Nature, or (Disney) Nurture?

You know how sometimes a certain theme or topic keeps reoccurring in your life and it keeps coming up enough that you feel like you should stop and devote some time to it? Well lately for me that has been the topic of little girls going through a ‘Princess Phase’. I have several friends and acquaintances who have little girls between the ages of 3-5. They have each told me on separate occasions that their little girl is going through a SERIOUS Princess Phase and they sort of roll their eyes when they tell me.

But what really made me take notice was one of those people saying that they don’t really know how their girl became obsessed because they don’t let her watch TV and rarely any Hollywoodmovies. He said he recognized that she had seen the Princess paraphernalia in stores, and her friends were into them, but he was just surprised that she got SO into it, when they didn’t even encourage it in their house.

So the question becomes; is there something inherently within little girls that kicks in around this age and they are completely drawn to super girly things and fairy tales? Is it the gender part of their psyche taking hold and staking it’s claim? GIRL! OR is it the Disney marketing empire, shoving it’s princess crap at girls of this impressionable age everywhere you go and you just can’t escape it?

And of course there is the appeal of the fairy tale in which the Princess lives, where everything turns out wonderfully and it’s all pink, and rainbows, pet tigers, and vodka .  . . oh wait, that’s MY fairy tale.
So that part does make sense. Princesses are involved in good bedtime stories and happy endings.

But is there more to this fascination? Have you noticed most girls go through this phase? Why do you think that is?

Article by Katie Matthews

2 replies added

  1. The Morris Family January 23, 2012 Reply

    We think so much a like. I have thought about this recently. Though Elliana is as FAR from the Princess obsession…we do watch maybe to much cartoons and it astonishes me how Disney does it. My tomboy girl loves Cars. She insisted her birthday theme be Cars this past year, even when I was like what about this or that and I even got to the point were I was suggesting princess (just anything girlie). She has like 20% girl right now. Tshirts & baseball caps is all she wants to wear. Of course my child. Anyway…nonetheless if it is Princess, Cars, Toy Story or the tween crap Wizards of Waverly Place, ANT Farm, Good Luck Charlie….Disney has its marketing on lockdown. Look at celebs who started out from Disney. Old school Annette & Frankie Avalon (sp) from black & white days, to Brittany Spears, JT, Miley Cyrus and today's era Selena Gomez…we all know who they ALL are.
    My 1 yr old niece LOVES Mickey Mouse…I ask the question how the heck does a 1 yr old LOVE Mickey Mouse? Shocking. How the Dinsey toys are arrainged at eye level in the toys section at stores I don't this is coincedence. Huggies Diapers have Disney characters on them ALL! From Winnie the Pooh, Mickey & Princesses. It is pretty amazing I tell you. Disney's slogan should be “you can run but you can't hide, we will suck your children in.”

  2. Katie January 24, 2012 Reply

    Agree on the Disney slogan! They really know their target audience, where to find them, and how to get into their developing little brains. How much you wanna bet Disney has psychologists on their marketing team!
    And by the way, the tomboy thing is cool, I was one too at her age through about . . . . 13 lol
    Wouldn't you rather have her wanting to wear t-shirts and jeans instead of a glitter shirt that says 'Princess' on the front? 😉

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