Monday, March 31, 2014

Cinderella ate my Daughter : Peggy Orenstein

Cinderella ate my Daughter : Reflection
Peggy Orenstein

While reading this article, I was baffled. The way that this topic was explained and the many different points that were brought to my attention made me really think about the world, society, and how far people will go just to make a buck....or a billion.  I loved the part of this article where Orenstein states; "She is everything I imagined my daughter would reject, would not, in fact, ever encounter or even understand if she did, let alone embrace: the passive, personality-free princess swept off by a prince (who is enchanted solely by her beauty) to live in a happily-ever-after that he ultimately controls". (pg. 12).  This is exactly what happens to every Disney Princess in their story line. The Princess goes over and above to make Prince Charming fall in love with her, even if it was solely based on what they looked like....Ariel went as far as to give up her voice and her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul and the love of a human prince to be able to be a part of a "happily-ever-after".  Which brings be back to a quote by Christensen stating; nor do I want them thinking that the pinnacle of a women’s life is an “I do” that supposedly leads them to a happily ever after".  Girls grow up feeling that they need a boy to take care of them to be complete just like they see in these Princesses and other films on television.  

I believe that Orensteins way of thinking is how every parent should when they have a daughter, especially the way the world is today.  Not saying that girls need special treatment, but in times of growing up girls need to be told that they are perfect the way they are. Allowing your child to be exposed to princesses at a young age isnt the problem.  The problem is the story lines, them believing they have to be pretty, skinny, fashionable, popular, smart, just like the princesses in the movies, and on the shelves in the stores.  These young "tweens" think that being all of these things is the only way to make it to their fairytale romance ending and having a boy fall in love with them, or for them to receive the respect from their parents and peers.  Which in turn causes stress and pressure on them trying to fit in to be perfect.  They feel they have to fulfill all these expectations to "have it all".

Another part of this article I found so true is when Orenstein states, "Princesses may confide in a sympathetic mouse or teacup, but, at least amoung the best-known stories, they do not have girlfriends.  God forbid Snow White should give Sleeping Beauty a little support". (pg. 23)  This is something you see within girls in schools today.  The battle of the popular girl groups, girls who think there shit doesn't stink, girls who think they are better than the next.  Similar to the movie "Mean Girls".  Heres a little piece of the film and one situation for an example if you haven't seen the film...Cady is new to her school, becomes part of a group called "The Plastics"..fitting right??, and ends up falling in love with Reginas (one of the plastics) ex-boyfriends.  Regina sees whats going on and tries to steal him back, and in the mean time Cady gives her "nutrition bars" that she explains are all natural and will help her lose weight, but in turn make her gain weight so he wont want to get back with her.  In the movie this was funny, obviously because its not a "real life situation" at the moment, but this is the perfect example of how back-stabbing girls are to one another and truly dont take into consideration how the way they make one another feel, even if they are so-called friends.  I never really knew how cruel girls could be, turning backs and hurting one another. Instead we should encourage each other and not avoid female bonding.

Do any of you have younger daughters, siblings, or children you babysit that are in the princess stage?? Would you consider not  letting them play with certain toys, or watch certain films after reading this article due to the fact that it may cause them to believe what they see is real, and the only way to live a happy life??