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#1 of 76 Old 06-29-2011, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have 2 DD's--a 3.5yo and a 1yo.  As some background, I have never liked the idea of Princess stuff and the whole craze surrounding it.  I am not against characters as a whole as I feel like my DD has learned from Elmo and Dora but the whole princess thing really turns me off.  There is nothing, in my opinion to be learned from it. 

 

I currently work at a company that makes jewelry for little girls and also some dress up clothes, including Disney princess, Dora, Barbie etc.  I brought home a lot of hair and jewelry stuff and my DD LOVES playing with it and putting a lot on etc.  She also loves the dress up stuff.  For a long time it was an occasional thing for her to dress up and get "pretty" but now it is becoming VERY frequent.  We don't tell her she looks like a princess or anything like that but we do allow her to dress up and SHE says it.  There is a little girl at daycare (her best friend and the only other girl her age) that is very much into princess and her parents totally encourage it.  It is really rubbing off on my DD as she talks about "going to the ball" and other things that we have never said.  She also really likes putting on make-up and told me the other day that she wasn't pretty yet because she didn't have make up on. 

 

That was a turning point for me where I feel like I have totally gotten away from what I wanted for her and that I did this.  How can I fix this?  I know I can take it all away but I feel really bad considering how much she loves it but am planning to take away at least the dress up stuff. I know that we can't do much about the girl at daycare but what can I do to fix this or is it inevitable? 

 

Thanks for any tips you might have.

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#2 of 76 Old 06-29-2011, 12:32 PM
 
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My DD and my Niece (5 and 4) play dress up all the time. They have a ton of princess dresses and love to put them on and walk around in a fancy way. They also swing, play with firetrucks, go on bike rides or whatever in their princess gear. I know there has been a whole lot of uproar lately condemning princess play and I feel it's overblown. Or at least I don't see it as causing alot of problems among the young girls I know. A few weeks ago DD had 3 friends over, they immediately put on princess outfits, then collected magnifying glasses and flashlights and proceeded to tear around the house finding clues and catching bad guys. DD and DN also spend alot of time pretending to be animals. Pretend play is a good thing whether it's princess, animal, army or whatever--as long as it's not directed or controlled by adults I think it's great. It becomes problematic when the play is just re-enacting whatever kids see in videos and films, and again I don't think it maters if it's princess stuff or some equally horrifying (to adults) male associated thing like army or swat--if it's coming from the kids' imagination then don't sweat it. If it's adult imposed ideas of what should be fun then that's not so great.

 

Also I know some people think it's "bad" if it involves disney characters or merchandise. I don't agree with that. Just cause there's a picture of snow white from the disney movie on the dress doesn't mean the child can't use it imaginatively.

 

One final thought I would focus on the other awesome creative things you provide for your DDs' play environment, instead of sweating it too much if they learn about "going to the ball" from a friend. In other words I wouldn't over worry about the one happy meal she ate during carpool, but focus on the frequent fruits and veggies you make sure she gets at home...if that makes sense!

 

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#3 of 76 Old 06-29-2011, 12:35 PM
 
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I really don't think it matters what you do...somehow if a little girl is attracted to princesses, she'll find them.  We have never watched a disney princess movie, and didn't buy princess products.  We watched the royal wedding, but only about 10 minutes of it.  Ever since then, my 4 year old has been OBSESSED with princesses and princess stories and has found the disney princess books at the library, and my 2 year old refuses to wear anything that isn't a twirly dress and silver sparkly shoes (because that's what princesses wear, she says!)  Go figure.


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#4 of 76 Old 06-29-2011, 12:51 PM
 
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... i hate the princess stuff.  hate hate hate.  it makes me Cuss.gif

i don't know what you can really do except try to probe a little with conversations.  like.. why does makeup mean you're pretty?  what other things are pretty?  etc. 

had you seen this book by Peggy Orenstein?  she's written about the princess phenomenon a good bit. 

the blog pigtail pals is pretty cool..

and i agree with pp.. acting out a movie with princesses over and over again verbatim = not good.  open ended, imaginary play that happens to feature princess = much better.


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#5 of 76 Old 06-29-2011, 05:45 PM
 
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I found empowering princesses in movies and books for my dd.  The Barbie movies are mostly about strong princess and fairy characters who don't get married (with a few exceptions) so we watched those and I pointed that out.  Elmo and Dora also have princess stories that are kid friendly and give a good message.  There are also many books with strong princess characters.  This is just a phase like fighting with magic powers and super heros.  I wouldn't worry about it beyond making sure that at home you portray girls and women as strong and capable people. 

 

 

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#6 of 76 Old 06-29-2011, 06:10 PM
 
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For me its not so much "princess stuff" that I hate, its the insane amount of advertising that goes with it. I think Disney princesses have their place: at Disney world, Disney land, and when going to see a Disney movie. Personally, we dont own a lot of movies, and I think not having tons of princessey stuff and movies all over the house is great because it encourages kids to think of other "pretty" stuff to dress up in. My LO is still a baby, but we encourage faery stuff instead of princess stuff, mainly because I think its fun to wear dress up clothes, but I dont like that there is a specific story associated with certain princesses (girl is in trouble, man comes to save her, blah blah). Id rather DD make her own stories up, but I know my heart will probably fall into a million pieces one day when she points to a cinderella shirt and wants it.
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#7 of 76 Old 06-29-2011, 06:13 PM
 
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I don't have an answer for you, but my DD is obsessed with princesses too. It what she likes right now and it makes her happy. I'm just hoping that she grows out of it by jr high.

