Dr. Rebecca Hains

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Katniss vs Merida: Mattel’s doll versions of strong girl characters

Last month, Mattel released a Katniss Everdeen doll, inspired by the look and style of Jennifer Lawrence in the┬áHunger Games film. Compared with Mattel’s typical fare, the Katniss doll was refreshingly unsexualized–reflecting the character’s positive portrayal in the film (which…

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Princess Extravagance, from Preschool to Prom

What do little girls in princess dresses and teenagers at proms have in common? More than you might think! Last week, a new survey found that nationwide, U.S. teens and their families will spend an average of $1,000 on this…

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New at the Disney Store: Princess Dolls with Extra Sparkles! (and extra problems)

On a recent visit to my local Disney Store, I learned that Disney had just released a new line-up of Disney Princess dolls at the holidays. The new line-up was on the shelves–and so were some of their older counterparts.*…

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“Chess for Girls,” or how Saturday Night Live predicted the future.

Saturday Night Live’s fake commercial, “Chess for Girls” [transcript], was hilarious in 1997–but today, it strikes awfully close to home. An ultra-pink chess set that’s “not too hard, just pretty and fun”–with prancing ponies and a long-haired queen in a…

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