Monday, March 31, 2014

Cinderella ate my daughter by Peggy Orenstein (Quotes)

This article was very interesting and made many different points, but the ones that stuck out the most to me were: The importance of appearance (for girls), masculinity, and race

Quote 1
"Although Mulan and Pocahontas are officially part of the club, i defy you to find them in the stores. They were, until late 2009, the brownest-skinned princesses, as well as the ones with the least bling potential."

its no surprise that this is the case, because of the class and race issues of our society. it's interesting to have it pointed out that they have the least "bling potential" and they are of a different race. this reminds me of our society today and the majority of minority groups being withheld from equal opportunities due to their race, versus the privileges that white people are accustomed to. majority of Disney Princesses are white and theres only a slight representation of any other race (Like it was mentioned in Christensen's Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us). another thing that struck me was the story lines of the non-white Disney Princesses and noticed that there ambition, at least for most of the movie, wasn't about snatching up a Prince to live happily ever after. Mulan wanted to protect her father, Tiana dreamed of owning her own restaurant, even Jasmine was trying to defy her father about being married off. while Cinderella wanted to get to the ball for the Prince and Ariel left everything she knew and sacrificed her voice for Prince Eric (who she didn't even speak to once before she made this decision). the contrast is definitely something to be noticed. The ethnic princesses had more substance to them (or some would say "masculine" qualities, which are seen as unattractive in women), compared to the white Princesses, but they are still the least popular.

Quote 2
"And guess who preformed better on a math test, coeds who took it after being asked to try on a bathing suit or those who had been asked to try on a sweater?(Hint: the latter group; interestingly, male students showed no such disparity)"

The fact that girls seeing themselves in a bathing suit effected how they preformed on a test should have bells and whistles going off! this is a serious problem that girls main focus is their appearance, rather than other aspects of their lives. The male students weren't effected at all shows how our society has spilt up what is and isn't important based on gender. girls can't aspire to be more without also worrying about how they look. at a young age girls are being complimented on their looks and they learn from then on that your looks get you attention and can become useful in certain situations. boys have to worry about being successful, while girls to worry about that, they also focus on how they look doing it.

Quote 3
"Boys as young as four said their daddies would think it was "bad" if they played with "girls" toys, even something as innocuous as miniature dishes."

Masculinity is most important in our patriarchal society, so when boys show any "feminine" quality or interests, there are consequences. At a young age, boys are told to "man up", be successful, get the good job, get married and have kids to provide for. Society has shoved our boys into the box known as the "norm" and if they color outside the lines, then the backlash can be extremely hurtful, physically and psychologically. everything is gendered, to the point that 4 year olds can figure out what is a "girls" or "boys" toy. the two categories, feminine and masculine, make it so girls have to be feminine and boys have to be masculine. neither can show qualities of the opposite sex because that is seen as unattractive. which brings me back to how the non-white Disney Princesses who have masculine qualities, which is unattractive in women and is most likely one of the reasons behind them being the least popular among young girls.

* i would like to talk about how the Disney Princesses that posses some masculine qualities are least popular and how thats a representation of our societies importance of gender roles.


  1. Great post!! I thought you analyzed the quotes greatly, which awesome connections. I agree that masculinity is a major and important factor in our patriarchal society that we live in... even at birth we have this idea of what describes a boy and girl... pink for girls and blue for boys.. princesses for girls and trucks for boys.

  2. The contrast you made in your analysis of the first quote was something I've never noticed! Wow, thank you! And I think your analysis on the third quote hold a good point....boys are taught early on that femininity is a a bad thing, and I think that's a good reason that many boys use feminizing other boys as a means of bullying and making fun of one another, which is sad.