It’s hard to miss the irony of women who work in Hollywood, which holds women to a size-double-zero and never-get-old standard, having a problem with the message that the fictional princesses send to girls. But the Disney princesses have been a target for feminists for some time.
In a 2006 piece in The New York Times Magazine, Peggy Orenstein complained about her 3-year-old daughter’s obsession with the princesses. It irked her that her girl was drawn to sparkly dresses and fancy hair.
But when she talked to Andy Mooney, a former Disney exec who was key to developing the princess products, he explained: “We simply gave girls what they wanted, although I don’t think any of us grasped how much they wanted this.”
As for any plot to subjugate women, he noted that it’s the men, the princes in the stories, who are actually minor characters: “Although they keep him around for the climactic kiss, he is otherwise relegated to the bottom of the toy box, which is why you don’t see him prominently displayed in stores.”