Sunday, November 1, 2015
Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein
Let's reflect on the life of many an American girl as seen through Orenstein's eyes, IMO. Disney Princesses represent a magical world where a little girls happiness is obtained. Or maybe the DPs are just one of the prerequisites for joy and love. The Disney stories are not healthy and balanced. Even if they were, are little girls identifying make believe as real? Orenstein cautions parents to guard their daughters from the suffocating media that is aiming to make as much money as possible selling fairy tales. It makes it very hard for parents to keep daughters from subscribing to Disney fantasies. Many girls age 2 to 6 already know the DP stories sometimes even if parents protect them from ads. DPs are everywhere, they are in class rooms and they known by many of the children. One of the big issues is that in the studies sited by Orenstein's piece, most girls do not see themselves as capable engineers and teachers, but as princesses, fairies, and butterflies. Even toys like the American Girl Dolls which are healthier than DPs want to sell you every things and the kitchen sink.
Progress has been made, even though Pocahontas and Jasmine are not the most popular DPs they are minorities, and now and now Ella from Frozen is not a princess rescued by a prince. Target is working on putting all toys in together irrespective of color, gender or marketing. Goldie Blox, toys designed by a female engineer to encourage girls to use toys historically marketed towards boys. Women and girls can now have a much larger variety of toys and stories that represent a lot healthier stories. There is a lot to learn about caring for, protecting and guiding young girls and boys in this crazy capitalist greedy world. Orenstein works hard to find a way to keep young girls from being hurt and indoctrinated by large marketing campaigns, and she does a lot of observing. I think we all need to continue observing and learning also, I know little girls are.