Wednesday, November 02, 2005

(Re)branding Cinderella

Jodi Kantor has written a fascinating, yet scary article for the New York Times about the transformation of the Cinderella of yesteryear (in rags, with a broom, a hearth, etc.) to the Disney Princess she is today.

The Disney Princess phenomenon kind of freaks me out, and I'm glad I missed it by a couple of years (the Disney Princess brand/set was introduced 4 years ago). Cinderella is apparently the favorite princess amongst young girls (Kantor does not go into the reasons why she is more popular than Ariel, Mulan, Snow White and others, though I have my suspicions. Can we say blonde?)

Kantor has included a nice quote from Alida Allison (National Center for the Study of Children's Literature at San Diego State University). Allison says, "The beauty and material possession competition fostered by the consumer Cinderella campaign contradicts the folkloric message that a princess is someone who merits ascendancy, not just someone who can afford it."