In the News

Rebecca Hains on Media & Culture

“Sparkle unicorns and fart ninjas: What parents can do about gendered toys” by Anya Kamenetz and Cory Turner. NPR’s Morning Edition, March 29, 2019.

“Barbie Turns 60: Has age brought change?” Rebecca Hains interviewed by Americus Reed II and Barbara Kahn on Sirius XM’s Business Radio Powered By Wharton, Marketing Matters, March 13, 2019.

“Barbie is 60. And she’s reinventing herself” by Rebecca Hains. The Washington Post, March 7, 2019.

“The Barbie doll: On the eve of her 60th birthday, a look at America’s most primped, perfect, and polarizing plaything” by Robert Klara. Adweek, February 25, 2019.

“Are pastel colored toys sexist?” by Laura Johnston., Feburary 6, 2019.

“On Jim Acosta and the intern” by Rebecca Hains. The Salem News, November 8, 2018.

 “Study finds children think flexibly about gender identity” by Joan Brasher. Research News at Vanderbilt, January 16, 2018.

“How do toy companies appeal to kids in the post–Saturday morning cartoon era?” by Chau Tu. Slate, January 5, 2018.

“Princess play is an important step for girls” by Melanie Notkin. New York Post, December 23, 2017.

“Can gender-specific toys affect a child’s development? Researchers weigh in.” Rebecca Hains and Lisa Dinella interviewed by Anna Maria Tremonti on CBC Radio’s The Current, December 18, 2017.

“Is your daughter’s princess costume bad for her? Here’s what the experts say” by Valetina Zarya. Fortune, October 30, 2017.

“Disney teams up with girls for photo shoot encouraging girls to be more than princesses” by Asha Daya. Girl Talk HQ, September 7, 2017.

“Why toys are more divided by gender than ever before” by Amy Dempsy. The Star, December 14, 2017.

The evolution of the Disney Princess: Disney’s Moana is a fierce, strong, South Pacific heroine. We’ll look at the evolution of Disney Princesses, from happily ever after to saving the world.” Live interview with Tom Ashbrook on NPR’s On Point, WBUR Radio. December 9, 2016.

The controversy behind Disney’s groundbreaking new princess: Moana is already making waves, but what does the future hold for the studio’s animated heroines?” by Tom Brook. BBC, November 28, 2016.

Disney’s ‘Moana’ wins at box office with feminist narrative” by Amanda Hoover. The Christian Science Monitor, November 28, 2016.

‘Beauty and the Beast’ teaching wrong values? How parents should address the Disney film for their daughters” by Amanda Moore. Parent Herald, November 11, 2016.

“Barbie: Blonde ambition” by Chloe Markowicz. Contagious magazine, 4th Quarter 2016. [Preview of issue TOC here.]

Princesses are out, superheroes are in. Is that progress?” by Joanna Weiss. The Boston Globe, October 25, 2016.

After inviting Katie Hopkins on to talk #TrumpTapes, the BBC has truly lost its moral compass” by Yvonne Ridley. Commonspace, October 14, 2016.

Interview on Tesco’s newly redesigned and rereleased Sindy doll. Interview by Mark Forrest on BBC Local Radio Evening. Networked locally to all 40 BBC stations; broadcast nationally across England and the Channel Islands. September 14, 2016.

Newest Disney film under fire for downplaying historical colonialism” by John Wittiw. Blasting News, August 3, 2016.

Party princesses change with the times” by Cristela Guerra. The Boston Globe, July 22, 2016.

Gender neutral parenting: Challenging stereotypes and irresponsible retailers is just parenting” by Francesca Cambridge Mallen. Huffington Post UK, July 12, 2016.

Disney is finally introducing a Latina princess” by Anna Silman. The Cut, July 11, 2016.

A new Disney Princesa carries responsibilities beyond her kingdom” by Brooks Barnes. The New York Times, July 10, 2016.

You’re smart to let your little boy play princess. Here’s proof” by Avital Norman Nathman. The Stir, July 1, 2016.

Disney Princesses do change girls — and boys, too” by K. J. Dell’Antonia. The New York Times, June 27, 2016.

