Disney Princess is a successful Disney Consumer Products brand, but one that Disney studies has largely ignored. However, the study of such ephemeral products reveals a great deal about how Disney contributes to contemporary girl culture and relates to gender discourses. It analyzes Disney Princess sticker books and calendars, showing that they are neo-feminist texts that emphasize the individual at the expense of the collective; concerns themselves with women’s and girls’ self-fulfillment through consumerism; and, features white, heteronormative princesses much more prominently than princesses of color and tomboys. The products thus initiate girls into neo-feminism, and, by extension, neo-liberalism.
Melanie Hurley is a PhD candidate in the Department of English at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Through her work on princesses, she has developed research interests in fairy tales, picture books, and girl-centered animation.
Citation: Melanie Hurley, "Studying Pretty Pink Garbage: Neo-feminism in Disney Princess™ Ephemera," Artifact & Apparatus: Journal of Media Archaeology 1 (Fall 2021): 45–64.