This article appears in the December 2013 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe, visit Loumag.com 
From the moment American girls leave the womb, it’s a steady cultural thumping of pink bonnets, frilly bows, gooey fairytales and needy damsels. Parents and educators must filter the fluff, as well as promote a different narrative. Kudos to all-girls school Mercy Academy for a recent ad campaign that does just that. The “You’re Not a Princess” ads created by Louisville firm Doe-Anderson concentrate one visual and text into a potent, simple package.
The faceless-prince ad reads: “Don’t wait for a prince. Be able to rescue yourself. Prepare for real life.” Another version includes a glass slipper and faceless princess with a similar tagline. Adweek, an advertising-industry magazine, featured the campaign.
The Today show devoted a few minutes to applauding Mercy’s message. David Vawter, chief creative officer for Doe-Anderson, says the response from both Mercy and the public has been almost unanimously positive. “That almost never happens,” he says, “so we’re pretty psyched about that.”