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Analysis of The Article What's Wrong with Cinderella

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The article “What’s Wrong With Cinderella?” by Peggy Orenstein is about the Disney princess times and how it focuses on gender roles on young girls. Peggy Orenstein is a mother to a young girl herself and she doesn’t like the concept of princesses so she explains how everyone relates girls with princesses. This is important because not all girls have to like pink and princesses.

This article is about a mother Peggy Orenstein and her daughter. Everyone assumes Orenstein’s daughter’s favorite color is pink or that she likes princesses just because she’s a girl. Orenstein took her 3 year old daughter to the dentist and she lost it when the dental surgeon said “Would you like to sit in my special princess throne so I can sparkle your teeth?” and Orenstein tates “It’s 2006 not 1950. This is Berkely, California. Does every girl really have to be a princess?” There’s nothing wrong with liking princesses but i feel like no one should assume you do just because you’re a girl. The main concepts and ideas that were discussed in this article was about princesses, what they like, how they are treated, how their rooms should be decorated, what type of bedding would they sleep in, etc. Every reporter Mooney talks to says that “I see girls expanding their imagination through visualizing themselves as princesses, and then they pass through the phase and end up becoming lawyers, doctors, mothers or princesses, whatever the case may be.” What’s being said here in her opinion is basically saying that every girl that is born grows up liking princesses but then for some girls that slowly fades away when they grow older and start like bigger things and what they would want to be when they grow up. A girls obsession with pink is something you’re basically born with because the innate color for girls is pink and blue for boys.

Throughout the article Orenstein and her daughter are at the store and her daughter sees someone buying a Cinderella backpack and Orenstein then starts thinking that what if her daughter is thinking that her mom doesn’t want her to be a girl. This article also talks about eras such as the women’s movement which basically fought for reproductive rights and economic, social and legal equality. This is important because it shows how pink and princesses have restored the fantasies of romance and the privileges of traditional femininity. In the article they also talk about the game on Nintendo which is called Super Princess Peach and this game shows a lot of characteristics that boys would have and some that girls would have. This proves that princesses can be athletic, smart and strong by showing that princess peach is running in heels in the game. Orenstein was going to the mall and she saw a display of Tinker bell that caught her eyes. The article implies that “Next year, Disney Fairies will be rolled out in earnest. Aimed at 6-9 year old girls, the line will catch them just as they outgrow princesses.

During the early eras when princesses were first introduced the color was more girly such as pink. Then as time went on Disney fairies came along and they started introducing more colors such as Tinker Bell whose dress is green and same with princess Tiara. Other colors would be lavender or turquoise. For older children Disney executives say that “the fairies will have more “attitude” and “sass” than princesses.” This is because older girls are more sassier and prefer faires over princesses. Orenstein then picks her daughter up from school a few days later and her daughter “came tearing over in a full-skirted frock with a gold bodice, a beaded crown perched sideways on her head.” Her daughter than says “Look, mommy, I’m Ariel!” her daughter was referring to Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” Orenstein’s daughter asked her mom if she liked Princess Ariel and that’s when Orenstein thought it’s not the princesses that really bother her it’s just that when the time comes she wants to know how she can help her daughter face stuff as a girl and how growing up female is like. This article shows the different eras of women’s rights, princess barbie dolls in 2001, The Garanimals era and etc. It may be hard for a girl who is raised unisex because they like boy things and girls things such as cars and princesses.

By raising a daughter unisex and telling them they can be anything they want when they grow up or telling them that they can do anything only puts pressure on her and confuses her into not really knowing what to do or what she really wants. She wants her daughter to focus on real life career choices and not surrounding herself/making her life about only princesses. Finally though at the end of the article Orenstein kneeled down on the floor and hugged her daughter and her daughter then says “But, Mommy?” “When I grow up im still going to be a fireman.” This shows that Orenstein’s daughter had thought about other stuff such as career choices and not only about princesses and it shows that even girls can be fireman not only boys.

Work Cited

  • Orenstein, Peggy. “What’s Wrong With Cinderella?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 24 Dec. 2006,  

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Analysis Of The Article What’s Wrong With Cinderella. (2021, December 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 1, 2023, from
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