The Princess Industrial Complex (TM)

This. Is. Terrifying.

This sort of stuff gives me nightmares and makes me break out in cold sweats. Thank you, Capitalism, for providing avenues for commodification of (new! improved!) infants before they even leave the hospital.

Now, Disney has identified another problem: Children are not becoming consumers of its products until preschool, resulting in a good three years of potential revenue loss. Getting an expectant mom thinking about her family’s first theme-park visit while her child was in the womb, an exec told the Times, would be like hitting “a home run.”

I’ve spent the past three years looking at the ways the Princess Industrial Complex transformed the culture of little girlhood — the long-term impact of the 24/7, 365-days-a-year royal press of pink and pretty on our daughters’ femininity, sexuality and identity. But reading about the attempt to turn fetuses into consumers made me wonder whether it’s time to have a larger conversation about the wisdom and ethics of marketing to small children of either sex.

via Dodging Disney In The Delivery Room : NPR.

I had honestly never contemplated the need to prepare doula clients and hospital transports for the reality that they might need to fend off ad representatives as well as medical students, unwanted interventions, etc. In a twisted and backwards way, it makes homebirth look all that more appealing.

People commenting on this piece seem to be as offended and disgusted as I am after having read the article. R I writes:

I’ve never threatened violence in my life.

But if Anne Boyer [Our365 rep] or any other Disney rep had interrupted the most magical 24 hours of my life — the first moments with our daughter, lying exhausted/exhilarated in the recovery room, filled as never before with the tender miracle of humanity, and struck dumb with the responsibility of protecting the most innocent person either of us had ever seen — if a sales rep from ANY company had thought it acceptable to step into our room and violate that amazing and irreplaceable moment with a sales pitch, I would have had a hard time not slugging them. Is nothing sacred? Nothing?


2 responses to “The Princess Industrial Complex (TM)

  1. I’m all for “pretty-in-pink” if girls want to dress that way, but marketing to new moms to get them to buy into the princess concept is insane! For pete’s sake let’s leave these families alone to figure themselves out on their own! I tell you, the more the world discovers ways to invade people’s privacy, the more I love home birth.

  2. Absolutely!

    Also, you can market to little girls (although I really wish you didn’t), but to infants and new parents in the hospital? Absolutely not.

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