Every day, the four-year-old wants to color or read books about princesses. Specifically, she wants to read about and color pictures of Disney princesses–not the “bad-ass” ethnic ones like Jasmine and Mulan. No, she likes the hetero-normative stories about damsels in
distress comas like Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. She also likes to dress up in grubby pink gowns and talk about being a princess.
As I slogged my way through five picture book adaptations of Disney films today, I was struck by how passive the female “protagonists” are. Not that I think Disney is an evil, corrupting influence on today’s youth, but I still think it would be nice if the princesses had dreams other than falling in love with someone they met “in a dream.” (I tried to explain why Mulan is such a good character, but she just replied that Mulan isn’t “really a princess.”)
Thus, I’ve started encouraging the four-year-old to draw things other than princesses…or princesses doing something. “Don’t you think princesses should go on adventures?,” I say, “Wouldn’t it be boring to sit around in a frilly dress all day?”
I don’t think she really gets it, so I’ve also tried to lead by example. Today, while she drew her billionth princess, I drew this:
If you can’t tell, that is yours truly, leading a group fitness class, wearing a princess crown. Everyone is sweating buckets, and a male participant can’t keep up. Please also notice that I made a concerted effort to draw strong-looking legs.
And here comes my announcement:
I’m going to become a group fitness instructor!*
This is actually something that I have been considering for over a year, despite the fact that I don’t regularly attend classes. Fortunately, Dan has really pushed me to pursue this goal, and for my birthday, he, Alejandro, Brian, and Kya gave me the ACE manual and study materials. (Passing that exam gives me certification to do free-style classes that I would choreograph myself.)
In two weeks, I’m going to go for a three-day training for BodyCombat, the Les Mills’ martial arts-based class. Training weekend sounds really intense, so I’m sure I’ll be more nervous as it approaches. Seriously, I just recently managed to get all the way through the abs track without collapsing on the floor….
*This is actually dependent on me passing the training and jumping through a bunch of other certification hoops.