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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

why do little girls like princess stuff so much?


There’s been lots of handwringing — most of it entirely justified — over the bad messages little girls get from the princess crap they all seem to love so much. Pinkness! Glitter! Chiffon! Ugh! But why do little girls embrace that? There hasn’t been much discussion about this conundrum, as far as I can see.

Let’s posit a few things. One, little girls (like little boys) are not stupid. Two, little girls (like little boys) have active imaginations. Three, little girls (like little boys) are paying closer attention than we might think they are, and are heeding the lessons we grownups are passing down to them.

And what are those lessons? Well, a few big ones can be gleaned from kids’ movies. Kids’ movies are almost always good for huge box office, meaning that lots of kids are going to see them, even when the characters they’re about can be seen on TV every day. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water just opened to megamillions in North America; it hasn’t opened in the U.K. yet because (most likely) it needed to stay out of the way of the current No. 1 at the U.K. box office, Big Hero 6, which only just opened last week, and the other big kiddie flick that opened on Friday, Shaun the Sheep Movie, No. 3 at this past weekend’s box office (and also based on a TV show).

So, all the millions of kids who went to see these three movies over this past weekend, what did they learn? A major lesson is this: Who gets to be the hero of their own stories? A boy sponge. A boy sheep. And a boy human. No matter how cool girls might be — and there are some cool girls in Big Hero 6, at least — they have to stand aside and let the boys be the center of attention. Girls can help boys be heroes, but girls don’t get to be heroes themselves.

And if we look at the all-time top G-rated movies, we see that what kids have learned from the movies aimed at them over the past 25 years or so is this: Heroes can be lions, toys, fish, monsters, cars, and robots… as long as they’re boy lions, toys, fish, monsters, cars, and robots. Heroes can be rats, bugs, elephants, dogs, and birds… as long as they’re boy rats, bugs, elephants, dogs, and birds. Heroes can even be human boys once in a while! Who are the girls who get their own stories about their own lives? Beauty (of and the Beast fame) and Pocahontas.

What about the all-time top PG-rated films? If you want to be a hero, you can be a boy Jedi knight, a boy ogre, a boy supervillain, or a boy wizard. Oh, you’re a girl? You can be a Disney princess. Or Alice in Wonderland… who is an unofficial Disney princess, anyway.

Sure, girls can — and plenty girls do — appropriate the boy heroes for themselves, imagine themselves as Jedi knights or wizards in their own adventures. But they shouldn’t have to. Boys don’t have to do that. Boys go to the movies and they see people who look or sound like them having adventures and doing exciting things and maybe even saving the day (or the world!). Girls go to the movies and they either see people who look or sound like them helping boys… or once in a rare while, they see a girl or a woman at the center of her own story with people — sometimes boys! — supporting and helping her in her adventure.

And it just so happens that all of those girls and women are princesses. All. Of. Them.

This is what movies tell little girls: If you want to be the hero of your own story, the star of your own life, you have to be a princess. Only princesses get that option.

(And thanks so much to Jupiter Ascending for reinforcing the Hollywood contention that the only women worth telling stories about are princesses. And it’s not even a kiddie flick!)

Is it any wonder that little girls embrace the princess? We’ve told them that the only way they can be fierce and powerful and in charge is if they’re a princess!

Little girls are not stupid. They’ve heard what we grownups are saying. And they are telling us in reply: “I am powerful. I am in charge. I am the hero of my own life. So I guess that makes me a princess.”

  • bronxbee


  • RogerBW

    Makes sense. To test it, we’ll need 10,000 children kept in isolation from the outside world, and a major film studio…

    (I dare say the studios would complain that they’re only producing what audiences want, but given how they screw up marketing of anything even faintly unusual that’s really just an admission of incompetence.)

  • Danielm80

    I heard one author say, “I don’t want to be a princess. I want to be the queen.” It may have been Kirsten Miller, who wrote the Kiki Strike books.


    One of the characters in the series is a princess, but she’s also a spy, foils criminal plots, and has adventures in underground cities. These days, there are quite a few books for younger readers about princesses who go off on wild adventures. The Princess in Black fights monsters.


