Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Why Can't My Son Be A Princess At Disneyland? : An Open Letter To Disneyland Paris

Dear Disneyland Paris,

This is my son Noah.

Noah is about the biggest Elsa fan in the world.

You won't know us but we know you very well....we've visited you twice in the last 10 months because on our first visit we fell so deeply in love with your magic.

I wrote about it here on my blog, the fact that you had become my happy place....my escape from anxiety and mental health issues....a place where magic was the norm and where everyone was free to enjoy life inside the fairytale bubble, where the perils of the real world seem so distant.

We loved you so much that we booked to come back again in November and April along with our good friends...since our last visit my young son Noah has taken a real interest in your much loved character Elsa...as well as Rapunzel, Anna, Jasmine, Belle and Cinderella too. 

We have spent a small fortune in Disney items for him, he wears his beloved Elsa dress all day every day...twirling about in front of his dressing table mirror, singing his heart out...convinced he is the real Elsa! He even refuses to take it off at bedtime. He knows every single word to Let It Go and all of the other Frozen songs, he'd be able to stand on your stage in the Frozen show and give your Elsa a run for her money I'm sure!

If there's such a thing as a Frozen super fan, Noah is it!

When I was scrolling through a Disney Facebook group one day, I came across some beautiful photos of little girls dressed up as Princesses in your Princess For A Day shoots at the Disneyland Hotel...Noah who was sitting next to me saw these too and was buzzing with excitement!

I decided I'd like to book him for the experience as a Christmas gift...I knew that there would be NOTHING he'd love more than to get to wear a pretty dress, put make up on like Mummy does and have his photo taken being one of his beloved Disney Princesses.

So I emailed you about it...and here is your reply:

So let me get this straight....my son, who fell in love with the concept of Disney Princesses at Disneyland, is not allowed to have the same experiences as the little girls who visit you simply because "He's a boy"?

I can't help but wonder if the same rule would apply should you introduce an activity at your parks that is only for boys....I say introduce because of course there isn't anything that is just for "Boys" as this would never be allowed. 

If a little girl wants to be a super hero, she can be. If she wants to be a jedi, she can be. She can be whatever she wants...just like Walt Disney himself said, "If you can dream it you can do it!"...

..Unless you're a little boy who wants a Princess experience at Disneyland apparently...that you CAN'T do!

I notice that Disneyland Paris has a Pride day on October 20th which uses the tagline "Celebrating Diversity at Disneyland Paris"... so does that statement apply only on October 20th? If we visit you on that day will you allow my son to be himself and have the princess experience?! Is October 20th the ONLY day that diversity is permitted in your parks? Must we all keep our true selves hidden every other day of the year at Disneyland Paris?!

Of course it's very kind of you to compensate us with the offer of some princess themed goodies for him....at the cost of 300 Euro of course...to be enjoyed in the privacy of his room, where he can't offend anybody else with his dress-wearing ways.

Some people may wonder why I even bothered to email you and ask if he'd be allowed to book in for this experience...the reason is this: My son is very young, he doesn't yet have any idea that there is such judgement and outdated perspectives in the world. He has no reason at all to believe that anybody would ever see anything wrong in a child playing dress up...and I have no desire at all to expose him to the ridiculous inequality of this world until it's absolutely necessary, so I decided to check that this would be ok just incase any behind-the-times staff member on the day was to make a comment that would burst his bubble and make him doubt himself and the things he likes.

I NEVER expected the reply I received from somewhere that claims to bring magic to the world and introduces these beloved characters to children.

I'm aware that there are many people in the world with outdated opinions on subjects such as this who will no doubt say that I'm creating drama or that I need to just pipe down and accept the fact that he is a boy and therefore he shouldn't be allowed to wear a dress....well here's the thing, usually my anxiety means I shy away from writing blog posts on controversial topics because I don't feel that I can handle the backlash. But in this situation? BRING IT ON! Because anybody who has an issue with this, is 100% WRONG and nothing will ever change my mind on that.

This isn't even a gay/straight debate...this is a child. Who wants to be just like his favourite character.

Nobody would see any harm if it was Jack Sparrow or Spiderman...not even if Noah was a girl....but because he's a boy and Elsa is a Princess it's "not allowed".

How absolutely ridiculous.

I didn't force my child to try on an Elsa dress....he chose it for himself. I have 3 sons, the other two are about as stereotypical BOY as you can get....my eldest child would recoil in horror at the mere mention of him wearing a dress, infact he doesn't even want to go to your Princess restaurant (which we were planning to book despite the high prices, because Noah would love it....maybe I should check, is he allowed in there or would he need to leave his penis at the door?!)

I'm really not sure what the reasoning is for your decision on this as you never explained it, you simply stated he wasn't allowed to book it because "He's a boy"....what are you afraid of? What exactly will happen if a boy wears a dress? Will he burst into flames? Will he grow up to be *Shock horror* GAY and I might sue you for it?

Please do explain to me what terrible awful fate may befall him if you indulge him in his desire to have his hair done, put on an Elsa dress and wear a bit of blusher for a photo? Because frankly, I am baffled.

Yours Sincerely,

A very sad and dissapointed Mother to a very sad & disappointed little Disney fanatic.

UPDATE ON THIS POST: http://www.sparklesandstretchmarks.com/2017/08/the-final-word-on-disneyland-drama.html

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