I checked this book out after a long philosophical conversation I had with my son’s girlfriend about how toy companies are “gender stereotyping” their product lines. In other words: Why is everything freaking PINK???
In this book, Orenstein seeks to find out why. Not only does she investigate the Disney princess phenomenon, but also Barbie, American Girl, the world of Toddlers & Tiaras and the Disney “princess” train wrecks such as Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, etc…the book has been out for a couple of years and in a way, I’m glad I didn’t read it before because it is interesting to see how some of Orenstein’s theories played out. Would Selena Gomez prove to be “different” from all of those who came before her? Who would be the next “it” girl?
Orenstein doesn’t have a lot of answers, but she asks a LOT of great questions. She is sympathetic to the fascination little girls have with all things princess even if it irks her a bit. (She gets a little testy when she realizes that ultra feminist super hero Wonder Woman is in fact, an Amazonian princess named Diana.) She wonders why every toy for girls has to be bathed in Pepto Bismol in order to sell. (Think back 40 years and you will notice a HUGE difference in the colors of toys, even those geared to turn girls into happy homemakers.) And she even talks about how the target market for products continues to get younger and younger forcing us to raise a bunch of six-year-olds going on 16.
I can’t say enough about this book. I really enjoyed it and I think anyone with an interest in women’s studies, or who is the parent of a daughter should really take this book in. Buy It…it’s worth it!