    I hope that, in a decade or so, when we talk about princesses who are delicate creatures and wait around in their tiaras for handsome princes to come, we’ll get blank stares and the kids will think that we’ve utterly lost our minds.

  • Bluejay

    I think the movies could learn a lot from the show Legend of Korra. The numerous female characters — all of whom receive significant screen time, most of whom are at the center of their own stories, and who all frequently dominate entire scenes and episodes — include a police chief, a city leader, a CEO-inventor-engineer, a healer, a spiritual acolyte who later emerges as a master, a super-competent Pepper Potts-type assistant who turns out to be her boss’ equal, a couple of assassins, a military leader… and the most powerful human being in the universe. Not a princess among them. By series’ end, what the show has accomplished for female representation (as well as POC representation and queer representation) is, I think, astonishing — not just for an American animated “kids’ show” that no one expected would take things so far, but for a general pop culture landscape that sadly still doesn’t know what to do with women in its stories.

    Full disclosure: Korra is the sequel to a series you didn’t particularly like, Avatar: The Last Airbender. But it’s a more mature story, and a very clearly woman-centered one; whenever I read the criteria for the “Where Are The Women?” project I can’t help thinking that the show passes all your green-score tests with flying colors. I think it’s a shining example of just what a story with excellent representation of women can look like. If only “kids’ movies” — and movies in general — would follow suit.

  • Lynn

    I think Frozen did as well as it did because Elsa was a superhero. It had all the trappings of a princess story but a character arc out of x-men. Tangled was close, but as a good girl she didn’t get to use her power for much more than healing and comic relief.

    Big Hero 6 the girls had powers and a job that was really interesting, but no one besides Hiro and the villain got any character development whatsoever. It’s doesn’t compare well at all to, say, the Incredibles.

    Also know this is beating a dead horse, but I fully agree that Korra is the only female led superhero series I can think of currently airing, and also has a wide variety of positive female portrayals throughout.

    Also, I think you can’t underestimate feedback with the princess phenomenon. Girls will get more positive feedback from wearing dress than wearing a batman costume. All it takes is an unapproving caregiver or peer, and she learns that jedis and superheroes are things she needs to check before sharing with others.

  • *Frozen* is amazing on so many levels. But it still has princesses at its center.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    The Liz Burns article is well worth the read.

  • Jurgan

    A good subversion of this trope is Adventure Time. Every female character has the title “princess,” and it’s never really explained why (it’s post-apocalyptic- maybe they rebuilt society based on old movies, and thought all women were princesses?). Yet they all have individual characters and personalities- Bubblegum is a brilliant scientist, Lumpy Space Princess is a stuck-up valley girl, Flame Princess is a troubled teenager with a cruel father, etc. I heard a story about a little girl using Princess Bubblegum as an example to shut up her brother when he said girls couldn’t be scientists. The only exception is Marceline the Vampire Queen, and queen seems to trump princess.

  • Bluejay

    I don’t think the issue is that princesses can’t be awesome or powerful or be in charge or have adventures; of course they can. And there’s nothing wrong with girls (and boys) being attracted to that aspect of princess stories. But MAJ is pointing out that — at least in children’s movies and probably in much of children’s entertainment — princesses are overwhelmingly the most visible option to see girls who are powerful or awesome or in charge or have adventures.

    It would be as if the stories we told about cool boys having awesome adventures were always about princes living in castles and saving their kingdoms; no computer geeks, no swashbuckling archaeologists, no superheroes, no spies, no crazy inventors, no talking animals, no wizards, no pirates. Just princes, everywhere, all the time. (Or, they’d be princes who were also science geeks or spies or pirates or wizards — but for some bizarre reason they also had to be princes.) I’d think that would be rather limiting.

  • Bluejay

    But does it really subvert the trope if its female characters, no matter how different and distinctive they are, are all still called “princesses”? That was kind of MAJ’s point.

