Call me assumptive, but I feel as though it's safe to assume that everyone has at least heard of Disney in some form or fashion. And speaking of fashion, I can only imagine that at some point in your lives, you've come across some kind of Disney princess, whether it be through movies, games, TV, or just walking through one of the many aisles at your local retailer. Disney princesses are huge, some might say "goals" even, as much as using that word makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little. Every young girl aspires to be a princess, in the fashion of famous characters like Belle, Ariel, Cinderella, Snow White, just to name a few.
These characters are all referenced in Orenstein's Cinderella Ate My Daughter. Now, while she's not suggesting that Cinderella physically ate her daughter, because I think that would be another genre entirely, but more-so that the culture created by these "princesses" and the huge line of marketing that appeals to young girls (but in fairness, girls of all ages really), and it is an unrealistic culture that leads to defined gender roles for girls that shouldn't exist.
At least that's what I took from it. The princesses are reliant on a man to help them define who they are, and they need a man to be happy, and many of them (Snow White, Cinderella) are seen cleaning, cooking, doing chores etc., things which have often been stereotyped as "a woman's job". Now of course at such a young age, girls are just into the fantasy and pizzazz of it all, but it's setting a bad example from their initial interest and may formulate unrealistic expectations as they grow up, almost subconsciously.
You don't see boys wearing princess gear and collecting those things, because we've been taught that it's mainly for girls. I'm not saying I agree with this, I'm just saying that's the way it is and it's entirely wrong. Stores like Target and Toys R Us have recently made efforts to try and change things in their stores so that toys and such aren't separated by gender, but rather grouped all together. I think it's an interesting idea and something that sends a positive message at the very least.
More needs to be done--gender equality is important, but it's not being helped by the idea of separate genders from a very young age in the sense that there are pre-set standards for boys and girls to live by. People should be free to make their own choices and not be judged by it.
That picture is a bit laughable, but it's actually quite accurate. And I think the simplicity really helps drive home the point that we as a society do way too much to try and influence the way a person develops based solely on gender, and it's wrong.
Video: Do I need to say more?
Question: So what do you guys think? Did you take something different from this than I did? Where do you stand on the idea?