Being the mom of two young girls, I have been inundated with
all nearly all things princess. The girls have princess dolls, princess dress up clothes, princess movies, and even princess fruit snacks. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against princesses, but I really wonder how exactly the "brand" has gotten so huge that almost everywhere you go, you see something princess related.
Princess Pez Dispensers at the Pez Factory in Orange, CT
I recently got a copy of the book The Princess Problem: Guiding Our Girls Through the Princess-Obsessed Years. The book, authored by Rebecca Hains, PhD, discusses a) Why Princess Marketing is so effective: How Disney and others exploit early child development b) The effects of Princess Culture on self-esteem, bullying, gender segregation, and more and c) How even strong recent characters (think Merida or Elsa) are transformed in toy marketing into passive stereotypes.
Thankfully, The Princess Problem:Guiding Our Girls through the Princess-Obsessed Years goes beyond just pointing out what is problematic with princess marketing. Ms. Hains offers discussion ideas for parents, which are helpful in providing solutions on how to raise thoughtful, open minded, and empowered girls. I am particularly fond of the idea of "media dieting".
The Author Rebecca Hains Ph.D
I would recommend this book for parents of both girls and boys. It is a great resource to help open up an important dialogue about how our children view themselves, the media, and how girls and women (and you can keep it going to boys and men) are portrayed.