What’s Wrong With Cinderella Essay

In “What’s Wrong With Cinderella?” second wave feminist and journalist Peggy Orenstein discusses her concerns as a mother for children in this generation, and what kids should or should not be exposed to. She expresses her feelings about the typical stereotypes of gender today, including Disney princesses, Barbie, the colors pink and blue, and even stores and what they are selling to children. 

Orenstein from the beginning of the article tells everyone about her personal dislike towards the use of words to talk to her young daughter, for instance, “princess, princess meal, I know your favorite color, and the special princess throne.” Being a second wave feminist, Orenstein for the most part was surprised because of the obsession from the world about princesses and the new idea of being a “girlie-girl”. This confusion and personal dislike towards these ideas could come from the fact that those ideas were not prominent or important for her generation. There was a shortfall of romanticism and that was all the children of that time period had been exposed to. 

Furthermore, she points out the issue of toys and their availability to children these days. While in the store with her daughter, at the eye view and reach of children were many princess toys or Disney branded items in general, including bandaids and even crayons, all things a young child would enjoy either way. She also mentions the narrowing choices of activities and toys that are being advertised to girls, whether it’s on TV, in movies, or even being told by their parents. Orenstein on the other hand is a lot more open to letting her child partake in any activities she wishes, even if it isn’t typically a “girly” one. She claims that children up until they are 6 or 7 don’t fully understand their gender, and the activities they are supposed to follow because of their sex. She believes the activities that are available to young girls are starting to diminish away, and that they do not have as many choices as there were in the past. That is a big change from when she was a child in that time period, because the typical stereotypes were not the same, and for the most part, children could partake in whatever activities they wished. 

A lot of the authors dislike towards big chains of stores or brands in general comes from what they are selling and promoting to kids. The majority of the items branded for girls typically has the words “girlie-girl” or “princess” and probably has pink and glitter of some sorts on it. Orenstein differs from other mothers who feel obligated to buy these items from big stores like “Club Libby Lu” because their little girls are begging to go there and it’s what is popular. 

In conclusion, Orenstein is passionate about her daughter having experiences all around, and not being sheltered into the typical girl lifestyle. She has experienced two different types of culture surrounding what’s popular for each gender in her lifetime, and can choose to raise her daughter in a way that is open to trying new things if she chooses. Each parent makes the decision on what they want to expose their children to, and that can also impact a child’s personal likes and dislikes.