WASHINGTON, DC–According to a Bureau Of Labor Statistics report released Tuesday, the number of fairy princesses in the U.S. now stands at an all-time low.
"Just two generations ago, nearly every girl in America aspired to be a fairy princess when she grew up," BLS director Katharine Abraham said. "Today, a majority of little girls will tell you they dream of entering the professional ranks and becoming doctors, lawyers, scientists and architects. The effect this has had on the field of fairy princessing has been nothing short of devastating."
The BLS study found that there are fewer than 8,500 registered fairy princesses in the U.S., down from 350,000 in 1955.
The report has sparked deep concern among members of the fairy-princess community, who fear that future generations will not carry on their trade.
"Today's little girls want to perform icky surgery or go to court and argue before mean old Mr. Judge," said Princess Merrie Flowershower, butterfly-winged ruler of the Kingdom of Pussywillow. "In 10 years, who will there be to pick talking daisies in the enchanted meadow or ride in the clouds on the magic flying pony Runnymede?"
"I am too dainty and pretty to represent clients in protracted civil suits in federal court," said Princess Zephyr, who lives in the Kingdom of Fluffy Clouds. "Why would any girl want to do that when she could live in Cumulus Castle and enjoy a sunbeam bath from her best friend Mr. Sun?"
In an attempt to generate interest in fairy princessing among young girls, the American Association of Fairy Princesses is launching an aggressive $55 million promotional campaign. The publicity blitz will include billboards, posters, and TV and radio spots, as well as recruitment tables at job fairs across the U.S.
"We realize that this is not the sort of problem we can wave a magic wand at and make disappear," Princess Polly Rainbow Sprinkle said. "Believe me, we've tried. The fact is, we've been fighting some deeply rooted misconceptions. For example, a lot of little girls think that all fairy princesses wear pink daisy petals for clothes. The reality is, many of us wear little gowns of gossamer, with tiaras made of beads of dew."
"The fairy-princess field is an extremely varied and rewarding one," AAFP director Princess Moondancer said. "As a fairy princess, you'll have the opportunity to do everything from sprinkling pixie dust on an enchanted apricot glade to undoing the spell of an evil queen and turning a toad back into a handsome prince. What other job can offer those kinds of satisfying challenges on a daily basis? Being a magical fairy princess is a great way for girls to really let their full potential shine through."
But despite such arguments, little girls show little interest in the once-thriving fairy-princess field.
"When I grow up, I want to be a U.N. interpreter," said 7-year-old Ashley Pfeiffer of Lodi, NJ. "Fairy princesses are stupid."
"I got a Princess Prettypetals make-up kit for my birthday, and I hate it," said Caitlin Muller, 9, of Columbus, GA. "Everything was pink, and it smelled like stinky perfume. I'd rather play with my Invisible Woman anatomy doll. You can actually see her entire digestive tract and circulatory system."
Fairy princessing is not the only field to fall on hard times in recent years. According to the BLS report, occupations such as swan queen, enchanted ballerina, good witch and beauty-pageant winner have all experienced sharp declines in popularity, as well.
"One thing is for certain," Princess Moondancer said. "If America's girls continue to ignore the fairy-princess profession, very few of us will be living happily ever after."