Disney launches campaign to take the word ‘princess’ back from the brats

PRINCESSES have been getting a bad rap – so much so that Disney Australia is today launching a campaign to reinvent the term “princess”.

Grace Thomas, 4, and Ruby Fitzsimmons, 4, from Mudgeeraba, dress up as princesses. Picture: Nigel Hallett

Once upon a time, children believed the Disney princess to be inspirational, a positive role model. Fast-forward a couple of generations and the term now conjures up images of an overindulged spoilt brat.

New research by Disney Australia shows most children aged four to six-years-old still love to dress up as their favourite character, such as Belle or Moana, and love to call themselves “princess”.

This fades fast as they grow older and by the time they hit 10 to 12, almost 50 per cent said they would be offended to be called a princess.

Parents admitted they used the term “princess” negatively when their kids were behaving badly.

“Across generations, Disney princesses have been ­portrayed as resilient, strong, optimistic and kind,” Disney Australia chief executive Kylie Watson-Wheeler said.

“We want to empower young girls and boys to again embrace the inspiring qualities of princesses and admire the strong character traits of modern characters such as Anna (from Frozen), Belle and Moana to help re-frame the discussion.”

Disney wants to reclaim the word “princess” and make the term inspirational again. Popular Disney princess Moana is pictured.

Brisbane psychologist Dr Judith Locke said it was good for small children to dress up and use their imagination as it helped promote development.

“It is a shame the word princess has been linked with bratty, spoilt behaviour because real princesses in the modern world are hard-working, strong, independent women,” Dr Locke said.

“Things are changing and it is good that Disney women are portrayed as capable and courageous. Kids don’t want to see them as weak damsels in distress, relying on being beautiful and having expensive gowns.


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