'Come on, […] let’s go find your inner princess': (Post-)Feminist Generationalism in Tween Fairy Tales
journal contributionposted on 04.07.2017, 08:46 by Melanie Kennedy
This article draws attention to the expansion of tween popular culture at the beginning of the twenty-first century and in particular tween fairy tale films, with two aims: first to demonstrate how tween popular culture mediates feminism’s history; and second to highlight the continued relevance of the terms “post-feminism” and “neoliberalism” at a time when confidence in their use is waning in feminist media studies. Importantly it looks carefully at the relationship between these two discourses, and reveals that the figure of the tween princess emerges at the intersections of the two. By interrogating the dialogue between the onscreen maternal generations of feminism, represented in the female characters of teen princess, mother, step-mother, and grandmother/fairy Godmother, this article reveals that the fairy tale narrative and the figure of the princess are employed to straightforwardly present feminism’s complicated history, and to put forward a post-feminist identity as the only “authentic” choice in this reflexive construction of a feminine self. The princesses are presented as neoliberal icons of post-feminist culture, representing the self as project.