Category Archives: consumerism

Keeping Merida “brave”

What’s wrong with Disney princesses? A small victory for Merida doesn’t change the company’s dysfunctional branding BY MARY ELIZABETH WILLIAMS,, May 15, 2013 If there’s one thing you can count on Disney for, it’s creating strong leading female characters … Continue reading

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Through the eyes of a Bling Ring-era teen

Memoirs of a Valley Girl Malcontent by Katie J.M. Baker,, May 29, 2013 One August afternoon when I was fourteen, my friend and I somehow acquired enough cash to rent a white stretch limo for an afternoon to drive … Continue reading

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The end of celebrity

From “The World Needs More Gwyneth Paltrow“ by Jonathan Naymark,, May 3, 2013 The past few weeks have been busy for America’s most contentious celebrity: Gwyneth Paltrow. PEOPLE Magazine named her the world’s most beautiful woman, while readers of Star … Continue reading

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Teenagers, a late-90s obsession

Desperate to Seem 16 by Lynn Hirschberg, New York Times, September 5, 1999 The most popular actresses on television today are very young and brunet. There is Katie Holmes, who stars as a high-schooler on “Dawson’s Creek,” and Jennifer Love … Continue reading

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The End of the Princess Movie?

“Rapunzel” Goes Gender-Neutral by Sadie Stein,, March 9, 2010 Since Disney believes the title “Frog Princess” alienated boys, “Rapunzel” is now “Tangled.” Happily ever after? Says the producer, “In our film, the infamous bandit Flynn Rider meets his match in … Continue reading

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The changing meaning of weddings

Interview with Rebecca Mead, author of “One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding” by Hannah Wallace,, May 21, 2007 Rebecca Mead’s obsession with the marketing of weddings began three years ago, when she wrote a story for the … Continue reading

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It doesn’t pay to elope

Warning: Eloping Will Leave You A Sheetless Wretch by Margaret Hartmann,, July 23, 2010 If you thought weddings were about making a commitment to the person you love, prepare to be schooled by this vintage ad. Apparently they’re all … Continue reading

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Wealthy, Whiny, White; or, “Privilege Lit”

Eat, Pray, Spend: Priv-Lit and the New, Enlightened American Dream By Joshunda Sanders and Diana Barnes-Brown, Illustrated by Ana Mouyis, For decades, self-help literature and an obsession with wellness have captivated the imaginations of countless liberal Americans. Even now, … Continue reading

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Once upon a product placement…

Young Adult Novels Plumb New Depths Of Product Placement by Anonymous,, February 20, 2008 About a year ago, I was desperate to review Dial L For Loser from the New York Times best-selling tween book series The Clique. I … Continue reading

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Attack of the Rich Kid Book

Where, Oh Where Is Superfudge? By Rachel Shukert,, February 4, 2008    Let me begin with a small disclaimer: it is not my intention to make anybody feel old, least of all myself. Although I already feel old; recently … Continue reading

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