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The Pervasiveness and Persistence of the Feminine Beauty Ideal in Children's Fairy Tales

The Pervasiveness and Persistence of the Feminine Beauty Ideal in Children's Fairy Tales This study advances understanding of how a normative feminine beauty ideal is maintained through cultural products such as fairy tales. Using Brothers Grimm's fairy tales, the authors explore the extent and ways in which “feminine beauty” is highlighted. Next, they compare those tales that have survived (e.g., Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty) with those that have not to determine whether tales that have been popularized place more emphasis on women's beauty. The findings suggest that feminine beauty is a dominant theme and that tales with heavy emphases on feminine beauty are much more likely to have survived. These findings are interpreted in light of changes in women's social status over the past 150 years and the increased importance of establishing forms of normative social control to maintain a gender system. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Gender & Society SAGE

The Pervasiveness and Persistence of the Feminine Beauty Ideal in Children's Fairy Tales

Gender & Society , Volume 17 (5): 16 – Oct 1, 2003

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References (35)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0891-2432
eISSN
1552-3977
DOI
10.1177/0891243203255605
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study advances understanding of how a normative feminine beauty ideal is maintained through cultural products such as fairy tales. Using Brothers Grimm's fairy tales, the authors explore the extent and ways in which “feminine beauty” is highlighted. Next, they compare those tales that have survived (e.g., Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty) with those that have not to determine whether tales that have been popularized place more emphasis on women's beauty. The findings suggest that feminine beauty is a dominant theme and that tales with heavy emphases on feminine beauty are much more likely to have survived. These findings are interpreted in light of changes in women's social status over the past 150 years and the increased importance of establishing forms of normative social control to maintain a gender system.

Journal

Gender & SocietySAGE

Published: Oct 1, 2003

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