  • Danielm80

    That’s one issue. Another is that, until recently, even princesses have been limited to a very particular kind of adventure, with a prince at the end. I’m happy that those limits are starting to go away. I’d be happier if we also got a Ms. Marvel movie and a Franny K. Stein: Mad Scientist movie and a Nellie Bly biopic and a film version of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente.

    “I don’t want to be a Princess,” she said finally. “You can’t make me be one.” She knew very well what became of Princesses, as Princesses often get books written about them. Either terrible things happened to them, such as kidnappings and curses and pricking fingers and getting poisoned and locked up in towers, or else they just waited around till the Prince finished with the story and got around to marrying her. Either way, September wanted nothing to do with Princessing.

    ― Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There

  • Bluejay

    And for the littlest readers (or bedtime-story-listeners), there’s The Paper Bag Princess — from 1980! Robert Munsch was streets ahead on that one.

  • Danielm80

    I like that one so much I forgive him for Love You Forever.

  • Bluejay

    I can see what the issues with Love You Forever might be — but I have to say, reading that story to our own kid years ago, that book brought us to tears every time. Every. Damn. Time. :-)

  • Lynn

    I know, I just think whether they intended or not, they got a ‘chocolate in my peanut butter’ movie.

    I really don’t think Anna/Hans or Anna/Kristoph on their own would have carried the movie. What people remember is Elsa taking her gloves off.

    I am just hoping someone in the machine recognizes princesses with superpowers is an untapped market. It’d be a step in the right direction, at least.

  • Danielm80

    That’s one of several beloved books that many children’s librarians hate. The others include The Giving Tree and The Rainbow Fish.


    Your family, of course, can love it as deeply as you want.

  • That was my point.

  • Bluejay

    As I said, I can see the reasons for the hate, and they’re valid reasons. We love it because we bonded over it as a bedtime story; it perfectly captures the intensity of a parent’s unconditional love for their child, even if it fails to acknowledge that the expression of that love has to change over time as the child matures. And the fact that the grown child at the end turns around and returns that love and care? Parental tears guaranteed.

    Knowing the story behind the book might also cast it in a different light:


    I’m not familiar with The Rainbow Fish, but yeah, I didn’t like The Giving Tree either. But I think we’ve gone on enough of a tangent here. :-)

  • How about just an Anna and Elsa who *aren’t princesses*?

  • Constable

    Streets ahead indeed, hail Hawthorn.

  • Jurgan

    Eh, maybe “subversion” was too strong a word. Parody, perhaps.

  • Tonio Kruger

    Funny thing here… is that boys are often criticized for their oddball choices as well. We just get trained not to care.

    If we join the chess club, we’re weird.

    If we like Dungeons and Dragons, we’re weird.

    If we like Monty Python, we’re weird.

    If we like acting out our own adventures, we’re weird.

    If we like comic books beyond a certain age, we’re weird.

    If we like any class in school that’s not P.E., we’re weird.

    And of course, if we like Star Trek

    Of course, most boys learn not to care about the approval of others because they’re not going to get it anyway. Most girls, unfortunately, seem to be socialized differently.

    Of course, it also depends on what crowd you hang out with, what neighborhood you grow up in and a hundred other factors but it’s not like one group has that much more freedom than the others. Or that the privileges of one group of men or women is not often checkmated by factors that are often invisible to people outside that group.

    Besides, many women grow up with privileges that few of them ever see the necessity to perceive, much less confront. For example, the freedom not to be beat up in one’s own home…

    Some women don’t have to worry about it. Some women do. And some guys I grew up with are more familiar with the practice than you’ll ever know.

    Then again guys are also socialized not to go public with their problems.

    “Don’t be a whiner.”

    “Don’t let ’em know.”

    “Don’t get ’em the satisfaction of knowing that they hurt you.”

    And not of all this socialization is a good thing even though it is seen as a survival trait.

    But that’s a subject for another day.

  • LaSargenta

    Maybe for another day; but, to me, it is actually all tied up with the issues of the girls. Different manifestation of the same problems.

