Friday, May 21, 2010
How Do I Look?
I'm concerned lately about the rampant marketing of Disney princesses. I often hear children talking about princesses, drawing pictures of them, wearing clothes with images of the princesses, singing the songs, and more. While some of the latter princesses seem appropriate role models (Belle, Mulan, Pocohontas) many are sleeping, figuratively or literally, until their "prince" rescues them and they get married. Poor Ariel is only sixteen when she gives up her life for her prince (plus, the original story was "disneyfied" with a happy ending). In the princess movies there is also generally an evil, older woman who is mean and gets what she "deserves." I'm sure millions of feminist papers have been written on the subject. Regardless, are girls buying into the blue-eyed, blond-haired, nice, pretty and passive image (Snow White was dark-haired, but pretty, nice, and a very good housekeeper)? A landmark study by Dr. Sharon Hayes and Dr. Stacey Tantleff-Dunn on preschool girls (ages 3-6) shows that the girls are very concerned with body image but the researchers attribute that to all media, not just the princess movies. have a fair amount of conversation with my children about what actually makes for success and happiness, rescue fantasies aside.