Jody Gentian Bower

    Book Title: The Princess Powers Up: Watching the Sleeping Beauties Become Warrior Goddesses

    Year Published: 2020

    The Princess Powers Up: Watching the Sleeping Beauties Become Warrior Goddesses

    Once upon a time, the princess slept in a castle or in a woodland bower, innocent and untouched until the brave prince defeated the evil witch to win his way to her side and awaken her with a kiss. They got married . . . and there the story ends.

    Today’s princesses run away from the castle, seek out the witch for training, and solve their own problems. Today’s princesses earn their queendoms through their own actions and lead their people in new directions.

    We have been witness to an evolution of agency–the taking on of personal power–in the heroines of science fiction and fantasy movies and television over the last 90 years. Female characters have been moving into greater and greater arenas of action, stepping up to becoming not just heroines but superheroines–and in the 21st century, goddesses.

    In The Princess Powers Up: Watching the Sleeping Beauties Become Warrior Goddesses, Jody Gentian Bower traces this evolution with examples from Disney princess movies, the Marvel and D.C. universes, the Star Trek and Star Wars franchises, and many others. Dr. Bower discusses how our changing culture has changed the landscape of film, allowing for new depictions of not just women but people of color, the nonbinary-gendered, and the differently abled, and shows how we are already shifting into new paradigms of heroism that are far more inclusive and diverse.

    About Jody Gentian Bower

    Pacifica Program Graduate: 2013, PhD, Mythological Studies with a Depth Psychology Emphasis

    Jody Gentian Bower is a cultural mythologist, writer, and speaker. She is the author of “Jane Eyre’s Sisters: How Women Live and Write the Heroine Story” (Quest 2015), which examines the wandering heroine story, a story that has been told for centuries yet somehow has escaped the notice of most scholars. Her newest book is “The Princess Powers Up: Watching the Sleeping Beauties become Warrior Goddesses” (Mandorla 2020), about the evolution of female agency in sci=fi and fantasy shows over the last 80 years. She writes and lectures about archetypal and mythological motifs in modern culture and blogs about movies at She is currently at work on a historical romance, set during the War of 1812 and based on a family legend.

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