Why Disney Princesses and ‘princess culture’ are bad for girls” by Rebecca Hains. The Washington Post, June 24, 2016.

Why butt and fart jokes really stink” by Andrew Heisel. The Boston Globe, June 9, 2016.

Why William should get a doll” by Melissa Ford. GeekDad, May 2, 2016.

Aussie mum Samantha Turnbull takes on US princesses with her Anti-Princess Club series.”, April 12, 2016.

There’s never been a better time for the new Powerpuff Girls” by Beckett Mufson. The Creators Project at, April 1, 2016.

“Inclusive toys: Will a curvier Barbie help Mattel’s bottom line?” Knowledge@Wharton, SiriusXM’s Wharton Business Radio, March 17, 2016.

Boys play with dolls, and girls play with spaceships. Someone tell the toy makers” by Rebecca Hains. The Washington Post, February 12, 2016.

A Barbie with curves is still all about looks” by Rebecca Hains. The Washington Post, February 1, 2016.

David Bowie, entitlement in male celebrity culture, and social media. Interview with Pippa Jones for Talk Radio Europe’s Radio Jones, January 15, 2016.

Oh! You Pretty Things: Spotlight on David Bowie and Catholic sex scandals” by Artur Rosman. Patheos, January 13, 2016.

The complicated sexual history of David Bowie” by Phillip Lewis. MicYahoo! News, January 12, 2016.

10 People who are changing the world for boys and girls, one tweet at a time” by Avital Norman Nathman. SheHeroes, January 11, 2016.

Should we encourage boys to play with dolls?” Live interview with host Meghna Chakrabarti on WBUR/NPR’s RadioBoston, Dec. 9, 2015.

Why boys should play with dolls” by Rebecca Hains. The Boston Globe Magazine. Nov. 17, 2015.

Princess Leia is a general now. But why isn’t she in more toy stores?” by Rebecca Hains. The Washington Post. Nov. 17, 2015.

Target goes gender-neutral.” Live interview on NightSide with Dan Rea with host Dan Rea. WBZ News Radio 1030/CBS Boston. August 17, 2015.

Target will stop labeling toys for boys or for girls. Good.” by Rebecca Hains. The Washington Post. August 13, 2015.

“Kenneth Branagh’s corseted Cinderella fails the Frozen test, say critics” by Tracy McVeigh. The Guardian. March 22, 2015.

Toy stores have icy reception for ‘Frozen 2’” by Yoona Ha. Crain’s New York Business. March 16, 2015.

“Cinderella and the Princess Problem.” Interview on CBC Radio One’s Mainstreet with host Stephanie Domet. March 13, 2015.

In ‘Cinderella,’ victimhood is a virtue” by Joanna Weiss. The Boston Globe. March 13, 2015.

What $4,595 ‘glass slippers’ say about Disney’s princess sales machine” by Drew Harwell. The Washington Post. March 11, 2015.

The politics of parenting: ‘The Princess Problem.’” Interview Uprising with Sonali with host Sonali Kolhatkar. Radio broadcast on 90.7 FM Los Angeles, 98.7 Santa Barbara, 93.7 FM N. San Diego, and 99.5 FM Ridgecrest. Television broadcast on Free Speech TV (Dish / DirecTV / ROKU).

The problem with separate toys for girls and boys” by Rebecca Hains. The Boston Globe Magazine. February 27, 2015.

Princess Awesome: The fight against ‘pinkification” by Amelia Hill. The Guardian. Feb. 20, 2015.

“YouTube to release YouTube Kids app.” Interview on NPR’s Marketplace, West Coast edition. Feb. 20, 2015.

Getting out of our own way: How much is too much?” by Jeanann Verlee. Feministing. Jan. 13, 2015.

‘Slap her’ video: Will it stop violence towards women?” by Samantha Laine. The Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 7, 2015.

Viral Italian PSA about domestic violence makes a good point, but not without flaws” by Caroline Bologna. The Huffington Post. Jan. 6, 2015.

Why we need to protect girls from ‘the princess problem’ and how to make our kids media-savvy.” Interview on Women’s Focus, KUNM Radio, NPR Digital Network, with host Susan Thom Loubet. Dec. 20, 2014.