  • Try being a girl who likes D&D, and even the weird D&D guys won’t let you play with them…

  • Constable

    Did you know that nickelodeon cut them to a mini-series originally because they refused to go with a male lead? Later the show was cut from it’s regular air time and it’s funding was reduced because of the above mentioned “queer representation.” I can’t wait to see what the writers do now that they have creative freedom finally.

  • Danielm80
  • bronxbee


  • Bluejay

    most boys learn early on not to care about the approval of others

    Strongly disagree. Boys learn early on to align their interests and desires with the prevalent social messages of How to Be a Real Man, and That Other Stuff is for Girls and Sissies; and if the “weird” nonconformist boys didn’t care, they wouldn’t spend their childhoods feeling lonely and terrified and ashamed and resentful. This sexism stuff hurts everyone.

    The New Statesman article that Danielm80 links to is really worth the read.

  • Bluejay

    Later the show was cut from it’s regular air time and it’s funding was reduced because of the above mentioned “queer representation.”

    Nickelodeon DID mistreat the show, but my understanding is that it was for other reasons — based on the timing of their actions as well as statements by the creators. But that’s probably a discussion for another place and time.

    I’m amazed that Korra turned out as excellently as it did despite all the obstacles in its path, and, like you, I can’t wait to see what Konietzko and DiMartino do next.

  • Exactly. We always care about the approval of others, even though we often don’t wish to admit it. Especially when growing up.
    I’ve dealt with this “How to be a Real man” crap since I was little and fell in love with nature. Flowers are for girls, and all that.

  • Tonio Kruger

    Fair enough.

    But my original intent was not to argue that boys have it better or even that boys have it worse. (After all, as many horror stories as I’ve heard from various male acquaintances and relatives about the experiences of their youth, I’ve heard many more from female acquaintances and relatives about their lives, many of which I wish I was making up just so I could sleep better at night.) It was that boys get criticized as often as girls but we are encouraged to react differently.

    In any event, if all the situation was as simple as my original post suggested, the whole problem would have been solved a long time ago so I guess I should have thought twice before writing my last post.

    As for Danielm80’s post, I have read it before and for it’s worth, I have little interest in defending the Bill Gates and Steve Jobs of the world.


    I once worked in an assembly line in a cement factory and for many years, I thought that was one of the most dehumanizing jobs I could ever imagine. Then I went to train for a job in a clean room a few years back –and suddenly that assembly line job did not seem so bad. A lot of the people who were also applying for that job were either women or minorities if not both. One was pregnant — and she was told quite bluntly during the training process, that there was a great possibility that she might be exposed to radiation or dangerous chemicals. She stayed in the process, anyway, for reasons I do not know — though I doubt it was because she thought the job in question was the ideal position for a woman in her condition. More likely, it was because it was the best job she could hope to get at that time — and since the Bush recession was still in force back then, I fear that she would not have been wrong.

    I could say more but I go off-topic enough on this forum as it is and I do not wish to abuse our hostess’s hospitality.

    But it’s safe to say that whatever my last post might have indicated, I am not a big fan of nerd entitlement.

  • Tonio Kruger

    My youngest brother worked his way through college by working in the college horticulture department and my father had a garden in the back yard of almost every house he owned. He was hardly the most politically correct man I ever knew but it’s safe to say that neither he nor my youngest brother would argue that flowers were for girls and all that…

  • Tonio Kruger

    One of the reasons I got into movie soundtracks — and by extension, movie reviews — was because my best friend in junior high and high school was a big movie musical fan. By comparison, the more conventional musician types in those schools would not have given me the time of the day.

    I must admit that I am often clueless about a lot of issues that you care about but I am not always as clueless as I appear to be. Even when my mouth and my fingers obviously work faster than my brain.

    Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.

  • Jurgan

    The other stereotype is that they do let you join but then creepily fetishize you as the “gamer chick,” and expect you’ll have instant romantic chemistry because of similar interests.

  • Jesse

    My take on it this has always been different from other peoples. I see princesses like heroes are archetypes that have been passed down from generation to generation because they hold the kernel of some deeper psychological truth. And as archetypes they are something we each hold a bit of. The hero isn’t supposed to be ‘male’ as in physically male nor is the princess supposed to be ‘female’ as in physically female. These archetypes represent the masculine and feminine so occupy different spots on the spectrum. So, even though I’m a woman, I can accept a female archetype- namely the princess one or adopt the male archetype of the hero because all they are are spots on the masculine-feminine spectrum that every one contains.

