The Princesses new role
Or "Women's Lib, a few decades too late"
Girl Power! It's everywhere this decade. You can see it in the music industry the nauseating perkiness of the spice girls, the power-pop of Britney Spears, and even in the success of all those boy bands (Who do you think buys all their CDs? Teenage girls!). Girls are also gaining popularity in sports, with the WNBA and women's world cup soccer drawing huge audiences in the 90's. Video games have seen the rise of the women too, led by the bouncy-chested Lara Croft and her countless clones. Truly, the 90's, more than any time in US history, is a time when women can stand up and be who they want without fear.
And then there's our princess.
Princess Toadstool came into this century strong. First he wins over Mario from his first girl, Pauline, and then she takes an active role in saving sub-con in SMB2 (one can argue that Mario only dreamed that Peach did this, but the portrayal is still the same). She was poised to lead a whole generation of girls into the next decade by being Mario's tough, and equal partner.
So what happens? SMB3: "Your princess is in another castle... just kidding". Add in the little school girl laugh ("tee hee") mentally. SMW: "HELP!". Oh look, she threw a mushroom. Thanks a lot princess. Next time wear less makeup. SM64: "I'm gonna make you a big cake". Ooh boy, way to be liberated sister! Doing it for herself! Yeah!
As you can see, "Peach" has hardly led this generations girls into this golden age of gender equality. Other leaders in popular clture had to fill this gap that Miyamato and Nintendo were poised to take. But it is not to late! With the recently announced renovation of Mario, there is a perfect oppotunity to have our pink-clad princess mature too. I'm not saying she should turn into some tough biker chick or a dominatrix or anything (well maybe I am... that'd be interesting). No, there's no reason why Peach couldn't take the same position as Luigi in some of these games... an equal partner. The first thing to change would have to be the voice. No matter how equal Mario and Peach were in games like Mario Kart 64 and Mario Party, she still loses respect for talknig in such a high pitched squeal (worse than Mario's even). Next, she needs to ditch the long pink dress (tm). The hot pants in Mario Golf were a step in the right direction (I mean show some skin! Come on!). This is just the beginning. More sweeping changes can come later. But these are a step in the right direction. All I'm saying is that she needs some sort of update.
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