Sunday, February 24, 2013

Real Life Royal Princesses Akin to the Little Mermaid

A Sydney Morning Herald article by Julia Baird compares current day royal princesses with Hans Christian Andersen's famous mermaid, insofar as they need to give up something of themselves and become the centre of relentless scrutiny about their physical appearance in order to marry the prince of their dreams.
Kate Middleton knows her fate, and appears to have stared it in the eye and made a pact, like the Little Mermaid who promised to swallow her voice so she could walk on land and marry her prince. Her body though, has already been stretched by the rack of public inquiry to what must be at times an unbearable extent, despite her public composure. We are all acquainted with her breasts, bikinis, and bumps, thanks to editors who pay richly for snaps of her bare skin.

The article come out in support of UK author and twice Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel who made a controversial speech recently at the British Museum that claimed the measure of a royal princess's worth was merely that of being a royal incubator and breeding machine. She was met with a vitriolic response and severely castigated on her own supposed lack of beautiful physical attributes. 

Feminists like Anne Summers have tagged the article on their social media pages as worthy of dissemination and debate. The well thought out opinion piece by Baird encourages us to approach the subject and enter the fray with common sense.

For most of our blog readers who have been brought up on a movie diet of Disney princesses (who have admittedly moved from passive players to complex heroines of note), we think this cultural exploration on the reality of today's real life princesses is something to explore. We personally think being a royal princess brings privileges but demands sacrifices such as loss of independence and privacy which are a big price to pay.

You can read the full Hilary Mantel speech on the London Review of Books website.
You can read Julia Baird's response "Listen, and let the woman speak" here.

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