‘Oh, My Hair Looks Beautiful!’ And Other Crap Girls Can Learn From My Little Pony Princess Celestia
First LEGO designed a line specifically to tell girls that shopping and tanning should be their ultimate priority, but now parents have new culprit: Hasbro. The company is currently shilling Princess Celestia from the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic series — a line that I know all too well from my own childhood. But it’s not the princess element that has moms and dads leaning in a little closer to hear what this talking pony espouses. It’s that all this stupid pony talks about is how pretty she is and how pretty your daughter is too! That’ll certainly encourage her to be a math scholar.
Rebecca Hains, mother to a 3-year-old, recently visited a Target when she says her son was delighted to find Princess Celestia whom he recognized from the show. But the mother says that in her toy incarnation, this princess leader and mentor to other ponies has been reduced to a ditsy stereotype — something that kids will find incongruous with the show:
Although in Hasbro’s cartoon Princess Celestia is a wise, powerful leader and mentor, Hasbro’s toy reduces her to a conceited, girly-girl princess stereotype.
Rebecca writes that of the 12 sayings that Princess Celestia says, five of them concentrate solely on being physically beautiful. And aren’t these wonderful values for your daughters to be hearing from her favorite heroine:
- I love when you comb my hair!
- Oh, my hair looks beautiful.
- My wings are so pretty!
- My barrettes look so pretty!
- You’re beautiful!
Hearing these phrases from their favorite pony countless times a day cements the cultural message that girls consistently receive about their beauty being paramount. That their other achievements and interests, not matter how much they excel at them, will come second to beauty — and that’s because they’re girls.
Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time Princess Celestia has been stripped of power and intelligence to allegedly appeal to girls. Lauren Faust, executive producer of the My Little Pony series and also creator of The Powerpuff Girls, prides herself on developing “images of girls and women as positive, active, individualistic, fun, and even a little edgy,” according to her website. Yet when Lauren originally wanted to craft Princess Celestia as Queen Celestia to convey her power and rule, Hasbro wasn’t having it. She commented:
I was told that because of Disney movies, girls assume that Queens are evil (although I only remember 1 evil queen) and Princesses are good. I was also told that the perceived youth of a Princess is preferable to consumers.
Rebecca has started a petition against Hasbro asking them to not ban princess-hood, but to merely consider crafting a princess who is just as focused on learning as she is on the TV series. The Change.org petition asks the company to consider phrases like “You’re so smart!” and “Can you tell me what you learned today?” Such questions would no doubt be in a “boy” My Little Pony if there was such a thing.