Friday, April 19, 2013

Princess Culture and Consumerism

In light of the fairy tale discussions we've had on the blog this week, this link is an excellent example of one of the many ways fairy tales show up in society.

These Disney-princess-themed rings run between $1000 and $5000 a pop. Oh, heck yeah.

Except...these aren't actually sold by the jeweler who designed these rings. At first I was going to point out that I came to these rings by way of a post on, which said that these ring designs already existed in the jeweler's inventory before the ol' fantasy lyrics were engraved inside the band. But further investigation revealed that these rings are an invention of the site

It's still an interesting example of how commodified fairy tales are now. Even if these rings aren't being marketed by the jeweler as Disney princess rings (I wonder if they soon will be?), the existence of this as an idea calls to mind questions about "princess culture." It also reminded me of this Disney bridal collection by Alfred Angelo:

There are dozens of Disney-inspired dresses, and if you'll notice, the first line of the "about" paragraph tells you that "Your Fairy Tale Awaits..." It's fascinating that marketers pull on the happy ending trope by implying that the wedding is the end goal. You'll have your fairy tale wedding, and that's all that matters. You know how in fairy tales it ends with a big lavish sparkly wedding? Yeah! That could be you! Your wedding day is your chance to be a princess!

I could write a lot more incensed prose about how problematic it is to link the wedding day with being a princess and how that just feeds into the Wedding Industrial Complex and how a fancy billowy gauzy ethereal princess wedding is not the most important moment in a relationship and how your wedding day is ONE DAY and so on and so forth. But I won't, because it's Friday, and I've had a long week.

But before I sign off, I do want to pose the question of why fairy tale wedding dresses and jewels are so popular. What is it about the pervasiveness of princess culture that these items exist for grown women to purchase? As someone who was never wildly into Disney princesses, I'll admit that I have no personal connection with this. Is it because it evokes childhood happiness? Is it because in spite of our progressive times, many women still subconsciously want to be beautiful princesses who are revered for their exquisiteness, because that's what we're so often taught in mainstream children's media?

What do you think?

P.S. There is going to be a panel at PAMLA about princess culture; I really hope someone talks about Disney and the wedding industry. 

No comments:

Post a Comment