Where's Alice?

After watching this fantastic video I found myself wondering: Where’s my beloved Alice? I bit the bullet and went onto the Disney website to find out if she’s included in the “Princess Disney” line. She is not.

Why not? Is it because she’s not actually a princess? Nope. Neither is Mulan and she’s included in the princess line. Mulan is the daughter of a well-respected family and disguises herself as a man to take her ailing father’s place in battle. Wow! That sounds like a fantastic role-model, you might say. Sure, in the beginning, until she’s shamed for what she’s done and, you guessed it, lands herself a handsome warrior. Alice’s exclusion has nothing to do with her not being a princess.

Is the evil Queen she faces not quite evil enough, making her triump less impressive? No way, the Queen of Hearts is running around beheading people. It doesn’t get much more evil than that.

Is it because she goes on a journey of self-discovery and shows curiosity, bravery, resourcefulness, and intellect which is strictly reserved for the male Disney characters, and isn’t rescued by a brave and handsome prince who validates her sense of worth by choosing her, out of alllllllll the other beautiful maidens in the land, to cook his breakfast every morning? You betcha.

It seems that Disney has decided that Alice isn’t as marketable as the rest of the princesses. Curiosity, intellect, and resourcefulness aren’t presented enough to young girls in the form of toys, television shows, and movies. Instead, their given baby dolls and play kitchen sets. Disney is always re-releasing the old princess movies instead of focusing on creating new characters for new generations of young girls. These girls are told that the princess is what they should want to be. Who tells them this? Well, like Sarah Haskins says, all women want to be princesses, right? Just look at the adult Halloween costumes made available at places like Party City.

Aww, I can be the sweet Snow White, or the beautiful and tragic Cinderella . . . you know the one in the Disney movies, not the one in the German folk-tale that watches her stepsisters amputate their toes so they can fit into the slipper.

But, what if I don’t want to be a damsel in distress, swept away by a daring prince. Can’t I be Alice? Of course I can, at the cost of my own sense of decency.(Sorry about the link, wasn’t able to insert the actual picture).

Now, I’m not saying that it’s not okay for a woman to want to strip it down a bit for Halloween. It’s all part of the fun. And I’m not saying that there aren’t skimpy versions of some of the other Disney princess costumes either. I’m just saying that costumes like this one are the only ones available in mainstream stores that pride themselves on being Halloween Headquarters like Party City and Spencers. It seems that Alice’s refusal to be a helpless and romantic figure for young girls to idolize has some how made her into a sex toy. In fact, Alice costumes aren’t even available for girls and teens. Alice seems to disappear and resurface as some type of school-girl fantasy outfit for women to squeeze themselves into. There seems to be a statement here that women who are adventurous and intelligent, and don’t allow themselves to be feme covert are necessarily overly-sexual (if there’s even such a thing). I wonder at this. Some might argue that the barely-there costume is a statement of sexual liberation, which is quite in keeping with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I disagree. I find the costume anything, but liberating. There’s a difference between being comfortable with your sexuality and seeking to express it, and being sucked in, pushed up, and strapped down. The costume is actually a prison. Women wanting to dress up like Alice are doomed to be put on display, or worse, to the dreaded arts and crafts store to figure out how to make a costume themselves.

My point – Ideally, Disney should scrap the princess line and start over, but that will never happen. Instead, they should come up with a new kind of heroine that encourages young girls, not damns them. As for Alice, perhaps if the same value was placed on her that is placed on the princesses we wouldn’t find her image resurfacing as masturbation fodder. Oh, that would be grand!

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