Looking back to my childhood, I did play with barbie dolls and American girl dolls. I watched Disney Princess Movies and I loved watching the happy endings. I do not regret playing with all of these toys because it conjures memories of spending time with my sisters and friends. Despite that, I hate what these toys and movies can teach young children, especially young girls.
This chapter was so thought provoking. One thought I had was that that I never had a favorite princess, I thought it was strange that I did not. Now I believe it had a positive impact on my life. Tinkerbell was my favorite and still is now. Her spunky wings, her simple green outfit, her ability to fly was fascinating, and her lack of make up. I made fairy houses and wore fairy costumes. I pretended that I could fly. I did not want a dress or make up to have fun, it seemed unnecessary to my young eyes. I always felt weighted down. How could a fairy fly if she felt weighted down?
Pixie Hollow all fairies have some kind of power that makes all of them equal. Tinkerbell has the power of creating items that benefit the land of Pixie Hallow, her friend of water has power to control the water. Another one of her friends has a power to help and heal animals. It is a world where no one is better than one another instead its a place where people work together. It is fantasy but there are places in reality that are like this. For example, The Dancin Feeling. This studio operates because there are 9 Ballroom instructors and two assistants that make the studio a success. The co owners, Kathy and Randy cannot operate this studio without the help of the other instructors and assistants. In the world of a princess, they would not allow a place like the Dancing Feelin to operate the way it does because there can only be one princess so there could only be one dance instructor.
Orenstein explains a story of picking up her daughter from preschool, when her daughter has learned that only one princess is allowed per land. "Daisy had only one fight with her best friend during their three years of preschool- a conflict so devastating that, at pick up time, I found the other girl sobbing in the hallway? My darling daughter had insisted that there could only be one Cinderella in their games-only one girl who reigned supreme." "Princesses may confide in a
Once I was old enough to play with American Girl dolls, I was given Kit Kittredge for my birthday. I can remember the excitement I felt once I ripped apart of the wrapping paper on my birthday. She came in her "Meet Kit Outfit". I had such fun bringing her to life as I played with her alongside my sisters and their dolls, Addy and Molly. Our parents told all three of us how special it was to have an American Girl doll so we had to treasure it. At the time I was scared to find out what would happen if we did not care for them so I treated my doll like it was just like my favorite stuffed animal. I would always make sure Kit would be in a safe spot while I was not with her. I kept her dressed and my mom would help me organize all of her all outfits and extras she came with.
The kit for Kit, a Depression ear girl who dreams of being a journalist, includes a miniature "reporter she lived through the depression. She was forced to move to the attic because her parents had to rent her room out to another family so they could survive during that ruff time. I was able to appreciate the Kit extras I had because I only a few items that belonged to Kit. Orenstein said "the creator of American Girl said she wanted her dolls to offer an alternative, normally inspiring vision of girlhood, one that would, in the process, express her own passion for history."
Orenstein seemed worried to open this world to her daughter. However, she did say "Reading the books, though, I was struck by their representation of the past as a time not only in which girls were improbably independent, feisty, and apparently without constraint but, in a certain way, in which they were more free than they are today." I do not balme her for worrying because showing the right image can be hard. She felt falling into the material world as she said " In fact, Kit, Addy,Molly, and their friends could never afford the dolls that represent them- an irony that became particularly piquant in fall 2009 with the introduction of Gwen, a $95 limited edition doll who was supposed to be homeless." When she was at the store with her daughter she felt distraught as she spent $500 dollars on one doll and the extra pieces. It is not giving her daughter the wrong image, these dolls should be showing the importance of being a kid, using what you have. These girls in their stories did not have a lot growing up. These dolls are falling short of showing young girls how to have fun as a child because it has become all about having everything that Kit has and if you have it at home.
Final thoughts: we must be careful with how we are shown toys as young children as what we are taught young live with us after we walk into adulthood. Lessons that we learn can long lasting effects in more way than you think.