Orenstein.What’s Wrong With Cinderella

Orenstein.What’s Wrong With Cinderella

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Unformatted text preview: fellow mothers, women who once swore they ’d nev er be dependent on a man, smile indulgently at daughters who warble “So T his I s Lov e” or insist on being called Snow White. I wonder if they ’d concede so readily to sons who begged for combat fatigues and mock AK- 47s. More to the point, when my own girl makes her daily beeline for the dress- up corner of her preschool classroom — something I ’m conv inced she does largely to torture me — I worry about what play ing Little Mermaid is teaching her. I ’v e spent much of my career writing about ex periences that undermine girls’ well- being, warning parents that a preoccupation with body and beauty (encouraged by films, T V, magazines and, y es, toy s) is perilous to their daughters’ mental and phy sical health. Am I now supposed to shrug and forget all that? I f trafficking in stereoty pes doesn’t matter at 3, when does it matter? At 6? Eight? T hirteen? On the other hand, may be I ’m still surfing a washed- out second wav e of feminism in a thirdwav e world. May be princesses are in fact a sign of progress, an indication that girls can embrace their predilection for pink without compromising strength or ambition; that, at long last, they can “hav e it all.” Or may be it is ev en less complex than that: to mangle Freud, may be a princess is sometimes just a princess. And, as my daughter wants to know, what’s wrong with that? • T he rise of the Disney princesses reads like a fairy tale itself, with Andy Mooney , a former Nike ex ecutiv e, play ing the part of prince, riding into the company on a metaphoric white horse in January 2000 to sav e a consumer- products div ision whose sales were dropping by as much as 30 percent a y ear. Both ov erstretched and underfocused, the div ision had triggered price wars by granting multiple licenses for core products (say , Winnie- the- Pooh undies) while ignoring the potential of new media. What’s more, Disney films like “A Bug’s Life” in 1 998 ha...
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This document was uploaded on 02/17/2014 for the course ENG 101 at Roosevelt.

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