I spent 90 percent of my childhood dreaming in a room covered in Disney merchandise, frequenting the Disney store at the mall, watching Disney movies, and singing Disney songs. One of my first hobbies was repeatedly singing “Part of your world,” better known to me and my sisters as the “Ahhh…ahhh…ahhh…ahhhh” song. We would put pantyhose on our heads, call it our long hair, and sing the “ahhhhhh” part of the song over and over again until my mother’s brain exploded. This semi-dangerous and highly annoying Disney obsession is by no means singular to the United States.
A brief tour through any toy store in Egypt quickly confirms that Disney controls the vast majority of children through the sheer bulk of its merchandising power. Disney characters not only occupy every nook and cranny in kid’s stores, but they maintain a significant presence in other sections of life: stationary, clothing, lingerie, automobiles, etc. You name it, and there is a Disney character pasted on it. It’s almost like someone lasered a television playing a Disney movie, causing it to explode like alien guts all over Cairo and leave Disney goo everywhere.
I have learned that Disney characters/cartoon characters belong on everything. They are more important than saints, more dear than family members, and cuter than children. Anything can be improved through the addition of an adorable figure from an animated movie covered in sequins with a nonsensical caption like “Hungr nam drop.”
Today I went strolling through the markets around the Ataba Metro stop in an almost regrettable decision to leave the house during the day and go into the sun. The spirit of Disney was present everywhere. Disney infiltrates the minds of the children when they are young and here in Egypt this early obsession turns into the desire to cover the entire home in sparkles, flowers, and Minnie Mouse. If you’re desiring to create a more intimate bedroom, perhaps you should consider buying Winnie the Pooh sheets. If your pajamas seem cold and standoffish, surely it’s because they don’t have a big Minnie Mouse on them. Indeed, Disney appears to own a majority share in the women’s pajama market, and Bashar Assad owns a plurality (Syria is apparently well known for its pajamas). I have seen Minnie, Mickey, Donald, and others all gracing almost every part of the home.
Would Americans be friendlier if everyone was covered from head to toe in sparkles, teddy bears, and Mickey Mouse? Would we greet each other with kisses on the cheeks instead of hand slaps or grasps? What happened that caused us to become such an austere people, wearing black every day of the week and slugging every smiling stranger in the face (this might just be me).
I have made up my mind. I’m going to give back to my society, use my talents, and make my fortune by selling Disney themed pajamas for adults in America. I truly believe that this is the only and best way to cure the deep divisions that we have seen widening over the past ten years. I will not stop until President Obama wears Goofy to bed and Michele has a “Best Frien” nightgown with Daffy Duck and Minnie Mouse high fiving each other on it.
I will be the change. I will be the Disney themed pajamas that I want to see in the world.