All posts tagged: disney

I’m not Racist, but…

A few months ago, after my four thousandth reading of Pinkalicious, I closed the book, and thought, “Man. If I were an African-American father I would be disgusted by our book selection.” Pinkalicious. Vanilla Icing Icing Baby. Fancy Nancy. Frilly whitey. Biscuit Goes to the Farm (or does whatever). Yellow lab, white identity. Curious George. A monkey living in a white world. Ergo: white monkey. Hungry Little Caterpillar – a little white boy with an eating disorder. Clifford. Big red dog, little white girl. Where the Wild Things Are. White monsters. Dr. Seuss One fish, two fish, white kid, white kid. Goodnight Moon. Little white bunny and his old white granny whispering “hush” Harry Potter Even the “dark arts” wizards are white. (Thank goodness. Because awkward.) Lego’s are all white people, My Little Pony and Strawberry Shortcake couldn’t possibly be whiter. Sofia the First has a white character…once every 8 episodes when they’re running out of story lines for princess entitlement. And let’s not even touch the main Disney princesses (pre-Tiana, I suppose). (Alright, alright …

Is Love for Sparkles Genetic?

Where does our draw to sparkly things come from? OMG. I can’t let that sentence stand…but “from whence does our draw to sparkles originate?” sounds ridiculous. Anyway. Why do we like sparkles? Is there prehistoric programming within us to collect sparkly things because sparkly things can be used as…currency? Or status- like the crab in Moana? Perhaps is purely aesthetics?…Zeus and Gaia and their ilk thought, “I should give these pathetic humans something nice to look at since life is so nasty, brutish and short. I know! I’ll endow  ‘em with taste!” Back in the day, did Neanderthals attracted to rainbows steer their tribes from danger? Or did they lead them straight into certain death on quixotic rainbow hunts…but have a fabulous road trip on their way to starvation? Did little girl cro-magnons (and boy cro-magnons, Gavin…don’t forget the topic of which you’re writing) decorate their animal pelts with daisies in the springtime? There was definitely an appreciation for art…just look at the Lascaux paintings in France. But were they also indulging an appreciation for …

What Came First: the Princess or the Girl?

It’s not just that my son loves Disney princesses. He loves the entire kit ‘n caboodle of what society would label (unfairly) “girly” stuff. Purple lollipops. (Not just any lollipop.) Sparkly tutus Barbie pink dream cars Cotton candy Fancy Nancy Glitter this Sequined that Pinkalicious Pink everything Purple everything It comes as a package. Walking down the street, he’s got a focused attention to detail that’s both annoying and astounding. He loves all dogs, but seeing a King Charles Spaniel is all the cuter. (And it’s TRUE! King Charles Spaniels are cuter…than labs or regular spaniels or golden doodles.) It’s a fascinating cliché. Listen, I don’t want to put anyone in boxes. And it drives me crazy when people make assumptions about any of my tastes (even if they’re right.) So I try to accept that a girl can be equally inspired by Lego’s as by Elena of Avalor. (Oh, you haven’t heard of Elena? You’re missing out on Disney’s cornering of the Latina market.) And I think boys could choose a red crayon just …

Just Be A Normal Boy!

My kid’s complete obsession with princesses has not been a phase. It’s grown exponentially since he was 2. Anything with girls and pink and sparkles grabs his attention…from Strawberry Shortcake (shoot me, now) to My Little Pony (trample me, now.) Is this a genetic thing for kids (boys and girls)? An as-yet-undiscovered “pink frills” gene? And my kid’s passionate expression is impressively creative: blankies become boas, sweat pants are inverted around his head to become two braids cascading down his shoulders, skirts turn into a fierce blow-out. My son is Little Edie with a skirt-turned-turban on his damn head. Sometimes I want to shout “Just Be A Normal Boy!” (Don’t worry. I stop myself.) Instead, I vent to you, here; and the monstrosity of my intolerant thoughts becomes abundantly clear…for the entire internet, instead of just for my kid. I’m sure there’ll be no repercussions, whatsoever. But I realize my problem with his choices is my own latent self-loathing. The truth is: he’s doing what I wanted to do as a kid…twirl in beach towels-as-dresses. …

Disney Poisons My Kid

How I miss Thomas the Train.I never imagined typing those words.  To quote my older son: “I’m excessed with Disney princesses.” Truer words, son. Truer words.  I loathe those princesses.  To clarify: I’m totally fine with the veritable pu-pu platter of princess dolls he received for his birthday. What drives me ape-shit crazy is the inane conversations about dresses and hair accompanying this excession.  The princessification of our lives began with those damn YouTube videos featuring grown-ass women playing with princess “magic clips”. Seriously: they manipulate impressionable minds by opening toys shipped direct from Mattel and make videos. They’re the “Saturday morning cartoon ads” of the 2010’s. (Notice the above video has 84 million views. She must be loaded and I’m chiding her. Who’s the idiot?) It’s free advertising for Disney and (apparently) these grown-ups gain self-respect based upon their “likes” and “views” playing with toys. Worst of all, their dialogue consists of nothing more than: “Look what a beautiful dress Cinderella is wearing.” “Ooh, isn’t Anna wearing a beautiful dress?” What this woman is doing merits …

