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Politics, culture, and American life — from the family perspective.

‘Inside the Princess Industrial Complex’


Don’t say we weren’t warned by Ike. From the Washington Post:

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, Cinderella was on the phone with her next client. “Are you ready? Everybody there? Okay, here I come.”

The princess put away her cellphone, gave her crown a final tweak and climbed out of her Kia, ready to rock her fourth birthday party of the weekend. This Cinderella is a gown about town.

“I think I’ve done more than 800 parties now,” said Rebecca Russell, owner and principal Cinderella of Princess Parties of Virginia, as she guided her voluminous blue skirts along a Chantilly cul-de-sac. “It’s just getting busier and busier.”

It is an enchanting time to be a professional party princess. On the tails of a massive marketing blitz of all things tiara-ed, the ancient childhood appeal of the fairy-tale heroine has exploded into a modern princess-industrial complex. Amid thousands of princess products and millions of begowned little girls, it turns out there is a decent living to be made by chipper-voiced entrepreneurs ready to displace the old party clown.

“It’s just grown like crazy,” said Heidi Martin, who recently started a party princess company in Stafford and now books a stable of 25 Cinderellas, Belles and Pocahontases for gatherings all around the region.

Even in career-obsessed Washington, where legions of professional women command six-figure salaries and care more about office shoes than glass slippers, parents find themselves helpless in the face of the fierce princess passions of their 3-to-6-year-old girls.

My 6-year-old daughter is in this phase, and by far the worst part of it is the glitter. It’s everywhere. But it could be worse I guess — my daughter’s favorite princess right now is Merida from Brave, so she runs around the house with a crown, a floor-length (glitter-covered) gown and a bow. A warrior-princess maybe?

 The rest here.


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