Dr. Rebecca Hains

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Disney faces backlash over new “sexy” Merida; pulls new image from web site as a result

UPDATE, May 16, 2013: Disney has stated that 1. the 2D image was never on their official web site in the first place (though, oddly, it’s all over the official Australia/NZ version of the Disney Princess site–which may have been the source of any…

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The sad story of Princess Leira: a retelling of a well-known tale

I’m going to tell you a story you already know. (Tell me when you recognize it.) ——- Leira is a princess of a magical kingdom on Earth–a beautiful, shimmering land of lush forests and colorful meadows near a picturesque mountain…

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But… the Little Mermaid gave up her voice!

Ah, Ariel. I love many things about your movie, particularly the music. But as a character, you made such poor choices. Giving up your voice to get a man? That set a really poor example for girls. In a society…

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Sofia the Not-So-Latina-After-All

Months ago, Disney announced that a new Disney Channel cartoon, Sofia the First, would be released this year, targeting girls ages 2 to 7. With the title character a little girl, rather than a teenager, Disney promised that Sofia the First…

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CFP: Princess Cultures: Mediating Girls’ Identities and Imaginations

My colleague Miriam Forman-Brunell and I are co-editing an anthology about princesses. It will be published by Peter Lang, the same academic press that published my previous book. Please let me know if you’d like to contribute an essay; and…

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This week’s round-up: CSMonitor.com, princess seeds, and princess week

A few quick things to share: I’ve joined the Christian Science Monitor’s Modern Parenthood blogging team! Check out the blog here; my contributor’s bio is here. Yesterday, Peggy Orenstein blogged about my post on the Disney Princess seed packets–and she…

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Disney Princess flowers: coming soon to a garden near you.

Imagine this scenario: Four-year-old Madison is obsessed with princesses. She wants to eat, sleep, breathe nothing but Disney Princess products, and it’s becoming a point of contention in her household. Her parents are tired of all the little battles over…

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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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“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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Pretty Princess Problems: The Case of Princess Celestia

My family and I were shopping for a child’s birthday present this weekend when we came upon the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic section at a local Target store. As I’ve discussed previously, MLP:FIM is an unusually good children’s…

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