Quick break to post a photo of this week’s most egregious Princess product. Trying to imagine the parents who would drop $2k on this one….
Yes, it’s a Princess Bathtub. An ugly one. From the folks at American Standard. Boys can get a fire truck!
Well, the economy should make THIS go away, no?
Marjorie also pointed me to this great essay in the UK Guardian about how Hermione Granger’s bookish, brainy persona was made less threatening and girlie-d up over the course of the Harry Potter movies. It starts out questioning the glaring “I can’t” our girl uttered when faced with destroying a horcrux. I do recall sitting in the theater and thinking, “Whaaaaaat??????”As the essayist writes:
Did Hermione Granger really say “I can’t” during the climactic battle in the final chapter of the Harry Potter film saga? Presented with her chance to destroy one of the horcruxes she had put her life on the line to hunt, she backs away and needs her almost-boyfriend Ron to insist that of course she can. Sorry, filmmakers, that quavering girly-girl is not Hermione.
There’s almost a direct correlation with actress Emma Watson’s growing prettiness through the course of the films and Hermione’s decreased bookishness and pragmatism. Screenwriter Steve Kloves may have liked Hermione best when he was first given the job of adapting the books but as she became an adolescent, something shifted. It’s one thing for a girl to be the brains of an operation when everyone is prepubescent. But an adult woman who is brainy and takes charge is “domineering”. A very scary witch indeed. Presumably Kloves didn’t want any young male filmgoers sneering (or crossing their legs nervously) when Hermione was on screen.
It’s also discouraging. Hermione is a great role model who doesn’t care if her bookishness or activism (absent in the films) are laughed at. She knows the power of books.
Hermione steadily became blonder and sexier in Deathly Hallows, wearing jeans so tight you’d think her legs would break if she tried to run. When it comes to film, something about a smart, fearless woman who doesn’t care about her looks makes Hollywood leery; even if, in this instance, she commands a loyal and loving built-in audience before the film begins.
Why is it so difficult for proudly brainy, bookish, outspoken girls of any age to see themselves on screen, especially in major studio films? Where are the girls who don’t make an effort to fit the “feminine” stereotype and are still admired and even loved anyway?
And where will girls learn and be validated in their belief that they don’t have to compromise fundamental aspects of their personalities to prosper? That there is never any reason to say “I can’t”? Books, for a start.