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Monday, October 3rd, 2011
Wow. What a trip! Madelyn, my nearly 5-year-old daughter, and I are on our way home from an amazing adventure. Yesterday, we arrived at Kensington Gardens in London for the Disney Rapunzel party. (Click here to read my previous posts explaining the event). The park was swarming with families: It was 80 degrees and sunny (in October!) At The Princess Diana Memorial Playground–the most extraordinary playground I’ve ever seen, btw. Madelyn spotted little girls carrying little blue flags with a simple sun decal. “Rapunzel flags!” Madelyn squealed. Ah, the sun emblem was from Tangled; it was an insidery nod that you were here for Rapunzel. As we left the playground, we saw more flags and more little girls dressed up as princesses. Hundreds were standing along the park road where all 10 Disney princesses proceed by carriage to Rapunzel’s party at Kensington Palace. Madelyn and I went through the palace gates to watch from the entrance. Madelyn squealed at every announcement as each arrived in order of their Disney debuts: Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana, and finally, Rapunzel. (Check back later for video of some of the princesses arriving–even Max, Rapunzel’s horse, made a special appearance).
We spent the afternoon sipping lemonade, eating tea cakes, and other dainty apps. Madelyn got a Rapunzel hair extension that was so long it grazed the ground and a butterfly face paint. Nicole Richie’s little girl got her face painted in the chair next to her (other celebs like two of the Spice Girls and some international celebs I couldn’t spot were also supposedly there).
Due to a scheduling snafu, we missed the musical performance, but because Madelyn was only one of five girls shut out, they let her in to have a private meeting with all 10 princesses. Madelyn was bummed to miss the singing (and an appearance by Flynn Rider), but felt pretty special to get to meet the living dolls. (Rapunzel especially looked like she was off the shelf–take a look at the pic). When Madelyn walked on stage Jasmine took her hand. She was starstruck! When we left she said, “Mommy, this was the best day EVER!” Ah. It was worth it.
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Friday, September 30th, 2011
Madelyn and I have arrived in London for the Disney event honoring Rapunzel. Oddly Madelyn is less jet lagged than I am. When I wanted to nap today, she pulled me up saying she wanted to go to the park. So we took the tube a couple stops to Hyde Park, where we found horses, gorgeous gardens and a nice playground. At the playground, there was a flier posting the celebration for Rapunzel’s party and inviting London families to attend! The flier said the best place to stand to watch the procession — wow, can’t imagine it’ll be that packed. But maybe? In any case, it got Madelyn even more worked up!
Here, she is playing on the new app (made especially for Rapunzel’s big day) at a little Italian restaurant off Oxford street. Meanwhile, Rapunzel was further downtown at Big Ben. Tomorrow we hope to hit the Tower of London and Hampton Court for even more Princess mania.
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Thursday, September 29th, 2011
If you’ve been following along, you know that my nearly-5-year-old daughter, Madelyn and I are leaving for London tonight to attend Rapunzel’s coronation at Kensington Palace (yes, you read that right). Rapunzel is already there. (Where she was before is unclear — does she live at the Disney theme park in Florida? On the Disney cruise ship? Couch surfs from birthday party to birthday party? Perplexing.) ANYWAY. Today she was spotted in Trafalgar Square.
According to Disney:
Rapunzel enjoys the view of Trafalgar Square and poses for a photo in front of Nelson’s Column. Disney will officially welcome Rapunzel as the 10th Disney Princess character at a celebration at Kensington Palace, to take place in front of a global audience on October 2, 2011. For more information visit http://www.disney.co.uk/rapunzel
And we’ll be there soon enough. Leaving the office soon to take the red-eye. Madelyn hasn’t been on a red-eye since she was 1, restless and unable to sleep, with a terrible cold. Swore I’d never do that again. And yet …. Ah, the things we’ll do for our children.
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Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
Ok; so now we actually get a look at the to-be crowned princess and not just her hair (see previous posts). Amazingly, she looks like she came right off the screen in Tangled. (Is she human?!). Guess I’ll find out this weekend.
Here’s today’s official report from Disney:
Today Rapunzel stopped at the Thames riverside to admire the beautiful Tower Bridge in the glorious late September sunshine. The future princess arrived in London to do some sightseeing before she is officially welcomed as the 10th Disney Princess character at a high profile, star-studded celebration that will take place in front of a global audience on October 2, 2011. Rapunzel will be visiting famous London landmarks every day this week (September 26-30) and taking pictures along her journey.
For her celebration, little princesses from across the globe will watch Rapunzel be welcomed into the Disney Princess royal court by Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Mulan, Pocahontas, Snow White and Tiana. As an official member of the Disney Princess court, she will be celebrated and recognized as such across Disney, and will be included in all Disney Princess products featuring multiple characters, in addition to her own merchandise line.
Madelyn’s counting down the hours. We’ve already packed her Trunki with her full Rapunzel costume!
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Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
So my daughter Madelyn and I are going to be attending this Disney princess event in London this weekend inducting Rapunzel into the Royal Princess Court, where she’ll be officially crowned. If you remember from the Disney-version of her story, Rapunzel never got her actual crown. It was snatched away by Flynn Rider. You’d think after she saved his life she could get it back? (Ungrateful little thief!). But maybe they are saving that for the sequel. In any case, the hype about her coronation already begun. Just got an email today from Disney saying Rapunzel has been spotted in the Tower of London. Look closely at the pic below and you’ll see her golden hair hanging out the tower window. Wonder if they still charged her the $25 entry fee?