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#8 of 76 Old 06-29-2011, 06:14 PM
 
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I don't care so much about princesses as I do about the whole "I am a princess" attitude. I hope I am wording that well. I see girls with shirts that say "I am a princess" and it usually refers to them being spoiled and proud of it. I do not like that. Also a bit of a girls are better than boys attitude. 

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#9 of 76 Old 06-29-2011, 06:18 PM
 
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I find my dd's interest in princesses irks me - I don't share it, I'd rather not support disney and don't like how they lump all the girl characters together.  I don't like how her interest is so encouraged by other friends with all the princess stuff at their house either - I avoid bringing disney princess stuff aside from books into our house.

 

I *do* encourage her to use the 'princess' idea imaginatively and vary it a little with playtime ideas of fairies, elves, mermaids (so similar, but kinda different).  I remind her that quite a few of these 'princesses' are actually just normal girls like her who happened to become princesses.  I have her watch xena warrior princess with me & dh for a way different 'princess' experience.  

 

I'll add that we've talked about this sometimes with dd's preschool teacher (who doesn't like the princess thing either) and when everyone gets to talking about it too much at school, she'll explain some basic limits that monarchy and being a princess has in real life to the kids.  I like that angle on it too - it's good to know about how something like a princess is based in real life.

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#10 of 76 Old 06-30-2011, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Good thoughts and I have been meaning to buy that book but I haven't gotten around to it--a project for my lunchhour!

 

I wouldn't mind her playing with that stuff if it was pretending in that way but she puts it on and flounces around with this demure look on her face and talks constantly about getting married.  Honestly, I have not idea where that came from and I don't think she even knows what it means but boy, is it making me crazy!  I think that we are going to put the dresses away for now and I am going to go to goodwill to find some new dress up clothes. 

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#11 of 76 Old 06-30-2011, 08:10 AM
 
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Eh, it doesn't bug me. I don't think kids need to "learn from" every single thing they're into. It's probably just a phase. I think that on this site there's a lot of pride displayed in kids of both sexes who gravitate towards toys/activities that are typically intended for the opposite sex (so, girls who like playing in the mud and boys who like pink frills). It's that whole "aren't we such a delightfully progressive family" thing. But then if the boy wants to play in the mud, or the girl wants to wear pink frills, it's suddenly a concern. I think the message should be to accept them as they are, even if they don't play into our adult desire to have perfect little counterculture clones. 


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#12 of 76 Old 06-30-2011, 08:14 AM
 
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Honestly, I personally think you are kind of making a big deal out of it for nothing.  You know, I played princesses (and barbies. *gasp*).  I walked around in pretty dresses and plastic heels and fake makeup and made up games about getting married to a prince and blah blah blah.  And you know what?  As an adult, I'm a fairly down to earth, reality based person, very outdoors loving and earthy, rarely wear makeup or jewelry, do not dress up in fancy clothes at all, etc.  Just because a little girl pretends to be a princess does not in any way correlate with being a vain adult who only wants to marry for money and prizes her looks above all else.  I think that sometimes, and you see it a lot on this site, people take their ideals and let it run away with them without basing it in any sort of reality--like princesses or army toys or plastic toys or formula or saying 'good job' to a child will somehow make them into horrible self-centered drones.  Part of being AP is following the child's cues...if you take away what she loves and what her interest is at that point, you're kind of teaching her that her values and her likes don't matter...that they're naughty and bad...and eventually, that comes back to bite you when they then either develop a passion for the forbidden fruit, or they stop showing you what they love.  And you take away something that makes them truly happy.  My 2 year old and 4 year old are never happier than when they are twirling around in princess dresses, arms full of baby dolls, while pushing their plastic shopping cart around the house.  Who am I to take that away from them simply because *I* don't think Disney Princesses are good role models.  They are babies.  This is what they love.  They are pretending and having fun (and if you, like me, have a child with autism, you will come to celebrate the pretend play that comes from that child or their siblings because it's truly not something to take for granted.)  And they likely are not going to be vain airhead P@ris Hilt0n types when they get older...


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#13 of 76 Old 06-30-2011, 08:17 AM
 
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YES!!!!!!  Kids shouldn't be billboards for alternative lifestyles.  Kids are kids.  Kids playing like they naturally do, and us accepting their natural play is as natural parenting as one can get...  It could be worse...they could be playing 12 hours of video games a day.  Instead, they are pretending, playing, socializing, using their imagination, and having fun.

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Eh, it doesn't bug me. I don't think kids need to "learn from" every single thing they're into. It's probably just a phase. I think that on this site there's a lot of pride displayed in kids of both sexes who gravitate towards toys/activities that are typically intended for the opposite sex (so, girls who like playing in the mud and boys who like pink frills). It's that whole "aren't we such a delightfully progressive family" thing. But then if the boy wants to play in the mud, or the girl wants to wear pink frills, it's suddenly a concern. I think the message should be to accept them as they are, even if they don't play into our adult desire to have perfect little counterculture clones. 



