At first I thought this ad (found at Jezebel) creeped me out because of the equation: Disney princess + girl power. But then I remembered that that’s pretty much been the whole Disney princess gimmick since, oh, Sleeping Beauty or so. Then it hit me. It’s the infantilization.  Disney princess + adult woman = shivers up my spine.  Is it just me?

Text:

I learned a long time ago that a true princess makes her own happy ending.  So I train.  I sweat.  I succeed.  That’s my fairytale. A nd with a new Disney half marathon celebrating women, it makes my commitment worth it.  It’s not just a race… it’s a reflection of me.

From the Disney Princess Half Marathon website:

The Inaugural 2009 Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend will bring women of all ages together to participate in a magical event designed just for them. The Disney Princesses are the inspiration for the weekend’s events and will focus on the attributes every princess possesses: commitment, courage, determination, fantasy, perseverance, and strength. Every woman is a princess, which princess are you?

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.