In Defense of the Princess
by Jerramy Fine
Publisher: Perseus Books Group-Running Press
It’s no secret that most girls, at some point, love all things princess: the poofy dresses, the plastic tiaras, the color pink. Even grown-up women can’t get enough of royal weddings and royal gossip. Yet critics claim the princess dream sets little girls up to be weak and submissive, and allows grown women to indulge in fantasies of rescue rather than hard work and self-reliance.
Enter Jerramy Fine – an unabashed feminist who is proud of her life-long princess obsession and more than happy to defend it. Through her amusing life story and in-depth research, Fine makes it clear that feminine doesn’t mean weak, pink doesn’t mean inferior, and girliness is not incompatible with ambition. From 9th century Cinderella to modern-day Frozen, from Princess Diana to Kate Middleton, from Wonder Woman to Princess Leia, Fine valiantly assures us that princesses have always been about power, not passivity. And those who love them can still be confident, intelligent women.
Provocative, insightful, but also witty and personal, In Defense of the Princess empowers girls, women, and parents to dream of happily ever after without any guilt or shame.
“The truth is that all women are princesses.”
This book was fantastic! It combines the makings of a great read; A witty author, the personal experiences, and research. Lots and lots of research. I loved every second of it. Having read Someday My Prince Will Come, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one!
In Defense of the Princess, Fine defends the idea that princesses and feminism can go hand in hand. Not only is being a princess about beauty (inner, specifically) but about empowerment and sovereignty. She explains how the definition is simple; ‘she is a queen in the making’ and a princess is ‘a girl with a vision and a purpose higher than her own’. I think Fine nailed it. So often, you will read or hear rants from mothers who are worried that their daughters want to dress like the princesses in the movies. But shouldn’t we look at it as a positive? And take what they are doing and teach them about empowerment, and how they can do whatever they want in their lives?
“I collected etiquette books, studied royal family trees, subscribed to royal magazines, analyzed royal fashion, kept elaborate scrapbooks on the world’s reigning princesses, and wrote heartfelt letters to Queen Elizabeth’s oldest grandson, who just happened to be my age.”
Woah. That is dedication.
“Feminism is about the freedom to be anything we want.”
THIS. Think Emma Watson. She, right now, is the role model and definition of feminism. But just as Fine brings up in her book, she is EXCITED to play Belle in Beauty and the Beast. So doesn’t that tell us something?
“We are ready to reclaim our inner princess —- She is not helpless, passive, and frivolous —- She is strong, she is brave, she is daring, and she is powerful.”
We need to teach our daughters, sisters, friends, young ones, to strive to be who they want to be. To be strong, and powerful. We don’t need to teach girls about the negatives, we need to teach them about the positives.
This book was great and I think everyone should give it a read. And keep an open mind. Because your opinion may not change, but it may help to stop shaming those young girls who love the princesses and aspire to be one. Instead of telling girls they can’t. Let’s tell them they can.
“Girls with dreams become women with vision.”
Check out my review for Someday My Prince Will Come here.