My three-year-old daughter is currently in love with Rapunzel.
She has a Rapunzel dress that she wears every day. Seriously—every day. Bonus: it’s full of glitter, so yay! Our house is always sparkly! The dress too fragile to be washed, and I thought it would bother me that she wears the same unwashed outfit every day—but it really cuts down on the laundry. Plus, gone are my morning stress attacks about her taking forever to choose an outfit before it’s time to rush Colin off to school. She gets up, we throw on the dress, and she’s ready to begin pollinating the couch and floors with glitter. Perfect.
Andy, trying to encourage a different outfit selection, recently said, “You can’t wear the same thing every day! Does Rapunzel wear the same dress every day?” It was quiet then. Because, in the movie, Rapunzel does appear to the wear the same dress every day. So that argument ended with a win for Annabelle.
There has been great debate in our house over what Rapunzel wears to bed, as this information isn’t divulged in the movie. I contend she puts on her comfortable Paw Patrol pajamas, but Annabelle thinks she continues to wear her dress. I say that’s ridiculous, but given that Rapunzel wears the same outfit every day, the evidence appears to stack up on Annabelle’s side.
Annabelle doesn’t like it when ignorant people, seeing her in a princess outfit, call her a princess. She does not want to be a princess…but Rapunzel is a princess. Annabelle struggles with this. I wish I could protect her, but life is about accepting these hard truths.
Annabelle loved the Rapunzel books, so even though the ending of the movie is scary, we decided to let her watch Disney’s Tangled. In the last scene, the villain stabs Flynn, the male lead, and drags a sobbing Rapunzel away in chains. Flynn, bleeding and dying, manages to save Rapunzel by chopping off her magical, blond hair, causing it to turn brown and un-magical—and I love it that the self-esteem damaging symbolism is obvious enough for a three-year-old to grasp. Then the villain shrieks as she painfully shrivels and vanishes. Next up are several minutes of Flynn gasping for breath as he slips closer to death.
When the ending played, Annabelle started whimpering and crying, and we felt terrible for showing it.
“Don’t worry! The villain’s gone now,” we told her. “And Flynn’s okay! Look! Rapunzel saves him.”
Annabelle only sobbed harder. “I don’t want her hair to be brown!” she cried.
Seriously. That’s the part she thought was scary.
Annabelle has requested we call her Rapunzel and recently asked me why I did not name her that. (Answer: because I am sane.) We do all try to call her Rapunzel, though we have stopped short of filing the legal paperwork.
Because Rapunzel never wears shoes, Annabelle also wants to be barefoot at all times, but she did acquiesce to wearing shoes when she leaves the house. This is because I explained that Rapunzel’s feet are hardened and calloused from running around in the forest without proper footwear, as was probably depicted in a deleted scene.
To complete her Rapunzel transformation, Annabelle wants to continue growing her hair (not a problem) and to dye it yellow (problem). I’m taking this way too seriously, but it seems like young girls constantly struggle with wanting to change something about their appearance, and my baby already wants different hair at age three? I hate that. And I kind of hate Rapunzel for causing it. And I don’t know how to break it to Annabelle that yellow isn’t a real hair color.
“But your hair is so beautiful!” I tell her, and she ignores me.
“You should be happy with what you have!” I say, and she ignores me.
“No one wants hair that’s so long that people use it to climb up and down towers. Don’t you think that would hurt?” I ask, and she listens.
“Yeah!” she says. “And wouldn’t her hair get dirty dragging on the floor all the time?”
Like your dress. And your bare feet. And the house, on account of all the glitter. But yes! Dirt! Gross!