When I Grow Up…

With one month left in the school year, my son’s school creates a yearbook. (Yes, NYC schools seem to go year-round. Eat your heart out.) For this project, class parents needed to photograph each kid. My cohort concocted the adorable idea of photographing the kids with a prop suggesting what they want to be when they grow up. My first thought was: I’m pretty sure my kid has no notion of what he wants to be when he grows up. The next morning, I polled the class. At the first table, one kid said “Firefighter!” Three boys and one girl parroted him. At another table, one girl squawked at me. Literally. Another delivered a 15-second unintelligible monologue, from which I discerned “lion” and “zoo”. Another girl replied, “Nothing.” “But what kind of job would you like to have?” I clarified. “Nothing. Like my mom. She does nothing.” I suppressed a guffaw and continued. The next girl said, “Policeman.” I gave her a high-five. The next girl said, “Sleeping Beauty.” Oh, shit. My son heard that. …

The happy meal place (or: the time I took a side of parentheses with that)

First of all, if there was any question in your minds, let me shuffle-ball-change out of the closet loud and proud: I’m a food snob. I wholeheartedly embrace Michael Pollan’s “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly vegetables.” When I was the perfect parent (meaning: before kids), I knew fast food would never touch the lips of my precious snowflakes. Admittedly, it’s easy to avoid fast food living in New York City. You’re never in a car, the kids haven’t fallen asleep in the back, and all food is fast. But I understand that fast food drive-thrus are a godsend…in desperate situations… zombee armageddons, heavy thunderstorms and refugees. Oh, and when Daddy flirts with jail time during a road trip due to a desperate yearning for “friesandashake” and considers* leaving the kids asleep in the backseat cuz who’s gonna know and you’ll be really fast and besides the dog’s in there with them. But we all know (don’t we???) that McD’s is responsible, in part, for the destruction of now-infertile fields from Fargo to Fresno, the …

I Lie to My Kids. It’s Cool.

There are a lot of behaviors I didn’t expect from my kids for another four or five years: Rolling their eyes at me. Telling me they don’t love me, anymore. Saying “Nothing! And stop asking me!” when I ask “What’d you do at school?” And, “You’re going out in that?” And I definitely didn’t expect lies for another few years. I guess it’s my bad – after all, I began lying to them at a young age. It began with the stellar (unsolicited) advice I received from an old lady at the playground (who writes her own blog, Life Lessons From an Old Bitch. Seriously.) Her: You want some advice? Me (in my head): No, crazy lady. Her: Lie to them. Me: Jigga-what? Her: Just tell them…“I don’t know who made the rules. But those are the rules.” Me: Laugh. Dispense with my disrespect for a wiser generation. Her: I mean it. I don’t know why it works. But it works. Just lie to them. They believe everything. Me: For example? Her: When they say …

Broadway Shames My Parenthood

Yes, Broadway can affect a parent in profound ways, and not just making your insides churn into knots at the prices of the friggin’ drinks at The Lion King. Finding Neverland –What irks me is the most popular song: “Believe”. In the song, the JM Barrie character “inspires” imagination in the kids. While Barrie is jumping around being a pirate or a dog or some shit, I feel guilty that I’ll choose washing dishes over playing monster/princess/whatever with my kids. I loathe make-believe. What kind of beast have I become? Of course comparing one’s self to Peter Pan’s author won’t help anyone feel good about imagination…except that I don’t live in fantasyland and I need to get the damn laundry done. Screw you and your vivid imagination, Finding Neverland. I don’t have time for child’s play. (I have totally let go of the fact that I auditioned for this show 77 times and should have been Matthew Morrison’s understudy. Totally.) Hamilton Will I ever, ever perform in (let alone write) something so epic? Lin Manuel …

One More Hollywood Bowl Anecdote

The morning of our performance weekend at the Hollywood Bowl in July, we had a “brunch” final dress rehearsal at 10 am (in blazing sunlight). Our babysitters brought Ellison and Colton. I was able to see them in the audience, which thrilled me. I could see Ellison was transfixed by the show, his glasses glued to the stage. Colton? Not so much. That kid has no interest in live theatre. (Or screen time, for that matter. Ellison could watch the “Yule Log”. Colton couldn’t care less; which is really inconvenient when you just want HIM TO PLAY ON THE IPAD FOR 20 MINUTES SO I CAN COOK DINNER.) The show really stuck with Ellison. He told me, “My favorite part was when you were the daddy of the dirty guys.” After a few questions, I discerned that he mistook me for one of the principals during a song featuring half-dead plague victims dressed in muddy rags. I’m happy he assumed I was front and center. His other favorite part was “the Princess and her mermaids.” …