Friday, October 19, 2012

Talking Point 8: Cinderella ate my Daughter


I should start off by saying I am completely and totally bias on this subject... And that is because I totally was "that little girl", that was swallowed up by Cinderella.  Literally, I loved her, adored her!  I had Cinderella themed birthday parties, I had Cinderella bedding, I had Cinderella backpacks, I was even Cinderella for Halloween... for three years in a row.  My mom says I could watch the movie a million times and never get sick of it.  
Me as Cinderella and my brother as an Army Man Halloween 1994

The author argues that we are not teaching girls the true importance of being a girl.  Orenstein begins by saying that through all of the fairy tales and "pinkification" we have taught girls that:
  • They must be feminine and wear dresses ("As for Mulan, when she does show up, it's in a kimono-like hanfu, the one that makes her miserable in the movie, rather than in her warrior's gear.")
  • They must live out the "princess fantasy".
  • They must have the perfect body, clothes, hair, jewelry, makeup, etc.
  • They must get the man --> the handsome prince
The list goes on and on.  It's just ridiculous.  It is because of this princess phenominon that girls no longer consider themselves as beautiful no matter what.  I find it ironic that as an earlier post, I posted a video about Pantene Beautiful Lengths and how women shouldn't have to buy wigs after battling for their lives.  They should know that they are beautiful even without their hair, but the Disney Princesses would disagree.  We have yet to see a bald Princess, however Disney released a princess with short hair in 2010... well technically, she starts with long hair and in the end, the Prince has to cut it to save her.

My question is when are they going to come out with a Princess that isn't a size 0, because she would definitely be a princess I would look up to.  And Pleasant Rowland knew that when she created the American girl line.  Giving them, "notably realistic, childlike proportions - no Barbie bosoms here"!!!  Thank God!  

But still the royalty of a princess is what catches little girls eyes.  Peggy argues that girls are loosing their creativity and imagination by linking their identity purely to their appearance because of the consumerism of Princesses and in a sense it's true.
"I despaired at the singular lack of imagination about girls' lives and interests, at the rows and rows of make-your-own jewelry/lip gloss/nail polish/fashion show craft kits at the drumbeat of the consumer feminine."

It's like asking a girl, "what do you want to be for Halloween?"  The imagination is gone.  I now ask my younger customers to choose for me, last year myself and my manager were Tinkerbell the fairy Vidia, per our customers request.  She was 7 last year.  So I asked her last week what she wanted me to be this year and now it's "a snow fairy or a snow princess"... Original.  (So if anyone knows where to get a costume for a snow fairy/princess let me know)

The author argues that "girls' attraction to pink may seem unavoidable, somehow encoded in their DNA".  And I would agree to some extent.  I myself am a pink fanatic.  I just completely love the color, I always have and I probably always will.  I just think it's a "happy" color, because it just bright and cheerful to look at.

My "Princess" picture: Senior Prom 2009:


  1. hi!
    I mentioned you in my blog, just thought I'd let you know!

  2. actuaaallllly I mentioned you twice lol

  3. Hi, just wanted to let you know I used your blog for my extended comments. And I love your prom picture, it's so cute!

  4. Hey Noelle,

    Just a quick question, do you like pink because you just like the color or it because of all those princesses movies/the media/society made it the national color for girls?

  5. I really liked your article because you raised really good concerns! I think Repunzel is different from Cinderella and the other "classics" (a word I have problems with to begin with) - she's more progressive and more feminist and many of them. And I think everyone should like pink as much as the next person, but at the same time know that it can have negative connotations (not liking it, but the color itself).