Jerramy Fine has an unerring knack for provoking skeptical questions. Such as..
Did she really go to London to find her prince?
Can holding your fork the wrong way ruin your chances of finding happily ever after in London?
Is it possible to settle for just ONE eligible royal?
With her fourth book, In Defense of the Princess: How Plastic Tiaras and Fairytale Dreams Can Inspire Smart, Strong Women
she has done it again. Now the question is: Can fairy-tale dreams empower women? On the surface, it is easy to dismiss the question. According to the author, the princess dream is innate, since the beginning of time and should be celebrated. To do otherwise is to deny an crucial element deep down inside of yourself. Every woman, royal or not, can be a princess. Interwoven with examples of real and animated princesses it is easy to buy into it.
I liked Jerramy's previous books and I think she has a compelling and entertaining writing style. In Defense of the Princess, she tenaciously takes on the 'anti-princess brigade' with gusto. She makes detailed arguments for common criticisms associated with the princess phenomenon. Starting with the most prevalent criticism of all: Disney Princesses.
For some parents, the Disney princess is something to protect your child from. According to the author, if you peel back the marketing and downplay the negative aspects of their stories (Giving up your voice. Allowing yourself to be held captive. Running away from your problems and becoming a recluse) you will find progressive, resourceful women. As long as you focus on the positive elements your child could choose far worse role models. It is all in how you choose to look at it.
The message is spun relentlessly positive. Plastic tiaras are not just toys, they represent divinity, believing in fairy-tales is about embracing your truest self, acknowledging your inner princess is about aiming high and never settling for less than you deserve, princess-critics are people who have repressed their deepest fairytale desires. While the author makes compelling arguments, elements of them border on reaching.
If you are looking for permission to embrace your inner princess (along with arguments to defend yourself), you will definitely find it in this book. For naysayers, the verdict will still be out.
© Marilyn Braun 2016
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