 

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#14 of 76 Old 06-30-2011, 09:50 AM
 
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YES!!!!!!  Kids shouldn't be billboards for alternative lifestyles.  Kids are kids.  Kids playing like they naturally do, and us accepting their natural play is as natural parenting as one can get...  It could be worse...they could be playing 12 hours of video games a day.  Instead, they are pretending, playing, socializing, using their imagination, and having fun.



 



kids should not be billboards for consumerism, commercialism, sexism, and disney, either.

 

 

i don't know how to multiple quote: 

limabean says:

Eh, it doesn't bug me. I don't think kids need to "learn from" every single thing they're into. It's probably just a phase. I think that on this site there's a lot of pride displayed in kids of both sexes who gravitate towards toys/activities that are typically intended for the opposite sex (so, girls who like playing in the mud and boys who like pink frills). It's that whole "aren't we such a delightfully progressive family" thing. But then if the boy wants to play in the mud, or the girl wants to wear pink frills, it's suddenly a concern. I think the message should be to accept them as they are, even if they don't play into our adult desire to have perfect little counterculture clones.   

____________________

well.. the sad part of the princess stuff is that our kids ARE learning something from doing this.. that girls are weak and need to be saved.  that their appearances are of the utmost importance.  frankly, if children weren't marketed to so heavily, i don't think that much of this would be what they would choose on their own, necessarily.  i dislike it not because i have some counterculture ideal, but because i am a feminist, and i read many things about the impact of 'princess culture' on children.

 


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#15 of 76 Old 06-30-2011, 09:57 AM
 
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kids should not be billboards for consumerism, commercialism, sexism, and disney, either.


I agree. You won't find my kids in any clothing with characters or logos on them.


Back to the OP... try reading to her from these books....

http://www.amazon.com/Tatterhood-Other-Tales-Johnston-Phelps/dp/0912670509

http://www.amazon.com/Maid-North-Feminist-Tales-Around/dp/0805006796

My kids can still quote some of the best lines from these and I shared them with the Girl Scout troop kids to spread the love of strong women.. not just princesses.

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#16 of 76 Old 06-30-2011, 10:48 AM
 
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well.. the sad part of the princess stuff is that our kids ARE learning something from doing this.. that girls are weak and need to be saved.  that their appearances are of the utmost importance.  frankly, if children weren't marketed to so heavily, i don't think that much of this would be what they would choose on their own, necessarily.  i dislike it not because i have some counterculture ideal, but because i am a feminist, and i read many things about the impact of 'princess culture' on children.

 



Eh, I wasn't at all influenced by Disney movies and as a kid, I loved to play princess and bride and fairy and mom and all that girly stuff.  I also played in dirt and spent many summer days hanging out with my brother and his friends from the neighborhood, doing "boy" things.  I think it's all part of growing up and using your imagination.  Even without princess culture, I think most kids realize at some age that appearances are important.

 

I don't really see Disney princesses as weak and needing to be saved - the modern ones at least.  I enjoy movies and love watching Disney movies with my kids.  I've seen "Tangled", "Princess and the Frog", "Beauty and the Beast", "The Little Mermaid", and "Aladdin" more times than I can count.  Yes, some of the messages aren't very politically correct (like in Beauty and the Beast - all she has to do is love him enough, despite his abusive tendencies, and he'll turn into a handsome, gentle prince??), but all of the princesses are pretty independent and strong.  Yes, they DO get help from their male companion, but aren't exactly "saved", and certainly aren't weak.

 

They aren't perfect stories.  No kids' movies are.  But there is a big difference between encouraging emulating those characters and just letting a kid be a kid and play pretend and dress up.  

 

FWIW, my daughter doesn't really like playing dress-up, but loves accessorizing.  She's currently walking around in her brother's Crocs and an inflatable crown from Chuck E. Cheese.  If she wants to play princess, I'm ok with that.  She knows she isn't a princess.  She knows movies aren't reality, and are just pretend, because we talk about that.  She's only 2 but understands a lot.


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#17 of 76 Old 06-30-2011, 10:49 AM
 
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My kids aren't being princesses in Disney clothes.  My little girls pretend to be princesses is regular run of the mill toddler dresses with flowy skirts.  No consumerism involved...they wear those clothes all the time anyhow.  They aren't billboards for anything...they are just cute toddlers wearing flowy dresses pretending to be princesses (which also goes to show you, if they want to play princesses, they will do it with or without the disney dresses).

 

And as for sexism...it's not sexism.  Princesses are girls.  That's all princesses can be.  There are no boy princesses.  That's not sexism...that's the english language.  And a little girl pretending to be a princess is not sexism--it's a little girl playing.  Telling a little girl she can't be a princess because it's too girly is reverse sexism.  Telling a little girl she HAS to play princess because she's a girl is sexist.  Telling a little girl she can't play in the mud because she's a girl is sexist.  Letting a little girl play a self initiated and enjoyed game of princess is not sexist...it's a little girl playing.  And my princess playing toddlers frequently strip from their flowy dresses and sparkly shoes to go running through the rain garden and playing in the mud.  IMO, it's not progressive at all to tell a girl that wants to play princess that she can't because that's too girly.  That's just absurd.  Let kids fricken be kids.

