Disney Is Celebrating International Day of the Girl With Their #DreamBigPrincess Campaign!

Did you know that today is International Day of the Girl? It's a great day to be a modern princess, and Disney is promoting it in a very big way. When the Disney Princess toy line was bought out by Hasbro in 2016, they began their "Dream Big, Princess" campaign, which focused on girls being active and working toward difficult goals to achieve great accomplishments. The campaign was promoted with several new Disney Princess anthems, leading up to the most recent, "Live Your Story," performed by Auli'i Cravalho. Around this time every year since the campaign started, Disney promotes International Day of the Girl with their princess line by supporting Girl Up, a United Nations organization that started the day. Last year, they celebrated with a photo shoot of girls being active while wearing Disney Princess Halloween costumes, and this year, they did a series of videos of young women from all over the world interviewing women who have accomplished what they are hoping to achieve in their own futures.

Like with last year's photo campaign, for every public social media post of one of these inspirational videos or photos that contains the hashtag #DreamBigPrincess, Disney will donate $1 to the UN's Girl Up organization. This is a great way for Disney to give back to the community of girls who look up to their characters. The campaign will last for a full month, ending on November 10th, which gives fans plenty of time to participate in it. It's fun, free, and involves minimal effort, so why not? I watched all of the videos last night and found them to be quite inspirational. In each video, the role model reminds the girl receiving her advice to continue working hard and believing in her dreams no matter what sort of adversity she might face. These timeless ideas apply to all the Disney Princess movies, including the older ones. However, Disney does have a tendency to avoid talking about the helplessness of some of their early characters for fear of encouraging the "Damsel in Distress" stigma, despite the fact that achieving these goals may not be as easy as they seem.

In truth, the "Dream Big, Princess" video series has very little to do with Disney Princesses in general and more to do with successful career women and the women who want to be like them. Very few of the videos actually mention the Disney Princesses, and the ones that do feel forced. I'm actually glad that most of them avoid the references because this series is about the dreams of girls who are living today, not fictional ones from fairy tales. That makes the Disney Princess label feel a little unnecessary, as the entire campaign could have just as easily been run by Girl Up, but it probably wouldn't have gotten nearly as much attention without the popularity of the Disney Princess line. The first few videos did have women from Disney Animation as role models, but they tapered off less than a quarter of the way into the series when we began traveling to other countries such as France, China, and Argentina.

I would consider the power businesswomen from these videos closer to queens than princesses. In fact, they could be struggling with the Divided Woman archetype because none of the women in the videos mentioned anything about love or support from family and friends when it comes to accomplishing their dreams. The modern decline in femininity is strong in this series, especially considering that it's being used under the name of a brand that mainly features characters who fell deeply in love in their stories. If you can accomplish being a successful career woman, then all the more power to you, but the hard truth is that following paths like these inevitably come with a lot of rejection, and it's important for girls to also have love and support in their lives to help them through that. Tiana is one of my favorite princesses because by the end of her story, she found just the right balance between working hard and being loved.

The "Dream Big, Princess" campaign is a direct contrast to the early days Snow White singing "Someday My Prince Will Come" back in 1937. As we celebrate International Day of the Girl, it's wonderful to think about all of the great things that women have accomplished over the years and all of the opportunities that are open to them that were once out of reach. However, we should not deny the importance of having love and friendship in women's lives as well to support them down the long and winding road to achievement. If you enjoy this new video series, be sure to share it on social media with the #DreamBigPrincess before November 10th to make sure that Disney donates to Girl Up!


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