Click here to read this blog series from the beginning.
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Monday, September 26th, 2011
Let me start by saying I didn’t think that I’d be one of those moms who condoned The Princess Lifestyle for my almost 5-year-old daughter. When Peggy Orenstein’s Cinderella Ate My Daughter came out last year I agreed with a lot of what she said. I’m (what feels like the last remaining) feminist, and I definitely don’t want my little girl to grow up thinking that some prince is going to ride up and save her on a white horse. Or that her beautiful eyes/long hair/perfect plastic boobs will bring her love/luck/work (oh wait — maybe they will! But still I don’t want to teach her that!). Regardless, there is no escaping princesses, especially the Disney variety. So over the last year or so, I’ve learned to roll with it and use her love of princesses to my advantage. Luckily, Disney has made the latest heroines less swooning and helpless (although they are still gorgeous). If you’ve watched any of the blockbusters in the last couple of years, you’ll know that Princesses kick some major booty. Rapunzel for one is vicious with a frying pan. In fact, we use “princess” in our home as a euphemism for “tough,” because Madelyn responds to it. My husband frequently says things to her like, “Act like a princess! Get out there and kick that soccer ball! Brush yourself off! You’re OK! Rapunzel would keep going!” And amazingly it works. (That’s her above munching on a start-shaped pineapple at a princess bash last year, btw.)
Anyway, the point of this post is really to set you up for a string of posts over the next week. As an editor at Parents, I was invited, along with Madelyn (does she realize how good she has it?!), to attend a special ceremony in London honoring Rapunzel’s induction into the Disney Royal Court (along with the other 9: you know, like Cinderella and Jasmine and Snow White … see pic here.) And of course Madelyn nearly had a stroke when I told her about the prospect of going. (“Will Flynn Rider be there too?!”)
My husband is from London so I figured we could use a it a good opportunity to hang with the fam who we don’t see enough. But who’s kidding who. We’re there for the glitz and glam and all that is princess! Follow along over the next couple of days as I post about our adventures.
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Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
The first question new parents are asked when they’re expecting a baby is: Boy or girl?
A Canadian couple is challenging society’s idea of gender identity by keeping the gender of their new baby a secret…even after birth. At four months, Storm is the third child for Kathy Witterick and David Stocker (a teacher at a small, alternative school that focuses on social justice issues), who have two other sons, Jazz (5) and Kio (2). Despite being boys, both Jazz and Kio were raised without assigned gender expectations or limitations, meaning they’re encouraged to play with boys and girls toys, wear boys and girls clothes (in “girly” colors of pink and purple), and grow their hair long if they choose.
The immediate family (including grandparents), a few close friends, and midwives know Storm’s true gender, but the parents have decided to keep the baby genderless by avoiding the use of male or female pronouns. Inspired by a book published in 1978, “X: A Fabulous Child’s Story” by Lois Gould, about a child raised without gender roles, the couple hoped to give Storm a chance to grow and decide on what gender to identify with, without society’s pressure.
While the couple’s decision has caused confusion and criticism (Will Storm feel marginalized later in life? Which public restroom will Storm use? Are the parents pushing their own political and social agendas on Storm?), the debate around gender identity comes hot on the heels of more recent news. Chaz Bono, formerly Chastity Bono, just released a memoir and a documentary about his decision to become a man through a sex-change operation. Cheryl Kilodavis, a mother of a little boy who loves wearing tutus and tiaras, was on national news earlier this year after writing “The Princess Boy.”
In a world that delineates between the power of princesses and the strength of superheroes, could the couple’s unique parenting decision succeed in helping society get rid of gender labels and stereotypes?
Read more about gender identity on Parents.com
What do you think of keeping your child’s gender a secret? Would you do the same?
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Babies, baby, gender, gender identity, gender prediction, gender roles, gender stereotypes, identity, my princess boy, princess, stereotypes | Categories:
GoodyBlog, News, Your Child
Wednesday, March 9th, 2011
Like most young girls, I was obsessed with pink and princesses from age 3-10. Almost everything I was given or that I picked out was pink, and I was a princess (with a pink dress and silver pipe cleaner tiara, natch) for Halloween twice. At some point, I even owned the board game “Pretty Pretty Princess,” which entitled me to wear a silver plastic tiara and plastic jewelry. And, of course, I dreamed of being either Cinderella or Ariel.
As the years have gone by, I have grown out of pink and princesses (for the most part), but the world has exploded with pink and princesses in recent years. Even at this year’s Toy Fair, pink and purple princess toys, costumes, games, and more were everywhere I turned.
An editor at Parents magazine recently interviewed Peggy Orenstein, whose book “Cinderella Ate My Daughter” addresses how pink and princesses have become an enduring trend and an identity that may potentially be harmful to a little girl’s perception of her self-image and self-esteem. She shares, “Princesses are a way for girls to assert what’s feminine about themselves. But princesses are also defining girls by telling them that how you look is who you are.”
On the other hand, Cheryl Kilodavis, the author of “My Princess Boy,” shares how her younger son “is a happy and healthy little boy who just likes pretty things and likes to dress up.” For Kilodavis’s son, being a princess boy gave him confidence and an unique identity.
As a parent, does your own child love pink and princesses? Do you encourage or discourage the love for all things pink and princess-related?
Read more about princesses on Parents.com
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