The Princess Problem

I now seem to have acquired a rather large number of open browsers on my phone over the last fortnight with varying topics related to WIM.

One of the ones I am most interested in was a story about two ladies whom started a business called ‘Princess Awesome’ which produces clothing for young girls that moves away from the stereotypical ‘pink princess’ styles of clothing that dominate the young female’s clothing market.

Since 2013, the two women behind the clothing label ‘Princess Awesome’ offer a line of girls clothes that provide an alternative to ‘girly-girl’ outfits, by producing outfits that have themes such as Dinosaurs and Mathematics – themes largely reserved for male clothing in your mainstream shopping culture. Their website can be found here:

http://www.princess-awesome.com/about/

After some googling I found that there have been other similar initiatives such as ‘Pinkstinks’ – a campaign that ‘targets the products, media and marketing that prescribe heavily stereotyped and limiting roles to young girls.’ See http://www.pinkstinks.org.uk/ 

The reason I resonate with this line of thinking is that as a child, I felt that I was given ‘genderised’  gifts like soft toys and dolls and pink clothes, where as my brother received science books, building toys and musical instruments.

On first consideration of this issue, I started thinking that this then was support for my writing cause when it came to my elected audience. However, I then came across something called ‘Let Toys be Toys’: a campaign asking for toy and publishing industries to stop limiting children’s interests by promoting toys for particular genders. See: http://www.lettoysbetoys.org.uk/

I questioned whether my motive of producing a line of ‘Female-oriented’ or ‘female-freindly’ youth fiction was perhaps single or narrow minded and instead I should be writing for any audience but instead just try and avoid gender stereotypes in general. I’ve decided I like the sound of this much better and that will be my focus. However given the inequality faced by women and the culture of inherent sexism displayed in media, my research will still be focused on avoiding female stereotypes.

Through this process I found a book called ‘The Princess Problem: Guiding our Girls Through the Princess Obsessed Years”. The book is said to offer solutions, teaching parents a range of skills from setting limits on media use to helping their daughters think critically about media stereotypes and consumerism. I have ordered the book and look forward to reporting what I feel as I read through it. 

You can Find a copy of The Princess Problem: Guiding our Girls Through the Princess Obsessed Years through the Author’s WordPress site:

http://rebeccahains.com/books-by-rebecca-hains/the-princess-problem/

For the daughters of my friends: it’s ok to like LEGO and dinosaurs; and its ok to like My Little Pony as well.  

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