Huffpost Parents

The Princess Problem: Dads Discuss How Their Daughters Are Affected By Disney (VIDEO)

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Debates over Princess Culture -- society's obsession with toys and shows for girls that reinforce gender stereotypes -- have long been waged by experts and moms like Peggy Orenstein, author of "Cinderella Ate My Daughter." Recently, however, Andy Hinds came at the issue from a dad's perspective, and agrees that the princess stereotype creates exaggerated ideals.

HuffPost Live's Abby Huntsman spoke with Hinds, a father of twin girls, about the concerns he wrote about in his piece "One Dad's Ill-Fated Battle Against the Princesses," and they were joined by other dads, psychologists and professors. Hinds said:

"Regardless of the more recent generations of empowered princesses in Disney movies, the overall princess trope promotes traditional notions of femininity and an unhealthy focus on physical beauty."

Though it might not be possible to shield young girls from princess culture entirely, the group agreed that widening the horizons of play outside of the princess phenomena is one way to ensure a more open-minded dialogue.

"I think the princess ideology is hegemonic..." Laurie Essig, Professor of Gender Studies & Sociology at Middlebury College and mother of two daughters told Huffpost Live. "I think the idea that women need to make romantic work the central part of their lives is very clear, and that happens in these movies..."

But not everything that princesses represent is negative, says Al Watts, President of The National At-Home Dad Network and father of three daughters.

"On the one hand they are very thin, they project a image of women that's not very realistic on the beauty side," Watts told Huffpost Live, "but on the other side on personality, on courage, on being brave as we're talking about here, all those princesses have taken charge of their situations and been very active in their roles..."

Watch the full segment at HuffPost Live.

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