Dear Walt Disney Company:
My four year-old daughter owns a costume for every single Disney Princess, plays with her Doc McStuffins medical clinic daily, saw The Force Awakens in the theater three times (twice in costume), begged to dress as Disgust from Inside Out last Halloween, and knows all the words to “Part of Your World”, “Oh-De-Lally”, “Let It Go”, and “Try Everything” from Zootopia even though it’s still in the flipping theater. She is your target audience across so many platforms it’s really kind of ridiculous. (And expensive.)
So when I spotted Rey on the cover of a Star Wars coloring kit in the Target Dollar Spot last month, of course I bought it. But when my elated daughter broke open the seal on the package, she found a single Rey coloring page followed by a dozen pages of Finn, BB-8 and anonymous storm troopers.
We went to Disneyland last month eager to meet my daughter’s favorite characters that, because she’s FOUR, she ardently believes are real. Chewbacca and Kylo Ren were available for autographs, but we couldn’t seem to find Rey, Queen Amidala or Princess Leia anywhere. Other than a Rey costume (which we were fortunate to already own), we struck out at the gift shops, too.
And then the other day at the hardware store she spotted a display of plastic Star Wars-branded dinner plates, cups and utensils. We looked all over for the “Girl” Star Wars options but found only droids, desert scenes, and Darth.
So here’s my request: don’t create a generation of girls devoted to a strong female protagonist and then not trust them to buy the merch. Believe in the character of Rey (because she’s AWESOME) and believe in the growing diversity of your fanbase. And not just because it’s sexist not to, but because it’s a missed opportunity to make some cold, hard cash.
Priss & Vinegar