 

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#18 of 76 Old 06-30-2011, 10:52 AM
 
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And my princess playing girls also do martial arts, and one is a pre-competative gymnast as well.  They are strong, independent, free willed girls.  And often times, they are doing the saving in their pretend too...whether it be princesses rescuing babies out of pretend orphanages (one of my daughters is adopted and that comes out in play a lot) or princesses using roundhouse and front kicks to get the bad guys.  A child's natural princess play doesn't have to be the parent's stereotypical idea of what a princess should be.  My kids came up with their play scenarios on their own, and not from any movie (I believe they have only ever seen the tinkerbell movie in terms of 'feminine hero' Disney movies anyhow.


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#19 of 76 Old 06-30-2011, 11:15 AM
 
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Just wanted to chime in  (as a has-no-problem-with-princess-play mama) that my DD, Niece, and their friends never act "weak" or like a man has to save them when they are getting their princess groove on. As I stated up thread they are usually capturing "bad guys" or spying or whatever. A prince never even comes into it- neither does getting married.  If a prince did figure heavily in their play or if being beautiful or getting married was all they were focused on I might engage them in some critical thinking but would not try to stop their play. Their play is THEIRS.

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#20 of 76 Old 06-30-2011, 11:51 AM
 
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My older daughter went through a princess phase, but not really disney princesses. She's 9 and doesn't do that anymore. The little one has no interest in princesses yet. Maybe someday? We do watch disney movies here but we don't watch a lot of tv so it isn't a frequent thing.

I don't like to direct my kids' play, but on the other hand I'd want to present some balance. I got the Tatterhood book linked in a PP, and my daughter has read it a trillion times. She loves it and I think it helped not develop the idea of it being good to be a helpless princess stuck in a tower anyway. When she made up princess stories, they were always about the princess saving the prince, or saving someone else.
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#21 of 76 Old 06-30-2011, 05:23 PM
 
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Honestly, I personally think you are kind of making a big deal out of it for nothing.  You know, I played princesses (and barbies. *gasp*).  I walked around in pretty dresses and plastic heels and fake makeup and made up games about getting married to a prince and blah blah blah.  And you know what?  As an adult, I'm a fairly down to earth, reality based person, very outdoors loving and earthy, rarely wear makeup or jewelry, do not dress up in fancy clothes at all, etc.  Just because a little girl pretends to be a princess does not in any way correlate with being a vain adult who only wants to marry for money and prizes her looks above all else.  I think that sometimes, and you see it a lot on this site, people take their ideals and let it run away with them without basing it in any sort of reality--like princesses or army toys or plastic toys or formula or saying 'good job' to a child will somehow make them into horrible self-centered drones.  Part of being AP is following the child's cues...if you take away what she loves and what her interest is at that point, you're kind of teaching her that her values and her likes don't matter...that they're naughty and bad...and eventually, that comes back to bite you when they then either develop a passion for the forbidden fruit, or they stop showing you what they love.  And you take away something that makes them truly happy.  My 2 year old and 4 year old are never happier than when they are twirling around in princess dresses, arms full of baby dolls, while pushing their plastic shopping cart around the house.  Who am I to take that away from them simply because *I* don't think Disney Princesses are good role models.  They are babies.  This is what they love.  They are pretending and having fun (and if you, like me, have a child with autism, you will come to celebrate the pretend play that comes from that child or their siblings because it's truly not something to take for granted.)  And they likely are not going to be vain airhead P@ris Hilt0n types when they get older...



But things arent the way they were when any of us were growing up, they are changing rapidly.

This, from that pigtail blog that Hildare posted earlier:
By the numbers:

Global revenue generated by the Disney Princess products increased from $300 million in 2000 to $4 billion in 2009.

Percentage of 8-12 year old girls who regularly used eyeliner doubled between 2008 and 2010.

Nearly half of girls between the ages of 6-9yo regularly use lipstick or lip gloss.

$40 million a month: Amount of money 8-12yo girls spend on beauty products. A month. Biggest influence on their purchases is not peers or media. It is their mothers.

Barbie was introduced in 1959 with a target audience of 9-12yo girls. Today’s target audience is 3-7yo.

Age at which children express “brand consciousness”: 24 months.

25% of teen girls have posted nude or semi-nude photos of themselves online.

41% of 15-17yo girls and 29% of boys say they have participated in bullying someone online.

12,000 Botox injections were given to teens aged 13-19yo in 2009.

43,000 teens under the age of 18 had their appearance surgically altered in 2008.

48% of girls in grades 3-12 polled in 2000 asserted the most popular girls in school were “very thin”. By 2006 that number had risen to 60%.

60% of girls in grades 9-12 surveyed in 2006 were attempting to lose weight; only 10% of these same girls were considered medically overweight.

Only 15% of students taking the AP computer science exam are female.



It's awesome that some kids can play princess stuff without get brand obsessed, and honestly, I think that is the key. But you cant deny the push for young girls to become more girly and pretty and sexy from an earlier and earlier age. I was in the 8-12 years old range only 15 years ago and I cant remember ONE girl wearing eyeliner on any kind of regular basis.

