Is It OK For Feminists To Like Disney Movies?

Anna and Elsa from Disney's Frozen

I’ve often spoken of my love for all things Disney. There’s something so magical about the theme parks, isn’t there? So much so, that at 18,  my best mate and I, er, went to Florida on holiday, when most girls our age would have gone to Ibiza. Honestly, we did. I sometimes want to go back to my 18-year-old self and give her a good talking to. But the theme parks are something special, and just walking into a Disney Store makes you feel a bit tingly.

But being a Disney fan and being a feminist don’t always sit well together with me. The movies don’t send out the most pro-women messages. The female characters usually have some kind of weakness and they’re saved by a dashing male hero. Often, all she wants is to fall in love and be whisked off her feet by a handsome prince (Some Day My Prince Will Come… well Cinderella love, he might not. And actually, that’s OK, because you’ll manage fine on your own.)

Frozen was a welcome change from the norm – with strong female characters and a twist at the end that sent out the message that true love doesn’t always have to come from a man. Sisterhood rules.

But at the moment, I’m choosing to turn a blind eye to my feminist instincts, which are telling me to stop my three year old from watching Tangled four times a day and Cinderella twice a week.  Is that bad? Am I the worst feminist ever? (Don’t answer that.) But I kind of think: well I watched Disney movies, growing up, and I grew into an adult who has strong feminist views. I think it’s because my mum is so pro-equality and brought me and my brother up to really believe that women are as important as men and should always be treated as such. I’m hoping to do the same with my daughter – balancing off Disney’s old fashioned ideals with feminist messages.

Something that really made me smile was a YouTube video that my daughter came across while watching clips of Frozen. (Don’t get me started on having to hover over her while she navigates YouTube, in case she stumbles across something unsuitable…)

This video is a Disney princess video that the feminist in me is HAPPY for my daughter to watch. Which is just as well, because I’ve seen it 17 times in the past 24 hours….


What’s your take on feminism and Disney? Can the two live in harmony? Or do you have to choose between them?

 

Using Your Brain To Make A Difference

Brain Awareness Week

When I start to think about it, I can’t even get my head around how important communication is to me. We communicate so much, every day, and we rely on speech, on our ability to have conversations, on typing texts and emails. If we suddenly weren’t able to do these things, it would be devastating. I recently spent an afternoon at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in South West London. The hospital is doing amazing things for people who have profound disabilities – people who have acquired brain injuries and people who have degenerative neurological conditions like Huntington’s disease.

Some patients at the hospital are unable to communicate, unless that have access to an amazing (but very expensive) piece of equipment called EyeGaze. It’s a small camera and sensor which attaches to a normal computer monitor which picks up on someone’s eye movements to control the computer. Just a flicker of the eye can help the patient speak, write emails, surf Facebook and even play games.

To highlight Brain Awareness Week (which is happening right now – 10th to 16th March 2014) the RHN invited some comedians, bloggers, campaigners and fashion icons to the hospital to try out the EyeGaze equipment. I went along two weeks ago, and my breath was taken away by how clever EyeGaze is.

You can see how I got on, trying out EyeGaze, here in this video and you can see how bloggers Poppy Dinsey, Charlotte and Kara got on too. I’d ask you to use your brain and donate today. Give a patient at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability the chance to communicate again – the equipment is so expensive but it’s life changing.

BAW-slide_Thankyou_Influencers

Oh Pretty, Lovely Mother’s Day Gifts

I’ve always loved Mother’s Day – from being a small child, taking breakfast in bed to my mum and saving up pocket money to buy her a bottle of Blue Lace perfume from the local chemist, to more recent years when it’s ME who gets a lie in and breakfast in bed (yessss!)

This year, swanky department store Selfridges sent me a Mother’s Day package – wasn’t that lovely of them? (Note to my family: this doesn’t mean I’m not expecting a card and prezzie from you…) Inside was a selection of beauty treats. Acqua Di Parma perfume, a Clinique eyeshadow palette in lovely browns and natural colours, two Clinique nail varnishes and Clarins anti-ageing serum. THANKS Selfridges… and actually, they’re all bloody good ideas as Mother’s Day presents because most mums like to be pampered, right?

Mother's Day Ideas Continue reading

You Know You’re A Member Of Bad Mums’ Club When…

Bad Mums’ Club. Are you a member? I am. Here’s how you know if you are…

1. The first thing you do when you wake up is reach for the iPad so your child can watch Ben & Holly while you come-to and remember which day it is. Oh bugger, it’s Monday. Better get moving, then.

2. Your dinner menus are a rotation of: fish fingers and peas, sausages and broccoli, beans on toast. (What? All the major food groups are there, aren’t they?)

3. You think bribery is a perfectly acceptable way to encourage your children to do things. Worse still, you bribe them with chocolate and ice cream. (True story: my three-year-old announced to her key worker at pre-school when I picked her up one evening: “If I behave all week, Mummy is taking me to the toy shop.” I might have cringed.)

