In the recent past a TV actress (I think it was the Flying Nun) was censored during a live award telecast because she said “there would be no goddamn war if the world was run by women.” While its probably true that we would not have this disastrous war, I am not sure that it would be all fresh baked cookies and puppy dog kisses. And I am definitely not convinced it would be a better place if princesses ruled the world.
The setting: a princess birthday party. There is substantial critical mass (19, 5 year old girls). There is a palpable power struggle and a lot of tension provided by the birthday princess, (my daughter) and her subjects who are clearly torn between being cooperative subjects (a friend) and resisting the domineering head princesses by exerting their personal princess personality (a selfish, not thoughtful friend). Also adding an electric dynamic to the party is what happens to one’s ego when you are costumed a full length gown, crown, kitten heels and other sparklely accessories that scream “look at me, I am pretty enough for a prince, but I must stay away from heating sources, I am flammable”. While it is amusing to watch, it is an interesting and disturbing view into the minds of 5 year old girls dressed up as Princesses. The (passive) aggression and deception that is evident is eye-opening to an inexperienced mother of a daughter.
I always say boys (I have three of those) are like dogs; want to be loved, will do anything for food and are cuddly. Girls are like cats; don’t need your approval, will do things when they are ready, and affection, given or received, is on their terms. Well a princess is literally a different animal, I think snake comes closest. There are a multitude of examples of my point from Georgie’s birthday party. But I think that the game of “Musical Chairs” or in this instance, “Musical Pillows”, best illustrates my theory about 5 year girls in full length polymer.
Georgie is sitting on a throne. She has to look down about 18 inches to meet her subjects eyes. Unlike the others she has a bejeweled wand that she taps into her palm as she slumps in her pink throne. As she sits there, she looks bored and is thinking you are all so common and stupida.
After cleaning up after the previous activity, the argentincentric “Fashion Show,” (that includes suggestive music and coaching from the party staff (court’s servants) yelling out ‘wiggle your bottom, blow me a kiss’!?! ) the servants prepare for the next game. The new game is to be a variation of musical chairs using pillows on the floor. While, I am fairly certain that all the girl are well versed in the rules of this elimination game, it takes a few rounds of the girls just sitting on their pillows like statues and not moving to the music before they can no longer ignore the way the game is really played (or lost). A few rounds later and a few less girls in the game, it becomes apparent to the girls, that to survive, you have to be lucky or cheat. So the cheating begins. Because of the voluminous dresses, pillows can be easily hidden under the dresses. These conniving girls dance carefree with the other unknowing (honest, sweet, clueless) princesses until the music stops, and then with varying degrees of success the pillows drop to the floor for seating. The servants are not stupid and they have a zero tolerance policy for the pillow hiding. While the petty street criminals are getting busted, a more sinister, dark syndicate forms between a bitter girl that has already been eliminated and a surviving friend. The eliminated girl sources the pillows that have been removed (put behind a couch) and offers them to her friend who in turn offers the pillow in exhange for a pink fox key chain to yet another girl. The pillow, insures a least on more round to this girl who is willing to pay. It is not clear how the eliminated friend is benefiting from any of this.
The servants have had enough and before anyone can win, justice is served. The servants shut the game down, perhaps this is a metaphor for the ultimate power of the people. No prizes are won and while many of the eliminated girls are relieved that they haven’t missed out on a forgettable and soon lost chachkie, the girl who did in fact trade her chachkie to the pillow broker betting that a better prize (maybe the teal blue headband??) was coming her way, is pissed and trying to wrench the pink fox keychain out of the pillow mafia kingpin’s hands. Tears ensue, adults intervene and the whole exercise has been pointless.
What does it say about princesses -they are power hungry, conniving, not loyal and very pretty. And arguably they should not be in charge of anything.