Can We Have a Braver Princess, Please?

Twenty years ago, our mother walked down the Walmart Pink Isle, past all the Disney-heroine Barbies, Disney-movie-inspired vanity playsets, sequined polyester fish-tail skirts with seashells, and itchy yellow off-shoulder Belle dresses, and decided, “Not for my daughters.”

We were 4 and 6, and like most little girls, were each on our quest for the holy grail of femininity, the all-inspiring vision of who to be when we grew up.  Like many mothers, Mom realized that the entire panoply of Disney “woman” options, from Snow White to Ariel and Belle, were not it.  Unlike many mothers, she ditched the entire franchise, tossed Barbie, and made us beautiful cloth dolls based on our intrepid Swedish-immigrant great-grandmothers, and taught us how to make clothes for them ourselves.
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