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#22 of 76 Old 06-30-2011, 06:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post




But things arent the way they were when any of us were growing up, they are changing rapidly.

This, from that pigtail blog that Hildare posted earlier:
By the numbers:

Global revenue generated by the Disney Princess products increased from $300 million in 2000 to $4 billion in 2009.

Percentage of 8-12 year old girls who regularly used eyeliner doubled between 2008 and 2010.

Nearly half of girls between the ages of 6-9yo regularly use lipstick or lip gloss.

$40 million a month: Amount of money 8-12yo girls spend on beauty products. A month. Biggest influence on their purchases is not peers or media. It is their mothers.

Barbie was introduced in 1959 with a target audience of 9-12yo girls. Today’s target audience is 3-7yo.

Age at which children express “brand consciousness”: 24 months.

25% of teen girls have posted nude or semi-nude photos of themselves online.

41% of 15-17yo girls and 29% of boys say they have participated in bullying someone online.

12,000 Botox injections were given to teens aged 13-19yo in 2009.

43,000 teens under the age of 18 had their appearance surgically altered in 2008.

48% of girls in grades 3-12 polled in 2000 asserted the most popular girls in school were “very thin”. By 2006 that number had risen to 60%.

60% of girls in grades 9-12 surveyed in 2006 were attempting to lose weight; only 10% of these same girls were considered medically overweight.

Only 15% of students taking the AP computer science exam are female.



It's awesome that some kids can play princess stuff without get brand obsessed, and honestly, I think that is the key. But you cant deny the push for young girls to become more girly and pretty and sexy from an earlier and earlier age. I was in the 8-12 years old range only 15 years ago and I cant remember ONE girl wearing eyeliner on any kind of regular basis.


SOOOO much of that is parents' influence. 

 

7 year old girls aren't going out and buying pants with sayings on the butt with their own money.  They aren't buying their own makeup, and they certainly aren't paying for their own Botox.

 

It's a parent culture problem, not a princess one.  So many parents today think their children ARE royalty, and can do no wrong.  They don't provide adequate boundaries, and there are many children who are truly spoiled with material items because their parents feel they are entitled to them.  

 

On a side note, I wore eyeliner at age 11, LOL.  It wasn't because I wanted to look like anyone.  I just liked how my eyes looked better with it on.

 

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#23 of 76 Old 06-30-2011, 06:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post




But things arent the way they were when any of us were growing up, they are changing rapidly.

This, from that pigtail blog that Hildare posted earlier:
By the numbers:

Global revenue generated by the Disney Princess products increased from $300 million in 2000 to $4 billion in 2009.

Percentage of 8-12 year old girls who regularly used eyeliner doubled between 2008 and 2010.

Nearly half of girls between the ages of 6-9yo regularly use lipstick or lip gloss.

$40 million a month: Amount of money 8-12yo girls spend on beauty products. A month. Biggest influence on their purchases is not peers or media. It is their mothers.

Barbie was introduced in 1959 with a target audience of 9-12yo girls. Today’s target audience is 3-7yo.

Age at which children express “brand consciousness”: 24 months.

25% of teen girls have posted nude or semi-nude photos of themselves online.

41% of 15-17yo girls and 29% of boys say they have participated in bullying someone online.

12,000 Botox injections were given to teens aged 13-19yo in 2009.

43,000 teens under the age of 18 had their appearance surgically altered in 2008.

48% of girls in grades 3-12 polled in 2000 asserted the most popular girls in school were “very thin”. By 2006 that number had risen to 60%.

60% of girls in grades 9-12 surveyed in 2006 were attempting to lose weight; only 10% of these same girls were considered medically overweight.

Only 15% of students taking the AP computer science exam are female.



It's awesome that some kids can play princess stuff without get brand obsessed, and honestly, I think that is the key. But you cant deny the push for young girls to become more girly and pretty and sexy from an earlier and earlier age. I was in the 8-12 years old range only 15 years ago and I cant remember ONE girl wearing eyeliner on any kind of regular basis.


Those are all troubling statistics but I don't think pretend princess play is to blame. I'd look more towards mtv and american obsession with celebrity as possible root causes for this. But, really, I think critical thinking when dealing with all types of media is key. If we as parents and people think critically about how we respond to popular culture and are vocal about it in front of our kids--without critiquing or wanting to control their responses--then hopefully we set up an open dialogue that empowers them to think for themselves.  

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#24 of 76 Old 06-30-2011, 06:57 PM
 
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This has nothing to do with playing princess.  The list you posted are primarily PARENT choices.  In order for a 6 year old to regularly wear makeup, the PARENT must have taken the child to the store, made the purchase, and taught the child to wear it...they are also the ones allowing the child to leave the house.  If tweens and early teens are having botox and plastic surgery, that is their PARENTS who consent, drive to the appointments, and sign the forms.  This has absolutely positively NOTHING to do with playing princess.  My 2 and 4 year old play princess DAILY with no influence from me...I don't give them disney movies (not as a protest...we just don't watch  many  movies)...they don't do princesses that are disney influenced...and it's certainly not because they want to grow up or do something that is unnatural for toddlers to do.  They are choosing naturally to do what toddlers often choose naturally to do.  And if my 6 year old wants to wear eyeliner out of the house, I am quite certain that I make the final call on that.  If *I* am portraying the image that you must be in makeup to be beautiful or you  must be thin to be beautiful, that is MY doing...not natural princess play.

