Reviews of The Princess Problem by Rebecca Hains

Publisher’s Weekly: Nonfiction Book Review: The Princess Problem: Guiding Our Girls through the Princess-Obsessed Years. Sept. 1, 2014.

Hains’s dissection of princess marketing reveals inherent gender stereotypes, centered on romance, beauty, passivity (at least until Frozen), and ethnic homogeneity, with non-Caucasians accorded only token representation. To beat the “Pretty Princess Mandate,” Hains prescribes “Pop Culture Coaching.” In four step-by-step chapters, she offers parents advice on how to decide which values are important to them, talk to their kids about the media, and set a “healthy media diet.” The princess culture issue was previously addressed in 2011 in Peggy Orenstein’s Cinderella Ate My Daughter, but Hains adds to the discussion with these practical parenting tips.

LA Times: Are you sure your daughter should dress up as a princess this Halloween?” Susan Rohwer, Oct. 28, 2014.

Princesses are an ubiquitous part of contemporary girlhood. And it may look as if it’s all in good fun, but beneath the tulle and tiaras are harmful messages about beauty standards, gender, romantic relationships and race. Which is why children’s media scholar Rebecca Hains’ new book The Princess Problem is such a beacon of light for parents trying to navigate through the fog of their daughter’s princess obsessions.

SheKnows:Most young girls can easily get lost in the pink and pretty world of princesses, but at what cost?”  Avital Norman Nathman, Nov. 3, 2014.

For a practical, solutions-based outlook for dealing with princess culture, pick up Rebecca C. Hains’s new book, The Princess Problem: Guiding Our Girls through the Princess-Obsessed Years.

The Salem News: “Solving the ‘Princess Problem.’” Will Broaddus, Nov. 6, 2014.

Hains said it is important for parents to be “pop-culture coaches,” and to share their responses to films, toys and other forms of mass media with their children.

“It’s straightforward,” Hains said. “What I suggest parents do is think through and articulate their own values. Then, when they watch TV with their kids, they can talk about what’s on screen, and whether it does or doesn’t reflect their family’s values.”

 Rebecca Reads: “The Princess Problem by Rebecca Hains.” Rebecca Reid, Nov. 19, 2014.

“The Princess Problem was an informative and engaging read. The tone throughout was friendly. I felt like the author completely understood where I was coming from, and the ideas suggested were appropriate and not at all overwhelming. I really enjoyed reading this book!”

By Common Consent: “Taking on the Princess Problem.” Blair Hodges, Jan. 29 2015.

“Hains says that by verbally addressing stereotypes you see on-screen and soliciting your child’s perspective, you invite a dialogue that helps your child become more aware of the messages media sends to her. You empower her to employ critical thinking and you show her that you value her perspective and that you have an important perspective to offer as well. Hains argues that one of the best ways to communicate our values to our kids is by discussing them in connection with books, movies, and toys. […] Princesses are everywhere. The best I can hope to do is give my daughter options—to help her become more assertive and critical (in the thoughtful sense), to empower her to be the mighty girl I know she can be.

“[…]The Princess Problem: Guiding our Girls through the Princess-Obsessed Years contains plenty more tips for pop-culture coaches. I strongly recommend it.”

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