medium brain: the princess diaries 2: royal engagement is good
big brain: the princess diaries 2: royal engagement is bad because michael isn’t there
giant, glowing brain: the meta references to the movies made in the princess diaries books (mia telling her therapist to watch “the movies made about her life”, her friends asking if she has chris pine’s number, tina claiming she was written out because her overprotective father threatened the studio) are superior to all 230 minutes of the princess diaries film franchise
“Is everything all right? Is everything all right? Hmm, hold on a minute, let me see… My mom is going out with my algebra teacher, a subject I’m flunking, by the way; my best friend hates me; I’m fourteen years old and I’ve never been asked out; I don’t have any breasts; and oh, I just found out I’m the princess of Genovia.”
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all. From now on you’ll be traveling the road between who you think you are and who you can be. The key is to allow yourself to make the journey.
I understand that Princess Diaries 2 is to Wonder Woman for Chris Pine as Dirty Dancing 2 is to Rogue One for Diego Luna: the precursor to the big hit featuring a super young baby face, tropey plot, SWELLS of MUSIC, great chemistry, not really good but with LOTS OF FEELINGS!!!
But guys. I did not read all 10+ books in the Princess Diaries series only for the films to dump Michael after ONE MOVIE.
Have you ever thought about how most TBS readers are female? Are you concerned about the lack of male readers, or indifferent? Would you write differently to attract a male audience? And do you know why TBS has attracted such a female majority?
This questions taps into many veins of frustration I have with society at large. It’s a big issue, so I’m not going to be able to answer it very well in one ask, but I’ll try and summarise.
I should begin by saying that I do have male readers and have been reviewed favourably by men, and I don’t have statistics on whether more men or women are buying my books. From the demographic at my events, however, I think it would be fair to assume that more of my readers identify and/or present as female. And I think this is probably true of most authors. Studies have concluded that women read more than men and are more active in the literary world, e.g. book clubs and libraries.
Personally, I don’t think the scarcity of men in the audience at my events has all that much to do with what I’m writing. Firstly, I think it’s simply because women read more than men.
Second, I think it’s because I myself am a woman.
Joanne Harris often talks at events about men who have come up to her and happily proclaimed that they don’t read books by women. That they’ve cut themselves off from a wealth of literature just because the author presents as female. I’ve heard stories like this from many a female author. Some men Just Don’t Read Books by Women. And they are apparently proud to declare this to the world. Shannon Hale has also spoken out about the fact that schools have stopped boys from coming to her events and only sent their female pupils.
The problem begins at an early stage. Frustrated booksellers try to get books about girls into the hands of boys, but find themselves stopped by the parents, who clearly live in terror that their kid is going to grow up gay (which they would hate) and/or bullied if he touches a Girl Book. Like femininity is some sort of contagious disease.
Society tells men and boys that it isn’t cool to read books by and about women and girls. The same doesn’t apply to books about boys. Girls loved Harry Potter, but the world didn’t judge them for it. Because it’s okay for girls to empathise with boys, but not the other way around. This is a symptom of the deep-rooted misogyny bubbling away beneath the polite face of society, and it plays into why I have such a fervent dislike of the Strong Female Character archetype. She’s praised because she displays traditionally masculine forms of strength.
I wantmen to feel comfortable reading my books. I want everyone to feel comfortable reading my books. But even if I did change what I wrote in the hope of attracting more men to my work – which I wouldn’t – I doubt it would have any significant impact on the demographic of my audience. Women are happy to show up to my book events and buy my books because they don’t think it’s uncool to read books by and about other women. Until society changes its attitude, many men – especially young men who are afraid of judgement from their peers – won’t feel comfortable doing the same. Hence why female authors are still using androgynous pseudonyms to this day. And why men still feel comfortable declaring to women that they don’t read books by women.
(Side note: It will be interesting to see if The Priory of the Orange Tree attracts more male readers than The Bone Season, as it has two male POV characters. My suspicion is that it won’t, and that my audience at events will remain pretty much the same.)
I’m not going to change what I write to attract men – not only because I love my existing audience, and I don’t think there’s any reason to shy away from the fact that my work is enjoyed mostly by women, but because I’m not going to tailor my creative output to pander to a toxic system. I don’t think this particular issue begins with creators. It begins the first time a little boy is told to put down that copy of The Princess Diaries, because that book isn’t for him.
There’s a reason Mia’s dad was killed off in “The Princess Diaries” movies — and it’s because of Dame Julie Andrews
If you grew up in the 2000s, chances are you definitely wished your long-lost grandmother would suddenly arrive in town and reveal you were secretly a princess in an adorable little European country called Genovia. The dream. The 2001 film The Princess Diaries and its 2004 sequel had us all wishing we were Mia Thermopolis.
The celebrated author recently revealed to Entertainment Weekly that she was surprised when Disney told her they wanted to write out one of her main characters. That is, until she heard why.
“[Mia’s father] plays a big role in the books,” She explained to EW. “I was like, ‘Oh, oh, my God, what did he do [for Disney to kill him off]?’ And they said, ‘Well, we have this actress, who’s a really big actress, that we want to play the grandmother. And we wanna make her role much bigger, and kinda raise the stakes, and give her a lot more lines, and we think we can give her a lotta the dad lines.’ And I was like, ‘Well who’s the actress?’ And they were like, ‘Julie Andrews.’ I was like, ‘Oh my God, kill the dad.’ I was like, it’s Julie Andrews, sure.”
We totally would have done the same if Julie Andrews wanted to star in a movie based on a book we wrote. Andrews’ role as Queen Clarisse is definitely one of the most quotable and memorable roles from the film — Lilly Moscovitz excluded.