how people rant about things that shouldn’t be ranted about. There’s no harm in whimsy and the fantasy that you can be a princess and find a Prince Charming. I adored Disney’sĀ Snow White as a child. I loved her so much. I didn’t give two hoots about Prince Charming. I didn’t want to grow up and be a princess and marry a prince and live in a castle. Not once. (Ok, maybe as I grew up I wanted to live in a castle. But really, they seem awfully cold and draughty.)

What I wanted was to be able to speak with animals and to be able to burst out into song and dance in the middle of whatever I was doing and have the world sing and dance with me. THAT is what I got out of all of the Disney movies about Princesses. And I HATED pink. Hated it. I have always loved purple.

Now I love pink. I think it goes smashing with purple. In fact, I am writing this while wearing a hot pink hoodie. But do I love pink because I’m a girl and I saw a Princess wear it? Nope.

Did I ever think that I had to starve myself and be tall just so I could look like a Barbie doll? Nope. I loved playing with my Barbie Dolls and all their clothes but I loved my Jem & the Holograms dolls more because THEY WERE POP STARS and had happy coloured hair.

Not once did I think I had to be tall and thin and to rely on my prince to come galloping out from the sunset on his majestic steed to save me. I wanted my own My Little Pony Pegasus to ride. Or, like She-Ra’s flying horse. But I never thought that my dolls and my make-believe was what I needed to fulfil my life.

These Ever After High dolls make me happy. They are sons and daughters of fairy tale characters (although some of the logic is rather questionable, but I’m letting them get away with creative licence here…) and it’s a punny, silly cartoon show. There might be something on cable, but I don’t have that, so I’m just happy watching these short 2-4 minute YouTube animations. They make me giggle and the colours and magic of it all makes me feel all warm and giddy inside.

I love make-believe. I love fantasy. I love fairy tale princesses and their offspring and that’s ok. It doesn’t mean I’m going to model my life after them.

I think people take too many things way too seriously when they are just meant to be fun. There is nothing wrong with loving Disney Princesses or their movies. There’s nothing wrong with loving Mattel’s line of Ever After High dolls or their Monster High Dolls. Let children enjoy things that are childish. It won’t ruin them. They might end up being adults who still love to escape in an enchanting, whimsical tale now and then.

Let fun BE fun. There’s no harm in that.

And now I am going to go back and watch the rest of the Ever After High animations online. I’m only at episode 5 and there are 14 of them. Shawn is about to be so thrilled. He’s a patient, patient man. I am very lucky. šŸ˜‰

(Also, I have decided that I NEED to be Maddie Hatter for Halloween next year. Tea, purple & teal hair, AND polka dot tights? I think I might already be her.)

Ever After High – youtube channel | fun websiteĀ (I have already created my own Rebel character, because I’m five.)

You know, sometimes I think it would be pretty fun to be a magical, cartoon character. So maybe these fairy tale offspring are corrupting me after all. šŸ˜‰

(And I might be playing the theme song on repeat, much to Shawn’s delight.)

2 comments to it’s OK to like fairy tale princesses

  • Caroline

    I love this post, I have spoken to you on twitter about Ever After High and I am urging you to get a doll, mind you, once you get one you will want them all (and they are planning a lot more releases next year, have you seen Cerise Hood? She is gorgeous!)
    I adore Monster High and have 17 dolls, my dad and fiance buy me them but it is a secret I don’t tell many people, its amazing how much you will be judged being an adult and collecting dolls aimed at tweens.
    As I type this I have another tab up with the EAH website as I create my character and play games, its escapism in this often dreary life and I will be ordering the book too. So I might be 34 going on 6, who cares?

  • Oh, those dolls are absolutely lovely! I have been intrigued by them since I first saw them advertised in a Wal-Mart flyer. šŸ˜€ I’m definitely going to have to check them out some more – and of course, I signed up at the site. šŸ™‚ Plus, I’m going to order the books!