Category: Real Talk

When the Spoon Isn’t Full of Sugar

I sat down over a fantastic dinner and drinks with my friend Christen and we chatted about her many years in theme parks.

Christen had a dream just like so many girls, to be a princess.  Stubbornness was the key piece in her hiring.  She decided after enough auditions and fittings they would eventually have to pay her and sure enough that day finally came.

She was hired as part time and as she puts it, its the worst place to be.  You aren’t guaranteed the types or frequency of shifts, and poor Christen was stuck in the costume that is dreaded the most in her height (and it was the only she was approved in).

The glamour and magic of the job ends the first day after training when you realize its just like groundhog day, you literally say the same thing over and over again hundreds of times a day.  As a group her roles performers were incredibly outspoken about serious issues plaguing them, but the things like the health and wellness of the performers was sacrificed time and time again and the process to change it was incredibly slow.  

To this day she is annoyed she spent that time (and much of her voice) on a job that leads no where.  She left with no new skills to help her down the road and never finished her classes, but as she puts it “so many just need to get it out of their system and nothing I can say will change their minds, I wish I could.”  So many girls never finish school (not saying my education has done me a ton of good outside of having that piece of paper), but their lives get put on hold for a job.

Christen recently closed her full time show but has (as per usual style) landed on her feet and performs still in one show and has joined my retired princess life (literally works with me now 😉 ) in the car show industry.  Life after it all isn’t as scary as people think and heck it can be a lot more lucrative!

 

Love and Light,
Jess

P.S. Yes she can say it backwards in the accent 😉 but is there a story you want to hear?

The Girl Who Spent Thousands to Look Like a Princess Tells All About Her Weight

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Anyone remember my amazing friend Sarah Ingle?  She was instantly viral for “spending $14,000 to look like a Disney princess” article here She INSTANTLY had over 300,000 followers within days… DAYS!!  Everyone wanted to watch the freak show which they were sadly disappointed didn’t exist.

Sarah owns Princess Ever After in the Denver Colorado area.  Its a high end company with beautiful custom wigs and gowns.

Sarah’s current following on Instagram after the viral insanity settled is 106k… all from an article that went viral. This article claimed all kinds crazy stuff and the numbers kept going up.  By the time the article reached Asia the articles were claiming she had spent millions… $14k as a business expense turned into millions, the click bait was real!  The oddest story was Inside Edition called Sarah at work on her unpublished phone number, it wasn’t in the directory and even her co-workers struggled to get ahold of this information.  The blow up was insane, I remember how odd it was seeing her face everywhere… I can only imagine what it was like for her.

What came out of all of her sudden Instagram fame came brutal skinny shaming on Instagram that is RELENTLESS! This photo is edited, not for skin tone, not for smoothness but Sarah literally made herself look like she weighed more to avoid the horrible comments.  People mask their shaming as “concerned” and “you’ve lost so much weight.”  Sarah hasn’t lost any weight!

Any time she posts a picture in a swimsuit, crop top or shorts her Instagram page erupts with angry posts about how people are “worried about her.”  When anyone is so afraid of back lash of posting photos of the way they just are naturally we need to examine how we discuss weight, or the fact that we feel comfortable at all telling a woman what her body SHOULD be.  How about we love people for who they are?  Lets stop and really examine the conversation!

Wanna learn more about Sarah?

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How This Mermaid Traded her Soul for Fins

This week I spoke with the spunky and fun Miki Leann about her experiences as a certain mermaid friend of ours.  I am loving the candid conversations I continue to have with my princess friends and am grateful that they want the world to know the reality of it all.

She worked for the parks for only a year and a half but the brainwashing stays with her till this day.  She was hired right around her 18th birthday on the west coast after 7 auditions (are we noticing a pattern yet?).  On her very first day of training she knew this wasn’t the fairy tale she thought it was gonna be.

The competition to wear the smallest dress was viscous and brutal.  As an 18 year old its easy to be the skinniest girl in the room and in these entertainment green rooms that puts a giant target on your back.  The harassment because the others were starving themselves became relentless.

 

“There were girls who eat nothing and girls who will eat nothing but chicken nuggets and then throw it all up, everyone has an eating disorder.”  To this day food is a struggle because that was “normal” and “expected.”  When everyday for a year and a half you are made to feel guilty for eating normally, eating nothing but carrots all day becomes the new normal.  Body shaming goes both ways and both are destructive.