  • Selenae

    You mention that Alice is an “unofficial Disney princess.” I think that’s a major part of the problem. Disney is so closely associated with princesses that female heroes like Alice and Mulan get lumped into the “princess” category.
    (Or were you not counting Mulan because she had to be a boy in order to be the hero?)

  • Who says I wasn’t counting Mulan? Disney counts Mulan — look, she’s in that image at the top of the post. *Disney* has lumped her into the princess category, not me.

  • Selenae

    I wasn’t assuming, I was asking. Mulan isn’t royalty; it would’ve been no harder to lump her into the “boy hero” category than the “princess” category.
    Disney’s dressing Mulan in pink glitter and calling her a princess seems like exactly the problem your post was describing. They chose not to portray her as a female hero.

  • Exactly. Even Disney thinks girls have to be princesses to be the heroes of their own stories.

  • rosterri

    I just escaped the trolls’ comments on your Cinderella review to come over to this thread. Big sigh of relief to see the considered opinions here. I was starting to get depressed.

  • Steve Gagen

    Films seem to be pretty much a lost cause – but there are some great children’s books with strong female characters in them! Anything by Margaret Mahy is always worthwhile – one of my favourites is “The Man Whose Mother was a Pirate”. When I read Enid Blyton’s “Famous Five” books as a child I always identified with Georgina as the most likeable character – though admittedly she was described as a tomboy who preferred to be called Georgie! Then there are Madeleine L’Engle’s stories – particularly “A Wrinkle in Time”. And of course there is Alice, of Wonderland and Looking-Glass fame!

  • Rebecca Dalmas

    I just finished a book (won’t spoil it) where the majority of the time the bookfocuses on the cast looking for the kidnapped main, but she in the end saves herself in stunning fashion.

    I am certain the author took great pleasure in that.

  • Summeriris

    Because then they wouldn’t have power in that world. I think the operative word here is power. Elsa has power and she is terrified of it. The entire movie is really about how Elsa learns to control and use her power. Anna also has power and she too has to learn to use it wisely and well. Her power of love and empathy is just as strong as Elsa’s, but she doesn’t use it well in the beginning. She has to learn who is worthy of her love and who isn’t. I liked the fact that the Prince turned out to be a worthless jerk and the poor ice cutter was the brave and honourable man of principle. But when you are creating a world based on the real history of a country, it has to be kept in mind that in the history of the world…women had very little power.

  • I don’t think *Frozen* is based on “real history.” And if it is… well, why does it have to be? Why can’t be imagine fantasy worlds — *fantasy* worlds — in which women hold the power?

    I’ll answer that myself: because it would upset too many people.

  • Summeriris

    Well the film is sort of based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale and he lived in a real time and his country has a real history. I think this happens because people do like the familiar, look at LOTR. There was a complete fantasy land but we all recognised it. Even in a totally alien landscape we got a film last year with strong female characters and it was riddled with sexism. I’m talking about ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’. At least in Frozen we got two strong female characters who didn’t depend on a man to resolve their major conflict.

  • Tonio Kruger

    I heard one author say, “I don’t want to be a princess. I want to be the queen.”

    Poor girls want to be rich;
    rich girls want to be queen.
    And a queen ain’t satisfied
    Till she rules everything.

  • Pixie Pie

    Because being next in line to the throne, governing a nation is so humiliating for a female….when I was a kid, I wanted to be a princess because it meant I would be the boss someday. It’s a position of importance, and I wanted to be important.

  • Peter Radcliff

    I’m new to the site – there are some excellent articles here. I love Jesse’s particular comment. It’s a good way to look at it. As a dad, I hate the idea of introducing some stories to my daughter. Not so much princesses, but to me it’s like Cinderella – if you fit the mold, you win the prince; in Beauty & the Beast, he’s a beast but you can change him; Sleeping Beauty, all you need is a kiss and you’ll wake up – and on and on.

