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花旗国的半边天

An Exploration of Women's Issues

 
 
 

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公主的力量(The Power of Princesses)  

2011-12-23 16:41:20|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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公主的力量(The Power of Princesses) - 美国马尾妹 - 花旗国的半边天
 

很多父母有时候会发现,存在于女孩儿幻想中的公主其实拥有很大的力量。大量以公主为主题的电影、电视、玩偶和其他娱乐作品充满了女孩子们的生活,带领她们步入了所谓的“公主期”。只要是粉红和闪亮的东西,她们都爱不释手,也喜欢把自己打扮成自己崇拜的公主角色。如此的公主效应曾一度引起女权主义者的忧虑。他们认为美国流行文化中公主的概念涉及传统的性别偏见,催生了女性对男性的依赖心理。也有人对这种看法不以为然,认为“公主期”只是女孩成长经历的一个过程,不会对她们的性格的发展和独立产生深远消极的影响。

       Many parents have discovered at one time or another the power of princesses in young girls' imaginations.  Thanks in part to a slew of movies, TV shows, dolls, and product lines that feature princess characters, many little girls go through what is commonly called a “princess phase,” a time when they are obsessed with all things pink and sparkly and with dressing up like the princess characters that they come to idolize.  The popularity of princesses among young girls has been a source of concern for feminists for some time.  Many believe that the depiction of princesses projected by American pop culture enforces traditional gender norms and encourages girls to grow up to be dependent upon men.  Others, however, are inclined to be dismissive of such criticism, claiming that a girl's “princess phase” is nothing more than just that– a phase– and has no long-term detrimental impact on her personal development or independence.

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       Criticism of pop culture's version of princesses usually focuses on the traditional construct of femininity that it projects.  The princesses are hyper-feminized, with dainty features and pink, glittery gowns; their story arcs usually revolve around their romance with a “Prince Charming” character, who often rescues the seemingly helpless princess from danger.  In an age when most parents want to encourage their daughters to grow up to be strong, independent individuals, this alignment between femininity and dependence is manifestly problematic.  Can little girls grow up strong and independent when they are surrounded by depictions of women who are precisely the opposite?

       While many people would answer this question negatively, there are those who do believe it possible.  Noting the fact that many of the little girls who don sparkly princess dresses do so while running around or playing in the mud, some people believe that over-analyzing the implicit messages behind princess culture is pointless.  To them, princess make-believe and dress-up is just fun for little girls and will have no detrimental impact as long as these girls are encouraged by their parents and teachers to be smart and independent.  Some, like author Naomi Wolf, don't even agree that the message broadcast by princess culture is necessarily the one of weak femininity that most people assume it to be.  In a recent article for the New York Times, Wolf argued that princesses can be empowering figures for little girls because, as she puts it, princesses “are busy being the heroines of their own lives”.

       Given the conflicting interpretations of princess mania's influence, it seems that princess characters are potentially flexible conduits for sending messages about femininity.  Traditional depictions of princesses may have idealized stereotypical conceptions of feeble femininity, but that does not mean that future depictions need to do so as well.  Regardless of whether or not a girl goes through her very own “princess phase,” however, it is important that she be encouraged to be the best she can be, even if she insists on wearing a plastic tiara while doing so.

 

Sources:

Wolf, Naomi. "Mommy, I Want To Be a Princess." The New York Times 2 Dec. 2011: n. pag. The New    York Times. Web. 16 Dec. 2011. <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/02/opinion/magazine-    global-       agenda-mommy-i-want-to-be-a-princess.html?pagewanted=all>.

 

Paul, Annie Murphy. “Is Pink Necessary?”  The New York Times.  21 Jan. 2011: n. pag.  The New York    Times.  Web.  16 Dec. 2011.  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/23/books/review/Paul-t.html?       _r=1&scp=1&sq=cinderella%20ate%20my%20daughter&st=cse


image resource: http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/article/2007/10/20071001134507bcreklaw0.4476587.html#axzz1hLSmwdaD

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