From the Disney store to Stride Rite to Whole Foods: the degradation and annihilation of Princess Leia in kidworld

Princess Leia has gone missing from kidword. The Mary Sue reports the latest example of her degradation/ annihilation:

Last week, Disney admitted that they have no plans for any Princess Leia merchandise in the Disney store, a situation of distinct irony for reasons I hope I don’t have to explain.

 

Of course, this is far from the first time I’ve noticed Leia’s absence. There are so many LEGO “Star Wars” sets but few feature female characters. The origin of that problem obviously is the lack of females in the “Star Wars” movies, but still, why does Leia go missing? If you search on the internet, you can find her in LEGO sets, but as my daughters and I go about our day, walking through toy stores or book stores or Target, we see Leia hardly anywhere. My seven year old and I did spot her one time, and we bought the set but were disappointed that the scene depicted was where she was clad in a metal bikini chained to Jabba the Hut. Do you really want your kids playing with this story? It wouldn’t be so bad if there were many scenes and outfits for Leia, but unfortunately, that’s not the case.

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My 5 year old daughter and I go to Whole Foods most mornings where I get a cup of coffee and she reads the rack of kids books. Yesterday, she picked up Darth Vader’s Little Princess, the companion book to the New York Times best-seller Darth Vader and Son. But unlike Luke’s studious and heroic upbringing, in this story, young Leia likes to talk on the phone and paint her nails. The metal bikini she wears is presented as her independent, rebellious choice and not the outfit she was forced into when she was Jabba’s slave:

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In case my 5 year old doesn’t get that Leia exposing her body is her choice as a growing, independent female, here is the same message in text and image on another page of the book:

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Let’s just say that if I were to write a story about the young Leia, it would be completely different than this sexist, not funny at all, I honesty hope not a best-seller book.

I’m so mad about the degradation and annihilation of Leia not only for girls but for boys. Here is a great opportunity for boys to experience, play with, and admire a heroic female character and that chance has been swiped away from them.

It’s not just the Disney store and the Whole Foods book racks (and all book racks), but Leia also can’t be found among the “Star Wars” clothing merchandise, for example the socks and shoes sold at Stride Rite. When my daughter wore her “Star Wars” shoes, she was teased by other little kids in her class for wearing “boy shoes.” A ridiculous premise in the first place, but why exaggerate this boy/ girl “Star Wars” split by excising Leia?

It’s not only Leia who is missing from Stride Rite. Black Widow, the female Avenger is gone, as is Wonder Woman, the female that used to be shown with the Superfriends. Check out these socks.

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Thousands of years ago, conquering armies smashed the idols of their victims and stole their stories, an extremely effective tactic to destroy a community and steal its power. Christians did this to pagans, but of course, this act is all over history. Just like the goddesses morphed into the Virgin, girls are going missing right now in 2014.

5 thoughts on “From the Disney store to Stride Rite to Whole Foods: the degradation and annihilation of Princess Leia in kidworld

  1. just read another blog about this issue and someone there had a great idea to make our own merchandise featuring leia, post pics on social media and tag disney to show them the $ they’re losing by not selling us the merchandise we want! thought it was a good idea. 🙂

  2. Wow – I haven’t thought about this long-lost princess in a long time and appreciate the reminder. Yes, it’s a disgrace that she has gone missing! Thinking back, I remember as a kid watching her – how tough she was, how fearless. Loved seeing her on the screen as one of the main characters fighting evil.

  3. I just recently commented to Striderite that I wished they sold Wonder Woman and Batgirl shoes. I didn’t even think of Princess Leah and Black Widow!

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