  • RogerBW

    I recommend earlier versions of Beauty and the Beast over the Disney. The original story is “handsome is as handsome does”; Disney turned it into “you can change a nasty man”.

  • Pinkk

    I don’t think that’s the case at all. Disney Princess has just become a brand. A brand that they of course want to grow. Why they add in non princesses.

    As for Mulan’s outfit. Pretty standard Japanese outfit.

    Even in the movie, she didn’t go about saying “I want to be a boy!” or “I want to act like the boys!” She wanted to save her father and the only way to do it, was pretending to be one.

    She may not have cared for some of the traditions of her society, which wasn’t helped by her starting out as a bit of a clutz and possibly absent-minded at times, but it wasn’t a matter of her saying “I don’t want to wear this soft colored kimono”

  • Pinkk

    That goes for every 5 year old, but it’s a good point :)

  • Danielm80

    You know how everyone says, “There’s nothing out now but super-hero movies”? Imagine if the only role models for boys were super-heroes. It’s not that there aren’t different types of super-heroes. Some are brainy inventors. Some are charming criminals. Some are principled activists. But there’s a formula to the stories that limits the characters’ life choices. Princess movies are just as restrictive, and if girls want to watch movies that don’t feature those tropes and stereotypes, they have fewer alternatives.

  • Pinkk

    I can think of two franchises that have female leads, being the hero, kicking butt and aren’t princesses. Resident Evil and Underworld.
    Which got terrible reviews here, when movies have gotten good reviews for such things as “It has a diverse cast” :p
    That said, I’m not one to believe all movies are deserving of the great reviews. If we think about it, most should be in the C (2.5 out of 5 stars) range. Also, for whatever reason, some of the movies with the best reviews get those reviews without really deserving them :p The Heat comes to mind here. Keep the same plot and level of acting, put in two males, it would have gotten some terrible reviews. :p I say that as someone who enjoyed the movie, but couldn’t understand it’s 65% RT :p I can’t understand Central Intelligence’s 65% either though :p

  • Danielm80

    I think your first paragraph contradicts your last paragraph, but your comment is so bizarre and incoherent I can’t be sure.

    You may want to read MaryAnn’s review of The Heat. She thought it was both sexist and a terrible movie:


  • Pinkk

    My second comment was just to reiterate that I don’t expect to see every movie get a great review. When I’m talking about movies that got poor reviews.
    But it seems to come off a bit weird between the reviews, when one gets a “Yay! Diverse cast!” The other gets “Sure, it’s women, but still.”
    Though, I still think the problem with not seeing less princess movies, is the audiences and not the people making the movie.
    The people making the movie just wants to make money. They’re usually just trying to give the general audiences what they want to see/will go and see, versus anything else.

  • Danielm80

    People do lots of terrible things for money. Money is not a defense.

  • Pinkk

    It is, when it comes to investing in making a movie.

  • Resident Evil and Underworld.

    Both totally unsuitable for children. And two out of a gazillion isn’t enough.

  • The people making the movie just wants to make money. They’re usually just trying to give the general audiences what they want to see/will go and see, versus anything else.

    If that were true, we’d be seeing many many many many more movies that don’t put white men at their center. Movies with diverse casts make tons of money. Movies with female protagonists make tons of money. The “Hollywood is a business” excuse is bullshit, because if it were true, Hollywood movies would look very different.

  • Pinkk

    Okay. Not suitable for younger children. We do have Ghostbusters coming up however. Four women saving the city and it’s suitable for children. Let’s see if it gets good reviews and has people flocking to it!

  • and it’s suitable for children

    How do you know that? Have you seen the movie?

    And three out of a gazillion still would not be enough.

  • Pinkk

    It’s not rated R. :p I’m sure there’s more, I’m just trying to think of them and coming up blank.

    We had Divergent and Mockingbird. Maybe not 6 year old children, but certainly okay for pre-teen. Non princess movies.

    Mortal Instruments.

    Though I still feel it’s a matter of profits for the makers of films. If making non princess female lead movies for young girls was more profitable, why wouldn’t they?

