A couple of weeks ago, Stephanie Hanes of the Christian Science Monitor called me. She had seen my post asking studios like Disney and Dreamworks to let princesses dare to dream of more, and she wanted to hear more of my princess-related thoughts. Lucky for her, I have many of them!
Today, Ms. Hanes referenced me in a Christian Science Monitor blog post called “The Disney Princess Divide: The New Mommy Wars?” You see, for about a year now, I’ve been interviewing parents and educators about their thoughts on the Disney Princess phenomenon. I’ve learned that young girls’ princess obsessions have become incredibly controversial in parenting circles, where questions about how to handle girls’ princess obsessions abound:
- Should parents let girls enjoy princesses because they’re harmless?
- Should they give girls only moderate access to the princesses because they’re harmful?
- Or are princesses so bad for girls, and so all-consuming, that parents should shield them from the princesses altogether?
This debate is so intense that, as one of my interviewees told me, “The Princess Wars are the new Mommy Wars.” Her pithy summary of the situation really struck a chord: Reading just the comments on blogs like Princess-Free Zone, Pigtail Pals, and Peggy Orenstein’s blog, as well as Stephanie Hanes’ Christian Science Monitor magazine cover story on the “Disney Princess Effect,” it’s clear that tensions run high among readers about princess culture. On both sides, there’s a lot of judging going on–and unlike Cinderella, it’s not pretty.
Parents: What are your thoughts on the princess phenomenon? Is it harmless fun for your daughter, or a force to be reckoned with? Or maybe some of both?
Also, for my research on this topic, I am looking for a few more parents who are willing to share their princess-parenting experiences with me. If you’re interested, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can set up a time to talk. Thanks!
Also of possible interest:
- The Salem News wanted my take on a new body-scanning machine that helps shoppers find jeans that fit them. So I gave it to them!
- I chatted with Amanda Marcotte for her RH Reality Podcast about girl power, sharing some of the highlights from my book. Thanks, Amanda!
- Peggy Orenstein and Margot Magowan blogged about my post about Stride Rite’s toddler play shoes. I really appreciate it!
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