When Disney’s “Brave” came out last year, I was thrilled. So excited, in fact, that I went to see the movie at the El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles, complete with a pre-movie live show!
I am a not-so-closeted Disney fan. Though I’d never take my love this far, I did grow up a mere 25 minutes from Disneyland, had an annual pass all through college, and, at 25, toted around a (somewhat embarrassing) Disneyland laptop sleeve given to me by my best friend.
So how could this ginger of Scotch-Irish descent not be stoked to watch the animated story of a stubborn, Scottish, redheaded princess? I couldn’t resist! I hadn’t lacked for a ginger Disney Princess to pretend to be while growing up, but Merida felt so much more authentic than Ariel. She had wild frizzy hair (no dinglehopper could comb that mass), and fierce independence — she’ll fight for her own destiny, thank you very much.
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When I was a little girl, playing LEGOs with my little brother was far from appealing. Not only did I have no interest in hanging out with him anyway, but I much preferred settling myself in my bedroom loft, cutting my Barbie’s hair off and allowing her to scandalously peck my Swan Princess Prince Derek Barbie doll on the cheek. Barbie got lucky with him. He was a hunk.
Next week, though, Mattel will be combining a LEGO-like atmosphere with Barbie in their new construction set, Mega Bloks Barbie Build ‘n Style. This new toy, featuring a mini-Barbie that can attach to each construction site, comes in various scenes like “a fashion boutique, a mansion and an ice cream cart,” where the children can rearrange and build the play set themselves. Keep reading »
I have a love-hate relationship with “What Would You Do?”, the so-called ‘reality’ show that hires actors to enact controversial situations in public to gauge the response of random people. I don’t actually watch the show, but every time I read about one of the show’s episodes online — What will happen when this neo-Nazi group sits down at IHOP? — I’m off to the races to watch the shit out of that thing.
It’s inevitable, really, that they would do a show about Halloween and little kids costumes. Get your little black hearts ready: an adorable boy is going to find out from some busybody ladies at a Halloween store why he can’t be a princess for Halloween. Keep reading »
There are many in Western society that seem to band together anytime the subject of sex-selective abortion in foreign countries comes up. It’s a tricky topic, especially for those of us who favor unfettered abortion access. Outrage and incomprehension over aborting female fetuses in favor of males is usually the default response, with many claiming the practice is misogynistic, and rightfully pointing out the negative impact it has on many countries, specifically in Asia.
But despite our alarm and discomfort surrounding sex-selective abortion, many in Western society have no issue doing all they can to conceive a specific sex. And while pregnancy screenings to rule out female fetuses abound outside the U.S., there has recently been a surge in the number of parents looking to do exactly the opposite within this country: going to great — and expensive — lengths to ensure that their newborn is a girl. Keep reading »
You can’t walk through my home barefoot without stepping on a colorful, sharp piece of plastic at least once. Yes, we are one of the families that helps ensure that Lego’s sales and profits continue to rise in an economy where many toy manufacturers are struggling.
And apparently, we’re not the only ones: Lego is crediting a recent boost in sales to a bunch of new customers — specifically, girls. The 36 percent profit seen in the first half of 2012 is being attributed to Lego’s newest line, Lego Friends, which is targeted towards little girls. Lego Friends includes “Lady Fig” (lady figurine) characters that accompany a variety of sets from a beauty shop to a café, all heavily saturated in pink. Lego Friends are a departure in how Lego has marketed their building blocks toward girls in the past, despite the paltry representations of girls seen before. I can’t be the only one who remembers this ad from the 1980s? Keep reading »
Today in News That Makes You Want To Crawl Back Under The Covers: police in Afghanistan say a woman was reportedly strangled to death by her husband because she gave birth to a baby girl. The husband reportedly warned his 22-year-old wife after she gave birth to their first daughter that he’d kill her if she did it again. The husband fled his home last week around the same time a neighbor found the wife’s body in their house; he has not been found, but his mother has been taken into custody for allegedly helping him plot how to kill her. This alleged murder is just another example of the ways women are still horrifically abused and killed in Afghanistan to this day. [CBS News]
Rebecca Hains, best be known these days as the woman who got busted by the TSA for trying to take a red velvet cupcake through airport security, is, in her real life a media studies professor at Salem State University and author of Growing Up With Girl Power; Girlhood on Screen and in Every Day Life. She is also mother to a little boy who loves “My Little Pony,” a show, Rebecca says on her blog, that, like the beloved Powerpuff Girls, appeals equally to both sexes, defying the notion that boys/men won’t watch stories about girls/women.
I have to admit I’m not a “My Little Pony” aficianado — my daughter was never into them and I recalled the old show as being inane, and largely about selling toys (the fact that the ponies were revived for the Hub, a TV station owned by Hasbro, and are skinnier and “prettier” in their new incarnation only reinforced those impressions). Creator Lauren Faust writes on the Ms. Magazine blog that she was not initially a fan, either:
[Shows based on girls’ toys] did not reflect the way I played … I assigned my ponies and my Strawberry Shortcake dolls distinctive personalities and sent them on epic adventures to save the world. On TV, though, I couldn’t tell one girl character from another and they just had endless tea parties, giggled over nothing and defeated villains by either sharing with them or crying – which miraculously inspired the villain to turn nice. Keep reading »