Wednesday, December 27, 2006

What do princesses grow up to be?

Do you find this an acceptable fantasy for little girls in today's post-feminist age? The most recent NY Times magazine has Peggy Orenstein wondering what it means that little girls are just plain infatuated with the princess. Are parents terrified that living up to the feminist ideal means alienating all the prince charmings out there, and so they foster in their daughters the sugary-sweetest fantasies they can get their hands on? Is it the virginal fantasy that attracts parents who want to swath their little girls in as unsexualized a character as possible? (The problem being, of course, that the little girl princess outfit can very easily transform itself into one of those trampy rhinestone deals that have become so popular on much bigger girls. See exhibit A, to the right.) Or maybe, though Orenstein seems exceedingly dubious about this one, the current princess craze represents progress--an age when little girls can openly embrace their pink fantasies without sacrificing either ambition or power. After all, Orenstein's own daughter, despite her penchant for princessery, wants to grow up to be a fireman.


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