Do you pay particular attention to items that are for sale that are targeted toward children?
Today, my family and I were in WalMart (I know, I know). We were searching for the latest flimsy cardboard cutouts that they might give them to their friends next Wednesday in the name of Valentine cheer. As I perused the seasonal aisle of Valentine's flotsam, I began to notice a trend among several of the boxed sets of cards.
The boys' cards were what you would expect; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Superman, Spiderman, and Pirates of the Carribean, your standard testosterone inducing fare. However, many of the girls' cards were along the same level. They were hormone inducing, but not for the same reasons as the boys' cards.
The girls' selections were comprised of notably, Disney Princesses, such as Cinderella, Ariel (The Little Mermaid), and Belle (Beauty and the Beast). Tinkerbell of Peter Pan had her own box and then there were the Bratz; radical, pre-adolescent change agents.
The Disney characters were noticeably different from what I remember from my childhood and adolescent years as well as recent family viewing. Cinderella was not what these cards portrayed her to be. In the film, she was innocent, virtuous, chaste; an unspoiled maiden, the envy of her wicked stepsisters. Cinderella was not the trollop brazenly and voluptuously brandished across those children's boxed sets of Valentine's Day cards.
Without being overly descriptive, Cinderella was posing in such a way to betray her "best" features; a hand provocatively slung back on her hip; slyly leaning forward in a much bustier dress than she wore in the classic movie; all accompanied by a mischievous "come hither" look. The Tinkerbell cards were much worse, some of her poses offering a soft porn flavor.
The departure from the childlike innocence of the original movies to parallel the erotic love often associated with Valentine's Day is especially troublesome, particularly on a child's set of cards to be handed out to other children. This is not the same Cinderella that scolded Bruno the dog for dreaming that he was chasing Lucifer the cat; "That's bad!" Cinderella insisted.
Cinderella would also say "that's bad" to how a slick greeting card company turned her sweet, chaste demeanor into provocateur rather than further dignifying her as the patient lady in waiting that she most assuredly was; not to mention the simple fact that the cards are aimed at sale to children.
The message that this sends to young girls is obvious; chastity, propriety, and modesty are no longer virtues. It may not be implicit on the face of each and every little card, but the seeds of impropriety and immodesty are being sown and they cannot be denied nor overlooked.
Cinderella is the wrong character to impose this kind of licentiousness upon. Tinkerbell might have been crafty, sneaky and even downright mean; but Cinderella? The Bratz seem to have been created for the express purpose of instilling sexuality and a mall mentality in the minds of young girls before the age of nine, but Cinderella? The extrapolation is sickening.
Why contort Cinderella? Why defame her good nature, undermine her humility and ridicule her femme sole? She could easily be the poster-girl for chastity and purity. I know the answers to my questions. If it can be instilled in the minds of girls at a young age that sexy, provocative dress, sly backward glances, and flirtatious body language "works" and gets them what they want, then why not start early? Its what boys look for and what they expect, isn't it? Cinderella was communicating the way girls ought to look and act, and chaste is not it.
Nevertheless, my girls did not notice Frankenrella. Thankfully, they were more interested in the barnyard animal, Care Bears, and bug-eyed house pet cards.