 

The list you presented is a list of items that are influenced by female role models and their values regarding beauty, NOT a toddler girl in a twirly skirt pretending to be royalty while rescuing a few babies.  And that is a whole different thread.  That's a parenting issue...when you are driving your tween to a botox appointment, or driving your 1st grader to the store for makeup and letting her leave the house in it regularly, it is a parenting issue brought on by the children learning from their mother or other female role model that it is acceptable for a child to do.  I see more of a problem with Hannah Montana or iCarly being targeted to preschoolers than I do with toddlers pretending to be random unnamed princesses.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post




But things arent the way they were when any of us were growing up, they are changing rapidly.

This, from that pigtail blog that Hildare posted earlier:
By the numbers:

Global revenue generated by the Disney Princess products increased from $300 million in 2000 to $4 billion in 2009.

Percentage of 8-12 year old girls who regularly used eyeliner doubled between 2008 and 2010.

Nearly half of girls between the ages of 6-9yo regularly use lipstick or lip gloss.

$40 million a month: Amount of money 8-12yo girls spend on beauty products. A month. Biggest influence on their purchases is not peers or media. It is their mothers.

Barbie was introduced in 1959 with a target audience of 9-12yo girls. Today’s target audience is 3-7yo.

Age at which children express “brand consciousness”: 24 months.

25% of teen girls have posted nude or semi-nude photos of themselves online.

41% of 15-17yo girls and 29% of boys say they have participated in bullying someone online.

12,000 Botox injections were given to teens aged 13-19yo in 2009.

43,000 teens under the age of 18 had their appearance surgically altered in 2008.

48% of girls in grades 3-12 polled in 2000 asserted the most popular girls in school were “very thin”. By 2006 that number had risen to 60%.

60% of girls in grades 9-12 surveyed in 2006 were attempting to lose weight; only 10% of these same girls were considered medically overweight.

Only 15% of students taking the AP computer science exam are female.



It's awesome that some kids can play princess stuff without get brand obsessed, and honestly, I think that is the key. But you cant deny the push for young girls to become more girly and pretty and sexy from an earlier and earlier age. I was in the 8-12 years old range only 15 years ago and I cant remember ONE girl wearing eyeliner on any kind of regular basis.


 

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#25 of 76 Old 06-30-2011, 10:11 PM
 
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honestly looking back ... this is all overthinking on part of the parent.

 

my dd is almost 9 and as i look back man i see how much i overthought so many issues. princess was one of them. 

 

i had no choice. dd got into the princess thing from dc. i didnt encourage it. i didnt ignore it either. i gave what my dd needed. 

 

she got into princesses. figured out what she liked/disliked and totally got over it.

 

i tell you sometimes i look back and discover i have spent so much 'wasted' time on the right thing to do, when it was all a phase. letting dd realise her thing her way. 

 

i feel my parenting is just beginning. 

 

it isnt princess play that will get dd into all those female body focus. it is her peers teasing her that she is too <this> or too <that> that is the first focus on body issues. 

 

i mean come on. i have friends with dds. honestly none of them are what we are fearing our dd's to be. i have never met that stereotypical teen who is sooo into her body that she looses sense of who she is. i know quite a few middleschoolers who are getting interested - but not to the extent we are fearful about.

 

in my family the girls who ARE into all that have mom/s who were into all that too. 

 

at 5 dd used a lot of makeup. tonnes of bright ones at home and natural colours when she went out. 

 

once she was done with that phase make up means nothing to her these days except as body paint. art. 

 

i dont dress up myself but man i love princess stuff. when young victoria came out two years ago dd (7) and i went to watch it for her to know what its like to be a real princess. 

 

we still love princesses but at a whole different level far removed from body appeal. 

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#26 of 76 Old 07-01-2011, 12:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Only 15% of students taking the AP computer science exam are female.

I fail how to see how this is a) correlated in any with princess play, or b) a bad thing. Computer science is a "male-brained" field - it favours characteristically male traits, and if you take Simon Baron-Cohen's male-brained theory of autism (which I think is very sound), it makes sense that computer science majors are often Aspie and geeky - in order words, even more "male" than the average male. There's nothing wrong with the fact that women tend to favour fields which allow for greater expression of characteristically female traits, such as jobs involving interpersonal skills and language.

 

Sure, tendencies are just tendencies, and some women will have the kinds of brains and skills that work fantastically with computer science - hence the 15%. And it would certainly be cause for clucking if women weren't admitted into computer science courses; or if there was no reason for women to be less interested in those fields, except that they were too busy watching Aladdin to bone up their C++ skills. But as it is... so what? Some jobs attract women more than men; some attract men more than women. As long as women aren't measuring their worth by the percentage of the computer science field they dominate... what's the problem?

