I want to say first that I was pleasantly surprised by the new Disney movie Frozen. Near the beginning of the movie, when Princess Anna meets her supposed true love and they decide to get married after a few hours of small talk, I balked. I thought “Oh no! Not another movie where the girl is sheltered and then finds true love after the first ten minutes of being outside!” But then the tides shifted and I enjoyed the change of scenery. Plus, there’s a dancing singing snow man who loves summer…who doesn’t enjoy that?

There are some people who have decided to complain that this is another princess movie wherein the heroin(s) are tiny and perky and pretty. That three years locked away from the world after their parents die would probably have had the girls munching on large doses of junk food and lazing about until they couldn’t fit into curtain dresses. (1) These two are obviously not depressed (as witnessed by singing and dancing about). Sad, yes. Naïve and sheltered, check. But depressed…no.

(2) Very few women in the world would look at an artist and seriously say, “When you draw me as this cartoon figure of a princess, please widen my hips to about three times their normal size, add a hanging stomach pooch, and give me tubby feet and chicken wing arms.” Honestly, there is an ideal in every person’s head, male or female. We all know exactly how we want to look and what size we want to be. Even people who are perfectly happy with their body image will tell you that they could probably stand to gain/lose a pound or two, or that they would like highlights or a new tattoo, or even just a new dress.

Would I like to see a cartoon show up with a plus sized princess? Sure, if it works with the storyline. However, can we be completely candid here and agree that an overweight princess probably wouldn’t have done a great job of trudging through the snow to find her new home or older sister? I know I wouldn’t be able to get very far before my thunder thighs and bronchitis made me sit in the cold for a while. (By the way, I feel the same way about Cinderella..who wasn’t fed enough to be tubby; Ariel…a FISH who swam all day {great exercise for keeping svelte}; Aurora…who was kept in a small forest cottage with three gardening fairies; and Belle…whose only parent didn’t make enough to put much food on the table other than home grown organics.)

Perhaps instead of being so concerned that our children will grow up with a skewed view of the world because the princesses in the cartoons are so skinny and helpless (OBVIOUSLY NOT PEOPLE…PAY ATTENTION TO THE MOVIES!! GOOD GRIEF! But that’s another blog really…) maybe, just maybe, we should be focusing on making sure that they find the morals of the story and don’t focus on looks so much. Belle found love with a Beast, evil was triumphed over, and Princess Anna saved herself and her sister by an act of true sisterly love…no kisses required. Too bad she didn’t get to keep the white hair though…I would LOVE streaks like that!

What are your thoughts on the subject?

Body Image: Humpty Dumpty

When we think of fairy tale or nursery rhyme men and women, we think of skinny, tall, beautiful people; right?  For the most part, we’re wrong.  If you look at the trends in history, the times of the earliest tales (which were originally meant for ADULTS and not children, by the way) people were generally shorter and ‘roundness’ was often looked upon as more beautiful than being thin, because people, specifically women, with curves were the ones that were able to eat and spend more time on themselves.  Men at the time would have been working more outdoors and so their muscles then and now would carry about the same weight, though the ‘gentry’ would mostly have been a bit more ‘rotund’.

It wasn’t until as recently as this century that a size 14 woman was considered to be a plus size.  In fact, many of the old Tinsel Town starlets were size 12-14 and considered skinny for their times!

Even knowing all of this, I still live in the year 2013 and when I walked past my mirror yesterday the first thought in my head was not, “wow, my hair looks GREAT,” but “OHMYGOODNESS, I LOOK LIKE HUMPTY DUMPTY!”

I can fix that, no problem and only a little bit of time and effort.  I know to exercise, I know how to eat well, and I have a 13 month old to chase.  However, the negative body images still float around the world.  I have heard men beg not to have their pictures taken because of their pudges and bald heads, women in size 2 skinny jeans wail about how fat their thighs are (lady at the store…you are in a SIZE 2 SKINNY, your thighs can’t possibly be as fat as you think they are!)

What is your body image like? Are you a princess, the pale skinned mermaid, a ferocious prince, or the wicked witch? Maybe you’re even that frog in the well or the short pudgy fairy.  Whatever it is that you THINK you resemble, know that someone sees you as beautiful,   someone thinks your bald head and tummy is sexy, and the only person worried about that little spot behind your ear is you.

SO HERE IT IS: I resolve to play more, worry less. Smile more, frown less. Dance with my daughter more, sit at watch her less. Above all of that, I resolve to STOP seeing myself in fairy tale terms, those stories are moral tales and dark adult stories..NOT a healthy guide to living.  I WILL try to see myself through the eyes of the people around me. I WILL allow myself to notice how great my hair looks, how pretty my eyes are, and my artistic flair comes out in my clothing, as well as my writing. I WILL BE A MODERN DAY FAIRY TALE: and that is no fairy tale at all.

May you all, male or female, begin to see yourselves in the real world and through the eyes of those around you.  Have a BLESSED and Confident day!