Cinderella blues

In What’s Wrong With Cinderella? in the New York Times Magazine, feminist writer Peggy Orenstein bemoans her three-year-old daughter’s princess complex.

To call princesses a “trend” among girls is like calling Harry Potter a book. Sales at Disney Consumer Products, which started the craze six years ago by packaging nine of its female characters under one royal rubric, have shot up to $3 billion, globally, this year, from $300 million in 2001. There are now more than 25,000 Disney Princess items. “Princess,” as some Disney execs call it, is not only the fastest-growing brand the company has ever created; they say it is on its way to becoming the largest girls’ franchise on the planet.

Orenstein worries about the stereotype, but wonders if she’s just a second-wave feminist in a third-wave world.

Maybe princesses are in fact a sign of progress, an indication that girls can embrace their predilection for pink without compromising strength or ambition; that, at long last, they can “have it all.” Or maybe it is even less complex than that: to mangle Freud, maybe a princess is sometimes just a princess. And, as my daughter wants to know, what’s wrong with that?

Girls who love to play with princess dolls consider Prince Charming an accessory, Orenstein writes. The prince stays in the box till he’s needed for the wedding kiss. That certainly was true of the Ken doll.

About Joanne


  1. Peggy talks about her “struggle” about her daughter’s interests. Peggy thinks its all about her.

    I scoffed when reading her article. This woman is stuck in the 70s. Her leftist leanings are showing through. Disney, apparently, has too easy a time selling the Tinkerbell brand. LOL. Only the NY Times would print such drivel.

    As a father myself, the only struggle I have is being the most supportive Dad I can be. Too bad the Times doesn’t care to print more reasonable parent perspectives.