Children learn to bully by watching TV as toddlers” by Erin McNeill and Renee Hobbs. The Providence Journal. Dec. 28, 2014.

Why #NoGenderDecember isn’t only for ‘Insane Feminists‘” by Marci Warhaft-Nadler. The Huffington Post. Dec. 12, 2014.

Dr. Rebecca Hains on #NoGenderDecember.” Live interview on News Radio 610 WTVN, Columbus, OH, with host Joel Riley. Dec. 10, 2014.

La Reine des Neiges embrase les ventes de Noël” (“Frozen sets Christmas sales ablaze”) by Clément Bürge. Le Matin Dimanche. Dec. 7, 2014.

No Gender December calls for gender-neutral toys.” Live segment on FOX & Friends with host Tucker Carlson. Dec. 6, 2014.

The Discovery Channel’s princess problem: Website recommends mani-pedi kits to girls (and ant farms to boys)” by Barbara Herman. The International Business Times, Dec. 3, 2014.

“The Princess Problem.” Double segment on The Meredith Vieira Show. Nov. 25, 2014.

When buying gifts, let kids be kids” by Ian Harkin. The Worcester Telegram, Nov. 24, 2014.

Everything wrong with princesses in one easy image!” by David Trumble. The Huffington Post, Nov. 7, 2014.

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

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

The princess problem: Available on store shelves everywhere” . Women You Should Know, Oct. 30, 2014.

Are you sure your daughter should dress up as a princess this Halloween?” by Susan Rohwer. Los Angeles Times, Oct. 29, 2014.

Rebecca Hains on raising empowered girls in a ‘princess world.'” Live segment on WGN-TV Chicago. Oct. 27, 2014.

Guiding girls through the princess-obsessed years.” Live segment on FOX 25 News with host Shiri Spear. Oct. 6, 2014.

Could ‘Frozen’ create psychological problems for girls later in life?” by Elizabeth Kulze. Vocativ, Sept. 29, 2014.

The Princess Problem.” Live segment on CJAD 800 Radio (Quebec) with host Barry Morgan. Sept. 11, 2014.

The Princess Problem.” Live segment on WGN 720AM Radio (Chicago) with hosts Andrea Darlas and Anna Davlantes. Sept. 9, 2014.

Hains ’98 on the ‘Princess Problem.'” Emmanuel College News. Sept. 4, 2014.

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

Ditching Photoshop.” Live segment on CBC Radio’s Saskatoon Morning with host Leisha Grebinski, August 28, 2014.

Media’s choice of photos creates a split-second bias.” Op-ed by Rebecca Hains and Robert Brown. The St Louis Post-Dispatch, August 13, 2014.

Two women call for MA legislature to rewrite ‘upskirting’ law.” ABC40, Springfield, MA. March 6, 2014.

Judging a movie by its trailer” by Valentina Perez. Harvard Political Review, March 3, 2014.

Netflix declares the death of Saturday morning cartoons” by David Weinberg. On NPR’s Marketplace Morning Report, Dec. 24, 2013.

Think Feminism Isn’t Funny? 5 Parodies That Blur the Lines Between Laughter and Politics” by Nur Lalji. YES! Magazine, Dec. 20, 2013.

Disney’s Frozen: When pretty is boring” by Joanna Weiss. The Boston Globe, Dec. 8, 2013.

The Revolution Will Not Be GoldieBlox” by Lucia Graves. National Journal, Nov. 28, 2013.

Engineering Child’s Play: GoldieBlox & Marketing Toys to Girls.” Live segment on CBC Radio’s The Current with host Anna Maria Tremonti, Nov. 28, 2013.

The best girls’ toy ever? Or more of the same?” by Joanna Weiss, The Boston Globe’s Boston.comment. Nov. 25, 2013.

Salem State Professor to Lululemon CEO: Change Your Business Tactics.” Live interview with anchor Maria Stephanos on FOX 25 News, Boston, Mass. Nov. 14, 2013.

Salem State Professor Demands Apology from Lululemon CEO.” Interview with reporter Whitney Burbank on CBS Boston News, Boston, Mass. Nov. 14, 2013.

