Let's peel back these layers!

juliannlaw Here is a closeup of the endpapers in my debut picture book, THE WORKD’S LONGEST SOCK. I work digitally in Adobe Photoshop but the program doesn’t do it all for me! I knit all the pixels by hand! Haha! I do have things I do to help me work quickly and efficiently, though, like using layers. Here you get to see me take off those layers one by one till we are back at nothing but a background. The World's Longest Sock is now available on  Amazon ,  Barnes and Noble ,  Target , or wherever you  buy books !

princess virtues

The other day, little Emmie picked up one of our little Princess dress-up dolls. She would look at it and then hold it up for my approval again and again. I'd say, "Oh, she is so beautiful!" again and again.

I've been thinking about it ever since and practicing a different response for the next time she picks up a princess and wants to know what I think of her. Here is what I want to tell my daughters about the Disney heroines:

Belle - Oh, she is so smart! She loves to read and would do anything for her Dad. She sees beauty on the inside.

Tiana - Oh, she is such hard worker! (And a good cook!) She has big goals and dreams and works hard to achieve them.

Cinderella - Oh, she is so classy! She works hard and never complains, even when life isn't fair!

Aurora/Brier Rose - Oh, she is so down to earth! She would rather stay in a little cottage in the woods with her true love than go to live in a castle and marry a prince she doesn't know.

Snow White - Oh, she is so kind! She loves animals and does nice things for others.

Mulan - Oh, she is so brave and courageous! She fought for her country and her family as a soldier when her father couldn't.

Jasmine - Oh, she is so adventurous! She's very smart and won't marry just anyone, she wants to marry for love. . . after she's seen the world a bit.

Jane - (I know, she's never included with the princess set, but she's one of my favorite Disney heroines.) Oh, she's so smart! She's a research scientist and an explorer! She's also a good artist and a teacher.

Ariel - (I got a little stumped on this one. She's really very naughty and foolish!) Oh, she is so enthousiastic! When she does something, she goes all out and gives it her all!

Rapunzel - (I almost forgot her!) Oh, she is so creative! Look at all the fun things she does to fill her time in the tower. And, her hygiene is impeccable. It wouldn't be easy to take care of hair that long!

"So much is at stake, for mothers with girls of all ages: How do we define
girlhood? What about femininity? Beauty? Sexuality? Our choices will tell our
girls how we see them, who we want them to be, our values, expectations, hopes,
and dreams. Do we want them to be judged by the content of their character or
the color of their lip gloss?" Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daugher


The Dell Family said…
OOHH I Love it!!!! i,m going to try it on my girls!!!!!
The Dell Family said…
P.S. maybe Ariel learned that actions speak louder then words. since she lost her voice in all!!
Kate said…
juliann i love this! you are so awesome. it was so great to see you while i was in town.
I just love this. Love.
David said…
I think if you are going to veer away from the Disney marketing line for the princesses, you should go all the way: Belle met an emotionally and physically abusive kidnapper, who had a cute smile, so she decided her love could make him a nice guy and she decided to move in with him. Cinderella couldn't get the prince to so much as look at her until she got a professional makeover, and then he was all hers. Sleeping Beauty was given a simple instruction and disobeyed. Snow White cohabitated with 7 men - maybe save that one until she's older. Mulan was lying and deceitful, but it was for a good cause. Jasmine ran away from home to live with a street criminal. Jane progressively discarded clothes as the film went on to try to attract her man. Ariel disobeyed her father and sold her soul to the devil in order to use her body to get what she wants. I think we should skip Disney altogether and just tell our girls how awesome Margaret Thatcher is.
Juliann said…
Valid point, David! Margaret Thatcher IS awesome.

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