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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
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.
- Spring '12