In which the writer auditions for a role as a Disney Princess:
Since I was 3 years old, my family has visited Walt Disney World almost every year. We’re one of those families that refuses to vacation anywhere else. We consider getting a beer at each of EPCOT’s national pavilions a horizon broadening experience. When I was little, we waited in line to do meet-and-greets with the Disney princesses. I’d approach Belle in her iridescent gown, or Ariel in her brassiere made of bivalve remains, and present them with my autograph book, marveling at how cheerful, and dainty and ladylike they were. As a neurotic, tomboyish 7-year-old, I found them nothing less than magical.
Years later, I took a few gender studies courses, and came to realize what everyone else does about Disney princesses: They are pink, sparkly conduits for consumerism, antiquated gender roles and unrealistic standards of beauty. I couldn’t have cared less. Even if Snow White had the personality of a soggy carrot, and “Beauty and the Beast” is essentially a PSA in favor of domestic violence, I wanted to don an acrylic wig and pose for photos with 6-year-olds. I wanted to smile and use phrases like “Have a magical day” without irony. I wanted to pirouette on a parade float with Gaston, played by a man with an MFA in dance from SUNY Purchase and a professional dog groomer boyfriend.
During my family’s recent return to Disney World, I attended an open call audition for “face” roles, a term for the human characters who interact with park guests; non-human, masked characters like Mickey and Minnie are known as “fur” characters. The listing was for “look-alikes” of princes and princesses, including Rapunzel, Cinderella, Jasmine from “Aladdin,” and Ariel. On occasion, people have said that I look like Snow White, a compliment usually modified by the adjectives “Jew-faced” or “crack-addled,” but she wasn’t on the list.
Go read the rest! Interesting and funny.