 

With regards to princesses - DD likes them. She loves twirly dresses, weddings (although I think she got that from my sister's wedding more than Disney), and dancing. I don't mind. I used to be anti-Disney, and my current feelings are mixed, but I do think many of their movies are damn well made, creative and even groundbreaking (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, anyone?). Some of the songs and art are brilliant, and I happen to think The Lion King and The Princess and the Frog in particular are masterpieces. Beauty and the Beast's pretty awesome too...

 

I do have limits, though. I don't buy DD the tacky, sweatshop-made, polyester-and-tulle branded character dresses, because I'm anti-sweatshops and besides, they're really badly made. I made her an incredibly boofy blue princess dress with pearls on the bodice, which she wears to her dancing class. She has a small amount of "bling" - her grandparents gave her a jewelry box with a few beaded necklaces and things in it for Christmas. Other than that, she's not huge on princess "props" or merchandise, mostly because we don't tend to randomly buy lunchboxes or T-shirts or whatever items Jasmine's face is plastered on these days. She will, however, transform a tea-towel or sarong or the baby's jumper into a veil and say "I'm getting married!"

 

When she gets older, we'll definitely have discussions about issues of gender in Disney movies, and whether the British monarchy is a Good Thing, and all that jazz. Right now we haven't gotten much further than "Yes, we have a real queen, she lives in England, her name's Elizabeth, like your aunty" and showing her photos from the Will and Kate wedding online. But hey, that's current events. :p In the meantime, I haven't noticed her wanting to be "saved" - honestly, I don't think the male characters in the films register much at all. She likes the pretty dresses for their own sake, not because they're man-catchin'. :p And as a PP said, it really isn't as simple as "Disney heroines are weak and passive and get saved by the men", anyway. That's a very lazy reading of any of the Disney films, particularly the more recent ones. Mulan? The Princess and the Frog? Tangled?

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#27 of 76 Old 07-01-2011, 05:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

 

I fail how to see how this is a) correlated in any with princess play, or b) a bad thing. Computer science is a "male-brained" field - it favours characteristically male traits, and if you take Simon Baron-Cohen's male-brained theory of autism (which I think is very sound), it makes sense that computer science majors are often Aspie and geeky - in order words, even more "male" than the average male. There's nothing wrong with the fact that women tend to favour fields which allow for greater expression of characteristically female traits, such as jobs involving interpersonal skills and language.

 

Sure, tendencies are just tendencies, and some women will have the kinds of brains and skills that work fantastically with computer science - hence the 15%. And it would certainly be cause for clucking if women weren't admitted into computer science courses; or if there was no reason for women to be less interested in those fields, except that they were too busy watching Aladdin to bone up their C++ skills. But as it is... so what? Some jobs attract women more than men; some attract men more than women. As long as women aren't measuring their worth by the percentage of the computer science field they dominate... what's the problem?

 

With regards to princesses - DD likes them. She loves twirly dresses, weddings (although I think she got that from my sister's wedding more than Disney), and dancing. I don't mind. I used to be anti-Disney, and my current feelings are mixed, but I do think many of their movies are damn well made, creative and even groundbreaking (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, anyone?). Some of the songs and art are brilliant, and I happen to think The Lion King and The Princess and the Frog in particular are masterpieces. Beauty and the Beast's pretty awesome too...

 

I do have limits, though. I don't buy DD the tacky, sweatshop-made, polyester-and-tulle branded character dresses, because I'm anti-sweatshops and besides, they're really badly made. I made her an incredibly boofy blue princess dress with pearls on the bodice, which she wears to her dancing class. She has a small amount of "bling" - her grandparents gave her a jewelry box with a few beaded necklaces and things in it for Christmas. Other than that, she's not huge on princess "props" or merchandise, mostly because we don't tend to randomly buy lunchboxes or T-shirts or whatever items Jasmine's face is plastered on these days. She will, however, transform a tea-towel or sarong or the baby's jumper into a veil and say "I'm getting married!"

 

When she gets older, we'll definitely have discussions about issues of gender in Disney movies, and whether the British monarchy is a Good Thing, and all that jazz. Right now we haven't gotten much further than "Yes, we have a real queen, she lives in England, her name's Elizabeth, like your aunty" and showing her photos from the Will and Kate wedding online. But hey, that's current events. :p In the meantime, I haven't noticed her wanting to be "saved" - honestly, I don't think the male characters in the films register much at all. She likes the pretty dresses for their own sake, not because they're man-catchin'. :p And as a PP said, it really isn't as simple as "Disney heroines are weak and passive and get saved by the men", anyway. That's a very lazy reading of any of the Disney films, particularly the more recent ones. Mulan? The Princess and the Frog? Tangled?