Bribing your child with ice cream = WINNING

4. You realise that you’ve fallen behind with the laundry and you haven’t got any clean clothes for your child. So you stick a Halloween-themed t-shirt on them and scrape mud off their jeans so they can be worn again. There, no one at pre-school will even notice…

5. You tell your family that you’re off upstairs to “tidy up” but really, you sit on the bed with your iPad, catching up on Twitter, just to get some peace from Peppa Pig for ten minutes. (Shhh, don’t tell my husband.)

6. Your child’s toys are in a mass heap in the corner of a room – no order, no organisation, just a mass of plastic, wood and furry toys. You keep meaning to organise it all properly, but you haven’t quite got around to it yet.

7. You don’t take your child to swimming lessons. This is a big unspoken no-no in some parenting circles. We took our daughter to swimming classes when she was eight months old, she hated it, we found it stressful, we stopped going.

8. After a particularly trying weekend, you actually look forward to going back to work on Monday morning. Yep, work feels like a rest in comparison to parenting a challenging child. (SAHMs, replace work for “the gym”.)

Sometimes my job is preferable to parenting

I’m linking this post up to The Bad Mums’ Club – a collection of posts by bloggers on our failings as mothers. Of course, we know we’re not really bad mums, but I think it’s important to highlight all the imperfect stuff we do, as well as the amazing rose-tinted moments. It’s good to keep it real, right? At the moment, The Bad Mums’ Club consists of me, Morgana from But Why Mummy Why, Aimee from Pass The Gin and Katie from Hurrah For Gin (Can you tell, mum bloggers like gin?) but really, everyone is welcome.

Here’s the badge, if you are a blogger and you fancy writing a post and popping the badge on it:

Not Another Mummy Blog
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Win An Outfit from Little Bird By Jools Oliver

Bright colours, 70s prints, retro shapes and details… the Little Bird by Jools Oliver range at Mothercare is without a doubt my favourite high street kidswear line. The designs take me back to my childhood where I wore hand me downs from my older cousins and outfits made by my mum on her sewing machine. Floral dresses with Peter Pan collars, sweatshirt dresses, velvet knickerbockers, t-shirts with the rainbows on them, I have really vivid memories of some of the stuff I wore when I was little. Here I am, aged around three, I’m guessing…

Alison Perry as a child

Fun at the fair

I love that I’m hard pushed to find any photos of me as a young girl wearing pink. In fact, the photo above of me, my mum and my brother at the funfair (or ‘the shows’ as we called it) is amazing because I’m in yellow and green and my brother Rod is in orange. We’re just in fab, bright colours.

That’s one of the nice things about Little Bird – floral dresses aside, there are loads of pieces you could happily put on either a girl or a boy, just like you found back in the 70s and 80s. Last week, I walked past my local Mothercare and found myself drawn in. I ended up buying two things for my daughter – a bright green sweatshirt and a rainbow star t-shirt. Both would look great on a boy or a girl…

Little Bird at Mothercare unisex sweatshirt

Little Bird at Mothercare unisex t-shirt

 

WIN AN OUTFIT FROM LITTLE BIRD BY JOOLS OLIVER

Mothercare have given me an outfit to give away to two winners – hooray! So enter for your chance to win an outfit of your choice from the Little Bird range (an outfit comprises of either trousers, top, jacket, footwear and socks or dress, tights/socks, jumper, jacket and footwear) I’ve created two outfits here, as inspiration but you can select your own items and create an outfit to suit the child in your life…

Little Bird by Jools at Mothercare outfit

Little Bird by Jools at Mothercare outfit

How to enter:

    • All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is like the Not Another Mummy Blog Facebook page.
    • For three additional entries, follow Not Another Mummy Blog on Twitter, tweet about the giveaway and leave a blog post comment below, telling me what your favourite item of clothing was, as a child.
    • Then don’t forget to complete the Rafflecopter widget on this post so your entry will be counted.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Terms and conditions: 
1. Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding anyone professionally associated with Not Another Mummy Blog or the Promoter. 
2. Two winners will receive an outfit of their choice from the Little Bird range. An outfit comprises of either a) trousers/skirt, t-shirt, jacket, footwear and socks or b) dress, tights/socks, jumper, jacket and footwear. The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative. 
3. The prize draw starts at 12.01am GMT on 2nd March 2014 and closes at 11.59pm GMT on 17th March 2014. 
4. Entry is free and must be made via Facebook, by liking Not Another Mummy Blog’s Facebook page. Entrants can gain bonus entries by following @notanothermummy on Twitter, tweeting about the giveaway and leaving a blog post comment, then completing the Rafflecopter widget featured in this post. 
5. The name of the winner will be published on this website within 14 days of the competition closing. 
6. In the unlikely event that the prize becomes unavailable the Promoter reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal value. 
7. The Promoter’s decision on all matters is final and binding on all entrants. No correspondence will be entered into. 
8. By taking part in this competition you agree to be bound by the competition terms and conditions. 
9. The Promoter reserves the right to disqualify any entrant and / or winner in its discretion and without any notice in accordance with these terms and conditions. 
10. The Promoter is: Mothercare PLC, Cherry Tree Road, Watford, Herts, WD24 6SH