DAILY PIC: Could this classic, flat-bottom paper bag be the most important, influential object ever conceived by a woman? In MoMA’s show called “Designing Modern Women”, the 1871 patent for the machine to make it is credited to one Margaret E. Knight, working at the Union Paper Bag Machine Company, in Philadelphia. More eyes must have settled on such a bag than have ever taken in the Mona Lisa or Michelangelo’s David. And could you carry your lunch to school if all you had to wrap it was a Monet? (Museum of Modern Art, gift of Duro Bag Manufacturing Company)
OK people, keep your asses glued to that seat/bed/floor/generally comfy surface of yours, and let me explain you a thing about THIS BOOK. THIS FUCKING BOOK. For you unfortunates who don’t know, this is “The Paper Bag Princess”, and it is a literary treasure. I came across this book in my school’s library when I was a little girl, and IT ROCKED MY WORLD. It completely turned the fairytale stereotypes that I knew on their heads, and made me rethink the concept of gender entirely.
HERE’S THE PLOT: Princess Elizabeth’s “practically perfect” fiance Prince Ronald gets kidnapped by a dragon, who, in the usual dragon fashion, burns shit up, including ALL OF THE PRINCESS’ CLOTHES. She’s forced to wear a dirty paper bag as a dress, but does she get sad and helpless? FUCK NO, SHE ROCKS THAT PAPER BAG and off she goes to rescue her prince. She uses her wit and intelligence to beat the dragon at his own game, and saves Ronald. BUT WAIT, HERE’S THE KICKER! Instead of your everyday “And they all lived happily ever” fairytale ending, Prince Ronald turns out to be a massive dick of a guy, who completely ignores the fact that Princess Elizabeth just saved his ungrateful royal behind from A MOTHERFUCKING FIRE-BREATHING DRAGON, and tells her to come back when she looks more like the princess he expects.
So what does Princess Elizabeth do? SHE REALISES INSTANTLY THAT PRINCE RONALD ISN’T SO PERFECT AFTER ALL, PRETTY MUCH TELLS HIM TO GET LOST, AND WALKS OFF INTO THE SUNSET AS A FREE AND INDEPENDENT WOMAN, READY TO LIVE HER OWN LIFE HER WAY, IN NOTHING BUT A FUCKING PAPER BAG.
I don’t give a flying frittata if this is a children’s picture book, THE PAPER BAG PRINCESS is FUCKING GOLD, my Tumblr-y friends. Find it, read it, and enjoy a brilliant 1980’s kid’s book about FEMALE STRENGTH.