Are our girls suffering from “Princess Syndrome” Disney heroines teach us to trade on our looks and value material things, claims new bookChild psychologist Jennifer L Hardstein also believes the Kardashians have a similar influence
Given that most little girls love to dress up as princesses, it is difficult to imagine what might be wrong with that.
But one author has written an entire book on how she believes the fairytale fantasies send a dangerous message.
Jennifer L Hardstein is behind the recently-published Princess Recovery: A How-To Guide to Raising Strong, Empowered Girls Who Can Create Their Own Happily Ever Afters.
The stuff of fairytales Jennifer L Hardstein believes children are taking away unrealistic ideals from Disney princesses that can affect self esteem later on
The child and adolescent psychologist believes that children as young as two are taking away unrealistic ideals from fairytale books and Disney cartoons that can affect their self esteem later on.
Expert opinion: Child pyschologist Jennifer L Hardstein is author of new book Princess Recovery
In her book, Dr Hardstein theorises that traditional stories like Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella promote the ideathat if a girl is pretty enough and has fancy clothes and shoes, she find love and popularity.
The author refers to this phenomenon as the “Princess Syndrome”.
These kind of messages, she says, have a huge impact on a girl”s self-confidence and make it hard for children to understand as they grow up, that intelligence, generosity and passion are more important values.
During an appearance on CBS” Early Show, Dr Hardstein explained: “Girls are getting this message everywhere that… what their worth is based on is how they look and the things that they have and it”s very superficial.”
Her book teaches parents how to let their toddlers enjoy the Disney movies and their teenagers watch reality figures like the Kardashians while encouraging a discussion about the messages projected by the media.
Speaking on the show she said: “Parents think their kids will understand the messages that they are bombarded with all the time and they don”t.”
Princesses beware: The book teaches parents how to empower their daughters and teach them values
Discussing the influence of Kardashian sisters Kim, Kourtney and Khloe, she told the anchors: “They might be good examples of what we”re trying not to be.”
As well as warning of the dangers of “Princess Syndrome”, her book advises parents how to guide and empower their children from an early age.
Dr Hardstein warns of the influence of toys like scantily-clad Barbie dolls and teenage celebrities who might wear heavy make-up.
She adds that it”s not just magazines, TV shows and online media that is giving our children the wrong ideas about what is important.
Aggravating the issue further, Dr Hardstein told CBS, is the distressing reality that these days padded bras and crotchless underpants are available for children as young as five.
Princess Recovery, she assures parents, will bring “balance, confidence, and self-sufficiency into your daughter’s life while giving her a modern, vibrant childhood.”