Culture & Entertainment

Is Kate Middleton the image of antifeminism?

Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Is Kate Middleton the image of antifeminism?

With women and girls of all ages trying to emulate Kate Middleton, it's clear the cultural desire to align ourselves with royalty is still alive today. But a controversial new ad campaign is attempting to combat this princess phenomenon, whereby girls grow up hoping to live the fairy-tale lives found in a Disney movie. Kentucky-based ad agency Doe-Anderson recently created a series of posters for a Catholic all-girls preparatory school in Kentucky, encouraging teenage girls to abandon the socially engrained concept that men are our white knights. Touted as "feminism from an unlikely source" by advertising mag Adweek, the Mercy Academy campaign features slogans including "Don't wait for a prince," "You're not a princess" and "Life's not a fairytale." Sound harsh? Maybe it is. But perhaps that's exactly what's needed to empower tomorrow's women. Growing up, I was only referred to as a "princess" by my father in a mocking manner. If I acted spoiled, he would throw the moniker—usually intended as a loving pet name—at me as a way of telling me I needed a reality check. While many young girls around me considered "princess" to be a highly sought-after career objective and dressed the part on Halloween, I looked at the title as an insult rather than a compliment. But like my peers who were princesses-in-the-making, I was also a Disney addict. Granted, I preferred Lady and the Tramp and Bambi over Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, but I watched those inherently sexist movies all the same. Even though I now consider myself a feminist, I wasn't immune to the subliminal messages brainwashing me into thinking I was doomed to live a miserable life unless I met my Prince Charming. No child is. So maybe it's time we sent some not-so-subliminal messages to the contrary, as sad as it may be that such action is at all necessary in this day and age. But being Catholic myself, I find it refreshing to see a school such as this get behind a nontraditional message of female empowerment. Institutionalized religion and feminism don't have to be mutually exclusive. The intrinsically perfect prince persona is fictitious. So why wouldn't we want to let our girls know the life of a princess isn't attainable, even if Prince Henry is still, technically, a bachelor? (Photo: Doe-Anderson)
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Is Kate Middleton the image of antifeminism?

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