I have always had a problem with Tinkerbell. First there’s the Tinker part of her name. Tinkers are not widely respected people. They are the Irish equivalent of homeless gypsies who provide day labor when they have to. Looked at through that lens Tinkerbell becomes more than just a little creepy person who happens to be harboring runaways and abandoned infants. She becomes a really, really creepy person. Add in the fact that she helps kids fly by showering them in fairy dust and you may as well be talking about a rave gone horribly wrong. Let’s face it, J. M. Barrie was a freak who got one over on the unsuspecting public. These days Tinkerbell is a sexless, soulless, marketing tool for Disney. Oddly enough, unlike her earlier iterations, the bland one has a clearly defined Irish heritage. Oh, and she “tinks.” By that I mean she mends pots and pans. In the debut movie that rebooted the whole Tinkerbell thing, my ex wife demanded that we watch, the whole story is about how she needs to learn her place in life since, as you know, Tinkers aren’t worth a damn. Although they don’t use harsh language like that in a modern Disney production.
Okay, some would way I’m reading a little too much into a beloved children’s play. First off, Barrie was inspired to write his masterpiece by his dead brother so there’s a whole lot going on there that would keep Freud in cigars for decades. And Disney? Jesus, Disney may as well admit that they’re all about perverting kids of all ages. So, with that combination, you can see my concern.
Still, despite logic and reason, millions of young girls grow up wanting to be Tinkerbell. In the main, since girls who do wish that seem to be clueless about most everything, this is relatively harmless.
Well, it’s harmless until a young girl’s dreams get crushed by the soulless oligarchy that runs Disney.
Which brings us to the story for today. A young girl and her idiot boyfriend (although, if this moved him past third base then he’s a genius), went to Disneyland dressed as Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. Disney, confirming their soulless oligarchy status, took the kids’ money and then demanded they change clothes.
April Spielman wanted her boyfriend’s first trip to Walt Disney World to be memorable, so she planned to do something special — dress up like Tinker Bell.
“My makeup took two hours, my hair took another hour, and then I had to spray my body in glitter and paint my nails,” said Spielman, 15, who had purchased a Tinker Bell costume online.
Spielman said she and her boyfriend, who was dressed as Peter Pan, had no problem getting into Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park on Sunday. But when they tried to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom later, Spielman said security officers stopped them at the front gate.
“They said I looked too good,” said Spielman, referring to how closely her costume resembled Disney’s official Tinker Bell theme park character who poses for photographs with visitors and signs autographs.
Disney officials told Spielman she had to change clothes in order to visit the theme park.
“It just broke my heart,” said Spielman as tears rolled down her face. “I didn’t want to take off the costume.
Walt Disney World’s dress code for visitors, which is published on the resort’s website, states “adult costumes or clothing that can be viewed as representative of an actual Disney character” is inappropriate theme park attire that “may result in refusal of admittance.”
According to Spielman, Disney officials explained that children might confuse her for the theme park’s official Tinker Bell character.
“They were talking how the little girls, it ruins their dreams,” said the 15-year-old. “But it ruined my dreams because I just want to be Tinker Bell.”
Disney park officials gave Spielman a free shirt and other clothing to wear instead of her costume. The company also provided her family with numerous FastPass tickets, which enabled them to skip the lines on rides they missed while the teenager was changing clothes.
Walt Disney World spokeswoman Kathleen Prihoda issued a statement on Tuesday:
“The guests were asked to change because costumes that could be viewed as representative of an actual Disney character are not appropriate attire for our theme parks. The costumes were disruptive to our operation and possibly confusing to our other guests, as children were asking to take photos with them. To make up for any inconvenience, we provided them with replacement clothing and assisted them with the rest of their visit in our parks.”
Disney sells children’s costumes inside the theme parks and offers princess and pirate makeovers to younger visitors who would not be mistaken for official Disney theme park characters
If you Google for tinkerbell disney refused you will find hundreds of articles ranging from outrage to mystification.
The former pointed at Disney, the latter at the young lady. Which is as good a barometer for my feelings as I have seen.
Rule of thumb, if you’re over the age of 6 and playing dress up on any day that is not Halloween or part of an invitation only event, things will not go well for you.
But, as to Disney, they violated their own rules when they let the kids in in the first place. Instead of ruining the kids’ lives and making them the laughingstock of whatever little town in Arkansas they’re from, they could have played along with it or given her a sash that said “Best Costume” or one of a hundred other things that don’t garner needless bad publicity.
But any of those responses would have required compassion and a soul.
Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG (FOX! Sports) every Friday around 9:10 AM.