Salem State Professor Wants Lululemon to Make Yoga Pants for All Sizes.” Boston Magazine. Nov. 14, 2013.

Lululemon Founder Chip Wilson Plunges Company into PR Crisis” by Rebecca Harris. Marketing Magazine, Nov. 12, 2013.

Female icons get the princess treatment” by Amanda Taylor. Deseret News National, Nov. 11, 2013.

Cutting the Cable Cord: Moving to Internet Subscription Services” by Devon Merling. Deseret News, November 5, 2013.

“‘Am I Pretty or Ugly?’ The disturbing ‘Am I Pretty or Ugly?’ videos on YouTube are back. They feature young girls asking others to evaluate their looks. Why are teens seeking validation from social media, and how concerned should we be about bullying?” The Huffington Post Live [streaming video network]. October 31, 2013.

Halloween Scare: A Princess in My House” by Shannon McCaffrey. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, October 26, 2013.

Communications Professor co-founds Brave Girls Alliance.” Salem State Unviersity News, October 2013.

The Gorilla Days are Over” (about Halloween costume trends). The University of Buffalo Spectrum, October 22, 2013.

Gender Equality Promoted for Toys” by Allison Pecevich. The Salem State Log, October 18, 2013.

Toys ‘R’ Us [UK] to Do Away With Gender-Specific Marketing” by Abby Stevens. Deseret News. September 9, 2013.

Nothing But Neutral: Toy Stores Dropping Gender-Specific Aisles.” Live segment on FOX and Friends, September 8, 2013.

Raising Compassionate Sons and the Sexualization of Teenage Girls.” Live segment on CKNW AM Vancouver’s The Shift with Mike Eckford. September 5, 2013.

So you want to be a princess?” by Jennifer Wolff Perrine. Cosmopolitan. August 2013.

False alarm: Disney still keeping sexualized version of Brave’s Princess Merida” by Sarah Gray. The Frisky. May 19, 2013.

“Raising media literate children.” Live, hour-long radio interview on At Issue with Ben Merens, Wisconsin Public Radio, a National Public Radio member station. December 4, 2012.

Disney Latina princesa? Disney’s Hispanic-inspired Princess Sofia doesn’t actually ‘look Latina.’ Is Sofia the face of the U.S. Latino community’s future?” The Huffington Post Live [streaming video network]. October 24, 2012.

Do kids need more multicultural role models? Black and brown princesses.” The Huffington Post Live [streaming video network]. August 7, 2012.

In ‘Brave,’ a Disney Princess for the modern girl,” by Joanna Weiss. The Boston Globe. June 24, 2012.

Husband of CNN’s Dana Loesch not targeted by leftists on Twitter, evidence suggests” by Chris Wilson. Yahoo News, April 30, 2012.

The Disney Princess divide: The next mommy wars?” by Stephanie Hanes. The Christian Science Monitor, Modern Parenthood blog. April 11, 2012.

The pros and cons of ‘girl power,'” by Amanda Marcotte. RH Reality Check [podcast]. Feb. 27, 2012. (Interview with Rebecca Hains begins at 7:25)

“Cupcakegate,” December 2011

In December 2011, I used a humorous, tongue-in-cheek approach to critique the TSA after they confiscated a cupcake from my family’s lunch bag. My original piece, published at Boing Boing, led to international media attention. A sampling of this coverage is below.


The Associated Press:

Associated Press (2011, Dec. 24). Mass. woman says TSA agent in Vegas confiscated frosted cupcake as possible security threat. The Washington Post (and elsewhere).

Small, Matt. (2011, Dec. 24). The story of a confiscated cupcake [radio interview].

Follow Rebecca and the Threatening Cupcake on Facebook.

Save the North Shore Birth Center, Fall 2008

In October and November of 2008, I led the Campaign to Save the North Shore Birth Center in Beverly, MA and served as the campaigners’ media spokesperson. When the hospital was unresponsive to our pleas to keep this natural birthing center open, we organized a demonstration to attract media attention. The story was reported nationally. In the process, I was interviewed by many media outlets, including WCVB Channel 5 in Boston.

An archive of media coverage of the Campaign to Save the North Shore Birth Center is available here.

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