Barely Legal Castle

Hasbro's latest for li'l virgins.

Published October 22, 2008 1:35PM (EDT)

Feministing (and Jezebel) have taken up pitchforks against Hasbro's latest $200 pink toy, the Sweet Lily Castle, which is basically Rose Petal Cottage for blue bloods. From Hasbro's Web site: "With the SWEET LILY castle, your little girl's dreams of being president a princess come to life ... The spacious interior boasts simple, yet elegant details, like candle sconces, an arched doorway and brocade-style 'wallpaper.'" ("Sconces, Mommy! It has to have SCONCES!") And about those princess dreams: It even comes with a frog. You know, for kissing purposes. Get out the Purell. 

About the princess factor here, I am a tad less enraged. Marketers have always sold girls princess stories, just not as blatantly, pervasively, calculatedly and $200-ly. In other words, the marketing bothers me more than the myth. I predict (perhaps naively) that as a parent, when it ("it" being my 2-year-old daughter) comes to the princess industrial complex,  I'll be in the throw-up-hands rather than take-up-arms camp (while, yes, earlier pun intended, hurling all the while). I mean, I played all that girly stuff, but also ice hockey. My friend Jen's daughter is cuckoo for Cinderella, but thinks she's a superhero. You know? We can quarantine them from the pink plague only so much. So maybe let it source, not stunt, their imagination. The girls will work it out.

But -- speaking of myths -- what really does creep me out here is the thought of a bunch of "creative  professionals" (some of them dads?) sitting around a conference table batting around names for this Sweet Lily joint. "How about Crocus Castle?" "Clover Castle?" "Corn Palace?" "No, no, we need something that will, as per Christian symbolic tradition, subliminally evoke young girls' virginity!" "And with a phallic pistil for Prince Charming! Bonus!" Let me just say, at the risk of inspiring little girls' semiotics-major dreams: eeuw.

By Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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