Posts Tagged ‘media influence’


In lieu of any of the zillions of other things that she could have done with her afternoon, Junior Miss Twelve got into character. She took great pleasure in swooping around in her cape, vanquishing forces of doom and swiping drinks from her sister’s lemonade stand. I took special delight in her masked mania because I had just read Blue Milk’s post on Disney princesses, and by following her links and some of the discussions, had gone on a whirlwind tour of the princessification of the young girl nation that has many thinking parents concerned. I reflected on my budding teen daughter’s early years, trying to remember if she’d gone through a pink, frilly stage, but I have to say that I don’t think she did. The younger sister certainly had a love of all things pink that is just now starting to fade, but it never extended to a love of princesses.

I do remember being concerned about the girls being exposed to the objectification of women, and I did have an issue with the way women were portrayed in Disney cartoons. I also felt strongly that the majority of shows on television presented gender roles and relationships between the sexes in a highly simplified, rigid way. Commercials in particular bothered me, and I was concerned that if my children were exposed to this sort of stuff regularly that they would absorb it all as fact. It was one of the reasons that I ultimately made the decision to get rid of the TV. One less thing to worry about, one more way to help create a space in which those unique young imaginations could flourish with as few external images as possible. It made me sad when I saw three and four-year old children role-playing characters from TV shows when they could have been inventing their own characters, and I was pleased when my own TV-free kids did exactly that. It also saved me from having children begging for the latest toy, or the newest fashions. I had kids who, when asked what they wanted for Christmas, were unable to think of anything other than crayons.

Ditching the TV was one decision that I’ve never regretted. It probably isn’t the only reason that I have a superhero for a daughter, but I’m betting that it’s one of them.

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