This past week, something magical happened. No, it wasn’t brought on by a fairy godmother, but rather a group of princesses (sort of).
An entirely female team created an ad campaign that will revolutionize the way girls think- about themselves, about their choices, and about their future.
Mercy Academy in Kentucky hired Doe-Anderson ad agency to generate a campaign that would not only draw students to their school, but encourages females to change their outlook on life. The “You’re Not A Princess” campaign, a progressive and innovative series, soon became nationally recognized, and includes a set of four ads telling girls that they in fact are not princesses. These ads have a few short statements on each poster, which are accompanied by depictions of princess icons, such as Cinderella’s glass slipper. The campaign’s goal is to remind girls that they can be in charge of their own destiny and can be self-sufficient if they have the right mindset. The creators of the ads don’t want little girls to stop pretending to be princesses, but they do want them to grow up realizing that they don’t need a prince to save and protect them for the rest of their lives- that they are important and capable all on their own.
One of the ads conveys this message particularly well. It reads, “Don’t wait for a prince, be able to rescue yourself”. These words are so simple, yet incredibly powerful. Rescue yourself. This may be a novel idea in the minds of young girls who are force fed the notion that someday a prince will come to sweep them off their feet. The idea that some girls lives their lives believing this is frightening enough and is limiting their ability to be independent and make their own choices.
For years, Disney princesses have aided in this delusion and continue to impact girls in negative ways. Girls who are exposed to the princess mindset suffer not only a blow to their own self-image, but can form an altered outlook on relationships. The documentary Mickey Mouse Monopolyproves this to audiences by allowing a group of young girls, approximately age nine, to view the Disney film Beauty and the Beast, a text that scholars deem dangerous because of its depiction of abuse.
After viewing the video, the girls are asked what they would do if Belle was their friend and they saw what she had been through. These girls then responded that they would be happy that she found someone and that they would tell Belle to stay with the Beast because if she continues to be kind, it will change him. Women having this mindset from a young age can lead to problems later in life and makes it all the more crucial for texts like the “You’re Not A Princess” campaign to steer them back in the right direction.
Aside from promoting the fact that women don’t need men to be successful, the “You’re Not A Princess” ad campaign also focuses on empowering young women. Another ad from the campaign isn’t afraid to tell girls in a straightforward manner that they aren’t princesses. However, the ad is quick to remind girls that they can “still rule the world”. This text is also powerful in that it encourages girls to take charge of their lives and of the world. Everyone knows that our nation has countless problems, so why shouldn’t girls be the ones to solve them? Right now, only 20% of the United States’ Senate is composed of women. In the House of Representatives, females are only a sparse 17.9%, despite the fact that women make up 50% of the population (www.catalyst.org). Schools should take a page from Mercy Academy’s book and foster girls’ interest in an array of areas and remind them that they have just as much potential as their male counterparts. As more and more pro-feminist texts arise, we can only hope that we see those numbers shift in a positive direction and see more girls participating in not only politics, but other fields such as math and science as well.
The “You’re Not A Princess” campaign is a much needed, long awaited campaign that can only aid young girls in developing a better self-image and increased self-respect. The campaign is feminism at its finest and reminds girls and women of all ages that they shouldn’t be confined to society’s expectations, but rather should decide who they want to be on their own terms.
Mickey Mouse Monopoly Credit: Syfo Dyas
You’re Not A Princess Slideshow Credit: takepart.com
Women in Politics Credit: catalyst.org