We thought readers of this blog might be interested in startups besides us. So, over the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring “Awesome startups who are not us”. To kick it off, we could think of no startup more appropriate than a new look at princesses. (This week’s judge of awesomeness is pictured at left.) Tired of Disney princesses who do nothing more than wait patiently for their prince to come while they are cleaning house for dwarves or stepsisters? We’ve got you covered.
The Guardian Princess Alliance is a new media organization that advocates for children’s empowerment and seeks to transform the traditional representation of princesses. The organization, founded by UC Riverside Professor, Setsu Shigematsu, produces children’s books that portray princesses as super heroines who take action.
The Guardian Princess book series introduces seven new princesses who are Latina, African, European, East Asian, Samoan/Pacific Islander, Native American and South Asian. The unifying theme of these diverse princesses is “protect the people, protect the planet.” Each princess is a guardian of a different aspect of nature. Princess Mariana for example, the Latina is the “Guardian of the Seas.” She protects marine life from the harmful pollutants dumped in the oceans. Princess Aiyana, the Native American princess, is the “Guardian of Animals.” It is through these new type of princesses and the stories written about them that The Guardian Princess Alliance stays true to their mission statement in creating positive role models.
The Guardian Princess Alliance’s books promote racial, cultural, and gender diversity which challenge the princess culture. The great element about the books is that they shift away from a focus on external beauty and promote a healthy self-esteem based on the development of children’s talents, knowledge about the world, and taking action to help others. Their princesses model compassion and intelligence, as well as caring for the environment. Along with promoting a different view on beauty, children will also benefit from the inclusion of Common Core standards which include a glossary, etymology, and critical thinking questions, which only enrich the experience of our stories.
These stories challenge the way that past generations have been introduced to princess culture. The Guardian Princesses stories address real issues that engage in the important and the often ignored conversations we have with our kids. To learn more about “The Guardian Princesses” or order one of their books, visit their website at http://guardianprincesses.com/.
Contributed by Marisol Prado