DETROIT (WWJ) – An all-girls Catholic prep school in Kentucky is making waves as it warns young girls that life is not a fairytale and they need to rescue themselves, rather than waiting for Prince Charming.
It’s all part of a new campaign called “You Are Not A Princess.”
Wayne State University gender studies professor Anne Duggan, who’s studied fairytales, said many, such as “Snow White,” teach women to wait around for a man to save them.
Duggan told WWJ’s Sandra McNeil she thinks that these ideas still resonate in today’s society.
“Think on even television shows like “The Bachelor,” that’s based around women who are going to be picked by the wonderful prince,” Duggan said.
The Mercy Academy campaign features posters with slogans like “Be more than the fairest of them all” and “Prepare for real life.”
“There’s all different ways that girls and women can be empowered,” Duggan said. “I also think that we have to be careful not to give too much power to that.”
Duggan said the bottom line is that if you have a little girl who likes play at being a princess, you shouldn’t completely deny her that.
One suggestion: Seek a stronger leading lady.
“There’s a lot of fairytales that have always been written which give women and girls much more agency than the tales that we tend to look at as being the most classical,” Duggan said. “Stories like ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Cinderella’, or ‘Snow White’ have women who are always saved by the man or always waiting for the man.”