... you really think that the lack of women in computer science isn't a bad thing?  what? dizzy.gif i am not even sure how to respond to that. the fact that some consider things to be "male brained" shows a huge problem, one that's not improved by the princess stuff.

mamas who are defensive about princess play.. i'm not saying you're harming your kids by letting them play whatever.  the problem i have is when it's presented to our kids through the media, and through a walk through the toy department of any store, that this is the only option for them.  when boys are encouraged to be active in their play, while girls are encouraged to play passive sorts of games that are centered around appearances.  there is a difference. 

i guess, though, i feel like it's more of a symptom than a problem.  it concerns me, because the more these limited options are given, the more girls embrace them and self regulate in group settings-- where ALL girls play princess, or something is wrong.  this also excludes boys, who are being limited in a whole other way.  no, it's not wrong for kids to play princess.  but for me, i want to avoid this being something for my daughter-- i don't want her to spend time thinking about her appearance in that way, and i want her to play all kinds of other things.   i'd love for her to become a computer scientist, and i certainly don't want her to think that's a 'male' field, whatever that means!  I feel like princess culture, and the push from the media (i'm not talking about you, mamas) push girls to focus on appearance, which DOES lead to those statistics AM quoted.. and eating disorders, and body image problems.  I don't see why it's so important to be pretty, when there are so many other, more meaningful things to be.

 

maybe the difference in the way we all view this comes from our own identity-- dh and i are activists.  we met in an anarchist group.  we want dd to learn that people are equal, and that appearances are pretty much bs, along with buying and owning stuff.  that's just not who we are.. we expect dd to know that the measure of a person has nothing to do with accumulated wealth, or external appearance.. it's a very very fundamental part of our core beliefs.  that and, obviously, as anarchists, we're very opposed to hierarchy and the idea of 'princesses.'  one of our favorite hiphop groups, the coup, have a lyric that we love that speaks to this..."tell your teacher princesses ARE evil/how they got all their money was they KILLED people."  so.. in our family, there's a whole different set of values and expectations.  just because we see things this way doesn't mean that i am attacking you for letting your kids put on a poofy dress.  there's no reason to get that defensive about it unless you're a little troubled about what it might mean yourself, you know?

 


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#28 of 76 Old 07-01-2011, 05:48 AM
 
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But even in your own post you did it...boys need to be active.  Boys shouldn't play passively.  It's great that boys toys center around being active (which, I've only seen as military/shooting/violence.  The active toys that I've seen that are non-violent/non-star wars/non-military are geared to both sexes).  So even in your post, you supported the stereotype that boys must be active shoot em up kind of boys.  Why?  Why is that a good thing that passive imaginative play is not encouraged for boys?  Why is this ONLY a problem for girls and princesses?

 

To be a bit more objective...  Spending time in a toy aisle, this is what I see...

 

-Active things marketed towards girls, plastered with pink, dora, princesses including bikes, water toys, and sports equipment.

-Active things marketed towards boys, plastered with star wars, dinosaurs, spiderman, and weapons including bikes, water toys, and sports equipment.

-Active things marketed towards either gender, which are often bright but neutral colors with little to no decorations, and include items above, such as bikes, water toys, and sports equipment.

-Girly 'themed' items including dora & princess dolls, dresses, makeup kits, and house play.

-Items aimed at being boy themed, including items with guns and other weapons.

-Pink/licensed characters such as dora, strawberry shortcake, polly pocket

-'boy themed' licensed characters such as star wars, bakugon, and transformers

-Neutral themed items such as blocks or Little People

-Board games aimed at girls which are variations on traditional games, such as dora chutes & ladders

-Board games aimed at boys which are variations on traditional games, such as R2D2 Sorry

-Board games aimed at both genders, including twister, sorry, boggle, etc.

 

So, objectively looking at things, there are active, passive, licensed, and traditional toys aimed at both genders.  A parent has the choice of all of this play in licensed or unlicensed or gender neutral characters.  All "girl" things are not appearance related and all 'boy' things are not gun related.  But, when licensing comes into play, it does trend that girl stuff will be labeled with dora or princesses and boy things will be labeled with superheros or star wars.  But those aren't the *only* options, and there are plenty of active, passive, and traditional options being marketed to both genders individually and then gender neutrally.


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#29 of 76 Old 07-01-2011, 05:55 AM
 
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AR: are you referring to my post?  the one in which i said "when boys are encouraged to be active in their play, while girls are encouraged to play passive sorts of games that are centered around appearances.  there is a difference. 

i guess, though, i feel like it's more of a symptom than a problem.  it concerns me, because the more these limited options are given, the more girls embrace them and self regulate in group settings-- where ALL girls play princess, or something is wrong.  this also excludes boys, who are being limited in a whole other way."  I thought I was making it pretty obvious that i feel that the limitations and harmful sterotypes affect ALL children. 

it's NOT good for boys to be told that they can only play active games/activities.  And that, and by your own admission in an earlier post, 'boys can't be princesses.' i wonder why not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllyRae View Post

But even in your own post you did it...boys need to be active.  Boys shouldn't play passively.  It's great that boys toys center around being active (which, I've only seen as military/shooting/violence.  The active toys that I've seen that are non-violent/non-star wars/non-military are geared to both sexes).  So even in your post, you supported the stereotype that boys must be active shoot em up kind of boys.  Why?  Why is that a good thing that passive imaginative play is not encouraged for boys?  Why is this ONLY a problem for girls and princesses?

 


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#30 of 76 Old 07-01-2011, 06:20 AM
 
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I agree with Limabean. It's probably just a phase.  Try not to react to it or pay very much attention to it, as that will just add to the attraction.  Let her enjoy a princess-y phase and eventually she'll get interested in something else.

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