Monday, July 9

The Princess and the Price

There is great article written by Peggy Orenstein, a mother who her daughter asked her 'What's wrong with Cinderella?' That when Disney was failing, a marketer noticed a demand for Disney Princess products. He saw girls dressing in dresses and Disney never really advertised their products. Now it is the number 1 selling product for Disney. Now, little girls everywhere dress as little Belles and Snow Whites whenever they want. Is this a good thing? Little girls being taught that they must be pretty all the time and all their needs must be met? I believe spoiled girls are going to be spoiled no matter what and tomboys as well. When my 18-year old niece was a little girl, she wanted to be a 'pretty princess' and loved Belle and wanted everything pink. She never dressed in the dresses, mainly because they weren't available. Her family was sort of middle class, barely, so she didn't get everything she wanted but she still grew up spoiled. In another case, my youngest niece at 2 doesn't like the princess stuff and is a tomboy but she does like Dora and the Little Mermaid.

One of my close friends and I love the movie The Little Mermaid and think back of those days we used to see it and talk about fun scenes. Now, why do Disney movies still effect us all even if we don't want to admit it? We hate all this business and Eisner stuff, and resent the huge Disney corporation but we can't help loving the movies. I believe in separating the movies from the chaos. Forget the manipulation, statistics, etc. They definitely have magic. Maybe its our nostalgia. Anyhoo, back to the girls. Boys have their superheroes (Spider-man, Superman, Batman, Power Rangers, Fantastic Four, etc.) and girls have what we have in our mind as docile spoiled smiling placesetters, but kids have strong imagination. I remember seeing my other little niece running around in her snow white costume like superman, kicking and 'flying' around with the cape. So does it really matter? I am one of t he few who think pink is a wonderful color and love seeing those pink products.

As a little gay boy, I felt uncomfortable walking through the pink Barbie aisle--that someone would spot my giddyness and tell me to get out or ask why I was there. But today walking through the girls aisle, I still felt uncomfortable. I am openly gay, shouldn't I be comfortable in my sexuality? Maybe because it brought up insecurities when I was little or maybe felt silly when I am an adult. Well, when I walk through the boys aisle, I feel fine. I am sure lots of men my age feel fine walking through it to. As a teenager, I did feel a bit embarrassed walking through the kids isle but I am now more at ease. It probably still is not socially acceptable for twenty-somethings that like comic books and superheroes. Like last time I mentioned the new black princess, since then the movie's title has been changed from Frog Princess to The Princess and The Frog and Maddy's name has changed to Tiana. The bottom line is I think the girl products are nice and all, except for Bratz and those My Scene dolls but they do need products that reflect sport-loving girls.

New York Times article "What's Wrong With Cinderella?" by Peggy Orenstein