    Though, last I heard, the reason Young Justice was cancelled was because it’s biggest fan base was female and they didn’t buy the action figures (so back to profitability).

  • If making non princess female lead movies for young girls was more profitable

    It’s not a matter of “if.”

    It’s not rated R.

    That doesn’t mean it’s suitable for the children. The PG-13 rating pretty much means that it is NOT suitable for children.

    All the Hunger Games and Mockingjay films are also rated PG-13. This is generally considered as not suitable for children under 13.

    it’s biggest fan base was female and they didn’t buy the action figures

    Who says girls don’t buy action figures?

  • Pinkk

    I don’t quite get your “It’s not a matter of if” Are you saying it is more profitable and they’ve just been ignoring the obvious signs of profit just so they don’t have to make a movie with a non princess lead?
    Not suitable without parental guidance. So, have some parental guidance. Outside of the last hunger games, I can’t see anything in them that really had me think, “Yeah. This is terrible for under 13.” Unless it’s just the matter of the storyline. “Kids killing each other, which we really won’t see, is just terrible!”
    Admittedly, maybe it’s having read LotR and Hobbit before 12 and I think those mild in comparison.
    I don’t know where you got “Who says girls don’t buy action figures.” Out of the comment (that I just repeated) but that’s what they said had killed the show. Female was the largest audience and they weren’t buying the action figures.
    Now, obviously, that doesn’t mean girls don’t buy them. It means there weren’t enough doing it.
    Unless your comment is like one of those “Wait! I don’t do that!” When ever someone quotes a statistic that says something akin to “75% of people don’t do this!” and you for some reason feel slighted by a statistic you don’t care for. Then it’s just a matter of “Why feel slighted over a statistic?” o.O

  • Are you saying it is more profitable and they’ve just been ignoring the obvious signs of profit just so they don’t have to make a movie with a non princess lead?


    When ever someone quotes a statistic that says something akin to “75% of people don’t do this!” and you for some reason feel slighted by a statistic you don’t care for.

    I suspect that you need to stop heeding the baseless rationales put forth by the men who run Hollywood.

  • Pinkk

    Or you need to stop believing those men who run Hollywood, would really ignore the profits.

    I’ve read your articles, I just haven’t seen any proof that what you’re saying is in deed more profitable. Though, that said, movies in general are a bit of roulette in terms of profit. One movie becomes the blockbuster, then it’s not, then it is again and in all things they seem equal except for release dates (which maybe, that’s the key?).

  • Danielm80

    Finding Dory and Zootopia are currently in the top ten at the box office this year. Inside Out was in the top ten last year. All of those movies have female leads or co-leads, and none of them are princesses. Star Wars: The Force Awakens did pretty well, too, if you want to think of it as a children’s movie. It makes you wonder how much more money Disney could have earned over the years if they hadn’t spent so many decades saying, “Girls only want to see movies about princesses.”

  • Pinkk

    Finding Dory is a sequel from a male lead animated movie, so it’s not an original film targeted for young girls. In fact, I’d say it’s family targeted and not young female targeted. Though it did lean on the female side audience wise.
    Star Wars had a following with over half the audience being male.
    Zootopia and Inside Out also were targeted at families over young girls.
    Though it should be mentioned as I gave examples earlier for films, when the article itself mentions movies such as Alice in Wonderland and Jupiter Ascending. :p
    The article itself is about movies targeting young girls (not families) and how it’s been princesses.

  • Anandi

    Girls are also learning about love from princesses

  • Danielm80

    Girls learn about love from lots of different kinds of stories. What message about love do you think they’re getting from princess stories that they don’t find elsewhere?

  • bronxbee

    mostly they learn love is self-sacrificing, self-efacing, serving others and ignoring your own talents. i wish for my nieces to learn so much more than that about love and life and fulfillment.

  • mostly they learn love is self-sacrificing, self-efacing, serving others and ignoring your own talents.

    All *very* good for enlisting girls and women in helping to perpetuate the patriarchy. :-(

  • bronxbee


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