This was an interesting read for me. When the whole Disney Princess franchise came to be I was about eleven years old and I was totally not into it. Sure, I have seen every Disney Princess film at least once (my friends dragged me to "The Princess and the Frog" when it was in theaters) but it wasn't what I was interested in as a kid. "Sleeping Beauty," "Beauty and the Beast," "Snow White," "Cinderella," "The Little Mermaid," and "Pocahontas" just weren't movies that I wanted to watch. My younger sister, who is ten years younger than me, on the other hand was swallowed up by the Disney Princess Franchise. She had every Disney Princess dress-up costume, several Princess Dolls, every Disney Princess Movie, the sequels to the movies, the sing-along movies, books, you name it, she probably had it. So when Orenstein mentions that there were 26,000 Disney Princess items, it doesn't surprise me seeing that my sister must have had almost two hundred Disney Princess items and there was an almost endless amount of items that she didn't have.
One day when she was about four, my sister told me that she wanted to be a princess when she grew up and she asked me if I had wanted to be a princess when I was four years old. I told her no and that when I was four I wanted to be a firefighter (see the picture below). She cocked her head in a confused manner and said: "Oh, when you were a little boy?" That conversation I had with my sister about eight years ago describes what Christensen talked about in the text "Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us" and the secret education. The two terms that describes a person who fights fires are: "firefighter" and "fireman." The word "firewoman" is not in the dictionary. At the age of four my sister had it in her mind that only little boys could want to become firefighters (or firemen) when they grew up and little girls could only want to become princesses when they grew up. One of the lines that really stood out to em was when Orenstein said: "The boys seem to be exploring the world, while the girls explored femininity." My mother used to work at an early childhood center and in the dress-up corner the boys would have policemen costumes, firemen costumes and Superman/Batman/Spiderman costumes when they girls would have princess dresses. Why can't they have a police woman costume, or a fire-woman costume?
Me dressed up as a firefighter for Halloween 1994 (age 4).
The part of the article that really stood out to me was the part titled "Pinked." There was one theme in that that I don't think is true. She mentioned that when she was going through the Toy Fair one of the vendor mentioned that: "I guess girls are just born loving the color pink." I am female and pink was never my favorite color and I never had a fondness for pink things. My parents painted my childhood bedroom pink when I was about three years old and while my room was all the rage with my little girl friends I didn't particularly care for it. I didn't hate it but I didn't love it. My room stayed the soft pink color even after we moved out of the house almost seven years later.
My Pink bedroom and me in 1997
-Things to Think about-
I don't think that girls are born to love the color pink. I think that because society has automatically thrust the color upon little girls it has become a learned trait that starts from infancy. "It's a Girl!" balloons are always pink. This also goes back to the secret education that Christensen talked about. Orenstein also pointed out that there was a time when pink was associated with boys and blue was associated with girls. Pink was a variation of red which was considered a powerful and masculine color.