There are worse role models than princesses. Jenny McCarthy, for instance.

I keep wanting to stop writing about Jenny McCarthy, and the crazy just continues. More on that later …

First of all, I’d like to report that Willow had her one-year vaccinations yesterday, and suffered no ill side effects. I gave her a half-dose of Tylenol in case the injection sites hurt her, but she didn’t run a fever, certainly didn’t have any seizures or weird reactions, and celebrated her milestone by saying a new word today: “GO!” a command she delivers imperially with an energetic pointing forward of the finger. She’s taking this whole “Princess” thing a little too seriously.

And speaking of the Princess/Fairy Tale birthday party, it was an enormous success. Willow had the time of her life, despite not being able to take a ride on the roller coaster or jump in the trampoline with the other kids. But a greater incentive to start walking I couldn’t imagine.

I was ambivalent about the whole princess theme to start with. As Dave pointed out, staring at this giant poster of Disney princesses that adorned our living room, “Their wrists are bigger than their waists.” And they’re all built like Playboy bunnies. Even Tinkerbell has received an “extreme makeover,” which seems to have included a trip to the plastic surgeon.

But you don’t have to look much further than the covers of magazines that adorn every newsstand to realize that our daughters could do worse than to look to Disney’s fairies and princesses as role models. Modern princesses like the mermaid and Pocahontas at least seem to be capable of solving their own problems, unlike poor insipid Cinderella and Snow White. And as for Mulan, she kicks booty. Of course, Mulan doesn’t make it on to the Disney princesses mega-poster. But Sleeping Beauty does. And she spends most of the story asleep.

At least she’s not getting drunk in night clubs, falling out of limos and uploading sex videos of herself to the Internet. It always disturbs me to see how many little girls turn up to a Paris Hilton book signing or want to meet Hugh Hefner’s “Girls Next Door” when they do a public appearance. Really. There are mothers who drive their tween daughters to a Playboy event. Apparently, there are even parents who buy stripper poles for their little girls.

So in light of all that, I guess I can grit my teeth at the whole Disney princess thing for a while. We still have the mega-poster up in our house, because every time Willow passes it, she points, smiles and says, “Ooooooh.” Ariel’s her favorite, and by the time she realizes that “mermaid” is not a potential career path for her, I will have had plenty of time to woo her with the stories of cool ladies like Madame Curie, Harriet Tubman, Florence Nightingale and Eleanor Roosevelt.

In fact, March is National Women’s History month, so it’s a great excuse for us to talk to our daughters about remarkable women, whether those women are famous historical figures or phenomenal ladies in their own family or friends’ circle. They may not wear a tiara or ball gown, but our hard-working mothers, teachers, nurses, female police officers, political leaders — deserve crowns for what is probably, on most days, a thankless task.

And speaking of role models, I have another reason that Jenny McCarthy should not be a spokesperson for anything but Crazytown. Apparently, before this former Playboy model became the spokesperson for the anti-vaccination crowd, she was the host of a website called IndigoMoms.com. This site was for people who believed their children were “Indigo” or “crystal” children. Indigo children, they claimed, are the next evolution of humanity.

I quote from the archived website: “Indigos are extremely bright, precocious children with an amazing memory and a strong desire to live instinctively. These children of the next millennium are sensitive, gifted souls with an evolved consciousness who have come here [my note: From where???!] to help change the vibrations of our lives and create one land, one globe and one species … You can have the Aura of your child photographed (white t-shirt in front of a white wall is best) and analysed to see which type your child is.” Really. Now, I believe my son is extra special too. But I don’t think he’s from another planet. Jenny McCarthy, though, may be.

There was a column from an “angel therapy practitioner” (Ask the Angels), one written by a “certified Indigo healing facilitator,” as well as one written by McCarthy herself, in which she describes the day she found out she was “an adult Indigo.” The angel practitioner, McCarthy claimed, had a direct line to the Archangel Michael. I am not making this up. In the words of one guy posting on the Science-Based Parenting blog, “This is what happens when hippies find the Internet.”

So anyway, when her son was about three years old, Jenny McCarthy believed he was “a more highly evolved species.” But if you hear her interviewed these days, she claims that something was “wrong” with her son immediately after his 18-month MMR jab. No mention of the impact that vaccinations had on his aura. No mention of how his autistic traits were actually signs of his more highly evolved soul.

Up to 2007, McCarthy was still promoting this nonsense. Eventually, when she decided that her son was, in fact, autistic and that vaccines were to blame, McCarthy shut down the Indigo site and distanced herself from this kooky group.

So just keep all this in mind if you ever find yourself slightly swayed by any arguments Jenny McCarthy makes. She was just as passionate in her support of building schools to support students’ auras and communing with the Archangel Michael through her angel therapy practitioner.
Just because she’s been on Oprah doesn’t mean she’s qualified to give medical advice. Former English soccer player David Icke believes the world is run by giant lizard people; he got interviewed on a LOT of talk shows. But I’m not going to be calling him up for tax advice next month.