Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Disney Princess Machine, Has It Gone Haywire?

Princesses are in. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel. Odds are if you have daughters, you see plenty of ads for these princesses and others. The list goes on: Pocahontas, Mulan, Snow White, Jasmine, Belle, and debuting soon, Disney's first black princess, Maddy. Old movies are new again, and new movies are being made featuring old movie princesses -- Cinderella III; Disney Princess Enchanted Tales; The Little Mermaid Platinum Edition; Princess Party Volume Two: The Ultimate Pajama Jam!; Disney Princess Stories Volume Two: Tales of Friendship; and more.

It is troubling to see this amount of marketing effort applied to animated characters directed toward youngsters, but it doesn't end there. When attention is turned to real life Disney teen stars, we see a Disney pop princess machine that seems to have gone awry. From Hillary Duff, to the Cheetah Girls, to Hanah Montana, to Ashley Tisdale, to Vanessa Hudgens. It is not enough to have these teenage girls to be TV stars or movie stars, they are promoted as pop stars too. Their television shows and ads for their movies are followed by videos featuring their next hit single. It is nonstop marketing.

Too often, the image of the girl seems to take a back seat to the desire to create a saleable pop sensation. One of the Vanessa Hudgens videos, in particular, seems so inappropriate that I change the channel or turn off the television if it comes on. Of course Disney should back Ms. Hudgens following her recent error in judgment.

The bigger question is: Is Disney pushing girls too far too fast, or growing their careers to quickly, to turn them into the next pop princess sensation? Of course parents and child performers make their own decisions, but as an expert in the industry and key decision maker, what role does Disney play?

Friday, September 07, 2007

Think Pink

Okay, so I don't drink coffee from a pink cup. yet. Only because I don't have one. But I would so very gladly vacuum my house with a pink vacuum. And if I could help beat breast cancer by doing so? Well, that would just rock. Check out the new PINK Dyson debuting at Target and the giveaway going on at ModMom.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Wacky Wednesday -- A Rough Sketch

I have started creating some of my own clip art (See "Happy Labor Day" and "Calling for a Cease Fire".) An artist I am not, but imagine my husband's surprise when I showed him the initial rough sketch below. Finally, it dawned on me that I should explain I drew her arms and extra shoes separately because these are not my forte and if drawn separately I can edit and attach them later in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. Before the explanation I can only imagine what he must have thought.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Calling for a Cease Fire

My grandmother used to tell me, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." While I do think a certain amount of critical discourse is necessary to sort out life, love and politics, I think the rule my grandmother taught me is just perfect when it comes to judging other mothers' decisions about raising their children.

Others though, many others, seem to feel an incessant need to dole out unsolicited constructive criticism to mothers. (See "Mommy Wars Suck" at Pundit Mom.) Maybe they feel they have all the answers for raising perfect children, or at least know more than the moms they criticize. Maybe they think their advice is the only thing that provides a glimmer of hope for all of us against the otherwise certain destiny of being doomed to live in a world full of degenerate, tantrum-throwing, blankie-clutching, un-potty-trained adults still sucking their binkies. I don't know.

Frankly, I've got my hands full just trying to make decisions about how to raise my own children. I don't have time to make decisions about how to raise someone else's. So, while I won't venture to offer parenting advice, I would like to call for a cease fire. Let's put an end to the Mommy Wars.

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day to hardworking moms everywhere. After all, who works harder?