Stranded in Neverland

Consumerism addicts us to immediate gratification and perpetual youth, but the cross lifts us to a more satisfying joy.

Princesses scare me. It isn't their volatile behavior, creepy step-mothers, or the ferocious fire-breathing beasts that often accompany them that worry me. Rather, it's the mind control they have over my daughter. When she sees a princess, her pupils dilate and her head cocks. It's like invisible fairies are whispering spells in her ear. Then she turns to me and says, "Daddy, can we buy that?"

Disney's "Princess" brand campaign was launched in 2000, when the company's new chairman of consumer goods brought together Disney's favorite heroines under one banner. Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Jasmine, and Ariel became a marketing dream team generating billions of dollars. They appeared on everything from DVDs to Band-Aids. The Disney spell was cast upon my daughter literally minutes after she entered the world. The hospital diapers were imprinted with Disney's princesses, and they have been a part of her life (and mine) happily ever after.

But the company is no longer content ...

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