The Princess Problem: Guiding Our Girls Through the Princess-Obsessed Years

Rebecca C. Hains. Sourcebooks, $14.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-4022-9403-7
Children’s media expert Hains (Growing Up with Girl Power) investigated a dominant cultural force in little girls’ lives through an unusual method: moonlighting as a costumed birthday party princess. She learned that parents are aware of the potential problems, like unrealistic body image and lowered self-esteem, associated with the princess obsession; they just don’t know what to do about it. “Princess culture” is more than a phase when girls aged 2–10 enjoy pretty pink tutus, movies, and toys—it is an unavoidable, gender-segregated media and marketing phenomenon fueled primarily by Disney’s Princess Collection line of branded items, which has thus far generated $4 billion in sales. Hains’s dissection of princess marketing reveals inherent gender stereotypes, centered on romance, beauty, passivity (at least until Frozen), and ethnic homogeneity, with non-Caucasians accorded only token representation. To beat the “Pretty Princess Mandate,” Hains prescribes “Pop Culture Coaching.” In four step-by-step chapters, she offers parents advice on how to decide which values are important to them, talk to their kids about the media, and set a “healthy media diet.” The princess culture issue was previously addressed in 2011 in Peggy Orenstein’s Cinderella Ate My Daughter, but Hains adds to the discussion with these practical parenting tips. Agent: Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/2014
Release date: 09/01/2014
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4022-9404-4
Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-4022-9405-1
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