Sometimes people ask me if Princess Amanita, the main character in Dangerously Ever After, was inspired by anyone in real life. The answer is complicated -- she's a mixture of several little girls I've known, with a generous helping of pure imagination. But the more time I spend with my imaginary dangerous princess, the more I notice all the real life dangerous princesses. I'm talking about women and girls who take risks and take charge, who go out and make something happen for themselves or for the world. I've got a little list of them that I keep adding to as I run across them and I thought maybe it would be good to share them. So here's one -- Sarah Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh's 15. She lives in Mississippi, and she's kind of ticked off that there are bromines in her Gatorade. You might remember bromine as an ingredient in brominated flame retardants, which I wrote about for the New York Times Magazine over the summer. It's pretty nasty stuff. What's it doing in Gatorade? An ingredient called Brominated Vegetable Oil is used to keep the flavors from separating. As The New York Times reports,
While most people have limited exposure to brominated vegetable oil, an extensive article about it by Environmental Health News that ran in Scientific American last year found that video gamers and others who binge on sodas and other drinks containing the ingredient experience skin lesions, nerve disorders and memory loss.
Kavanaugh finds that kind of gross, and so she started a petition on Change.org. So far, about 20,000 people have signed it.
“It’s empowering to know that I could start something that could change the chemical makeup of this beverage,” she told the Clarion Ledger.
So far, her petition has gathered more than 193,000 signatures.
Keep your eye on Sarah Kavanaugh. I think she's dangerous and I mean that in the best possible way.