The way you are is never enough, because the wig stylists didn’t want to get her a new wig it was thinning in the front because other people were wearing my wig… at the time I wasn’t working often. And I was a performer who often flipped her hair and played with it, and I guess photopass caught a picture of my blonde hair showing in the front and underneath, so cosmo at the end of the day handed me a razor.

The guilt and shame of her size and the constant harassment and name calling “I ended up jumping from 90-120 lbs and then after Disney 20 more.” There is no winning, if you are thin you need to eat and are harassed and shamed for it and if your silhouette is “not ideal”(aka too “large” in their minds).

Miki still struggles to this day to have a healthy relationship with food and self worth.  “People need to know how toxic that environment is”  Her struggle isn’t just her own.  Its the story I hear time and time again about the brain washing of “You aren’t enough” in the theme park environment, how else to they keep people accepting slave wages and feel honored to do so?

You are enough! You are so enough!  Its unbelievable how enough you are! -Sierra Boggess

Love and Light,

Jess

P.S. Are you seeing a pattern yet? I know I am!  Lemme know what you think about what we are finding out.

Live in LA and wanna book her for your party? Book her company here: https://m.facebook.com/tulleandtiaras.co/

She also styles some amazing wigs! https://m.facebook.com/Mikis-Magical-Designs-123507028362631/

She Made Her Own Fairytale

I had an amazing interview with the fantastic Ali Williams former theme park princess and owner of Los Angeles’ Princess & Me Parties.  We sat down for an hour and a half for an extremely candid discussion about her experience working for the parks.

Ali worked in total for both coasts for a grand total of 3.5 years and she has a great “how I was hired story” After many (7) auditions she got a job as a park photographer, she was able to watch a learn from the girls doing the job day in and day out.  Eventually she made it through to the fittings stage.

Here they put you in the retired dresses and wigs (beat up and past their prime) and have you read.  She started to practice reading and was immediately stopped and went in and read for the casting directors.  At this point she was simply waiting for the call, which never came.

This didn’t stop her, the next call she went in and made it to the end for a brand new character at which the casting director told her she would be perfect for the character she never got the call for.  Within 5 days she received her offer and began her magical journey.

Slowly but surely the magic started to unravel, regularly you were told how special and amazing you are and of course the flip side of there are thousands of girls all waiting to take your job.  The manipulation to be quiet, conform and never be a “problem” is oh so real!  Ali dyed her hair red, a natural red but not her blonde she was hired with and this was taken to mean that she was being defiant.  You read that right, deciding to change her hair color within the rules was being defiant.  And from here they made her life hell.

 

Cosmetology decided too much of her hair was showing and told her they would either shave 3 inches off the underside of her hair right there in the room with everyone or she could go home and never return.  So in front of the entire room of girls getting ready they shaved her hair off. Management became relentless about how her hair color was her being a “problem”, force extending became a very real issue.

 

Managers can decide that you must stay beyond your scheduled time and there isn’t much you can do about it.  After a full 10 hour shift she was asked to force extend, she declined, I mean 10 hours is long enough lets be real, and was asked to “rethink her answer” and they would be back to check on her.  Once again she declined and they force extended her, pulling her from her princess shift and sending her to the other end of the park to do a fur set.

 

After arriving at her location and prepping to go out on set her greeter realized that there was a parade going by at that exact time with that exact character they insisted that she go out as.  They were setting her up to kill the magic with “double exposure.”  

One of the worst pieces of manipulation she ever witnessed was watching girls get disapproved in their characters on the spot, pulled right off set and are forced to greet for their replacement watching someone else play the role they never could again.  The promises never ended, “try again” “next time its yours” and that next time never comes.  The time may come if you are super quiet, and never questioned anything ever and let them abuse you. 

After a less than ideal with a party company after “getting out” Ali opened her own princess party company.  With a ton of sweat equity, guerrilla marketing and tons of research she now owns one of the top 5 companies in the LA area.  Her obsession with character integrity she learned from the parks sets her company high above the competition and has been a huge part of her success.

I asked Ali in one word how it was being a true girl boss her answer? “Liberating”

Life isn’t always the fairytale we think its gonna be.

Love and Light

Jess

P.S. Wanna find out more about Ali?

https://www.instagram.com/onlyalicat/

http://www.princessandmeparties.com

/imdb.me/ali-williams

AliWilliamsModel@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/OnlyAliCat/