Ever since our Disney trip I've been thinking about the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. The psychology behind a business such as this fascinates me for several reasons. (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go here for more info.) Here's a quick run-down: They take your daughter, if she's at least three years old, and "magically transform" her into a little princess. How? Well, for $49.95 they apply shimmering makeup and style her hair. (And no, that doesn't include the dress. You have to buy the dress.) For $54.95 you get nails painted too. If you really want to spoil her, there's the $189.95 Castle Package, which gives you all those things and a complete princess costume and a photo shoot and a princess-themed photo holder to take home. What more could a girl want?
Well... several things. First I want to say that, surprisingly, I think the BBB is a great idea. What is it, in essence, but a game of dress-up that Disney took three times around the dance floor? We went to Disney for the first time when I was four, and I would have begged my parents to take me to the BBB. There is nothing wrong with playing dress-up. There is nothing wrong with hairstyling, nail polish and glitter if a little girl wants it. And the Fairy Godmothers-in-training as stylists? How cool!
However. I wish I had a picture to put on here but I don't, so I'll just link instead. First, a lady posted some great pictures of her daughter in this review. Her little girl opted to be Cinderella (a popular choice). Therefore, the hairstyle suited her, she looks cute and evidently had a fabulous time. But what happens when you want to be Sleeping Beauty? This is what. They don't have a hairstyle for you. All they've got is a tight little bun, or a tight little bun with tacky extensions (see picture on website). You are forced to decide between being a "Fairytale Princess," "Disney Diva" or "Pop Princess." The little girl mentioned in the review who wanted to be Sleeping Beauty sat through the makeover, but insisted that her hair be taken down a few minutes later. They bought her a Sleeping Beauty wig instead, but most of the time this is not going to be an option. It's in Florida! Way too hot for a long wig. Besides, you paid $50 for hair and glitter! They ought to say "yes ma'am, Princess! One Sleeping Beauty 'do coming right up!" Why can't the Fairy Godmother pull out her magic wand and turn the pile of crappy extensions into a curling iron?
And oh dear, the dresses. After seeing so many pictures of little girls sporting princess costumes, I figured it would be fun to get one for Suzi. Then at the store I got up close and touched one. They are so stiff and scratchy! That's fine for Halloween, but I really don't see how a three-year-old could be expected to wear one from dawn to dusk at a 90 degree theme park. (Some of them did, by the way.) Also, the shoes that go with the dresses were like the plastic dress-up heels I played in as a child--which could account for the inordinate number of little girls in strollers who were plenty old enough to be walking.
The one other thing I don't understand is why all those little girls would want to look exactly the same. I've heard it can get pretty busy in the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and I just can't imagine looking at all those girls in the same dress as me getting the same hairdo as me and being happy--even when I was four. My mom made me a princess costume for Halloween when I was in first grade, and I was proud of it. It was hot pink (because it was actually a hand-me-down, I mean vintage, flower girl dress) and my mom added sequins and bought me a pretty gold tiara. Then she put a little makeup on me and ta-da! I was a princess, and a unique one. For practically free.
When we do take Suzi to the BBB--because we probably will, one day--I hope they've come up with some way to bring out the natural beauty of a little girl's hair. I also might try to sweet-talk my mom into sewing Suzi a fabulous costume out of decent quality fabric so we can surprise her with a special dress when we get there. We can tell her that her Fairy Grandmother had it magically appear. (Sound good, Mom? You don't mind at all, right?)
Because, seriously, Cinderella would've died of embarrassment if she had spotted another girl wearing her dress at the ball. And it would've confused the heck out of the prince.