Mar 10 2015

Politics of Parenting: ‘The Princess Problem’

Feature Stories,Featured Book,Politics of Parenting | Published 10 Mar 2015, 10:15 am | Comments Off on Politics of Parenting: ‘The Princess Problem’ -

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GUEST: Rebecca Hains, media studies professor at Salem State University, Massachusetts, and author of ‘The Princess Problem: Guiding Our Girls through the Princess-Obsessed Years.’

Disney’s upcoming live-action feature film Cinderella by Kenneth Brannagh is supposed to be a feminist re-telling of an old fairytale, where the main character has agency and intelligence. But, sadly it is visually very much in line with unrealistic notions of feminine beauty that we see in the animated Disney films. Actress Lily James’ waistline as Cinderella appears so tiny that many accused the filmmakers of Photoshopping inches away. But, the actress revealed that it was indeed her waistline – stuffed into a corset so tight that she was forced to be on a liquid diet throughout filming.

Little girls in contemporary American society are so immersed in so-called Princess culture that today it is commonplace to see them dressed for school in princess costumes, wearing glittery and impractical shoes, worrying about their appearance, and refusing to own a single piece of clothing that isn’t either pink or purple. What is Princess culture doing to our daughters? And how can parents who are sickened by its effects, fight back against the highly lucrative industry that promotes the deeply seductive culture?

To read more of Rebecca Hains’ work, visit

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