Correlation Between Sales Of Fairy Tales

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An in depth study orchestrated by Lori Baker-Sperry and Liz Grauerholz analyzed the correlation between sales of fairy tales and the emphasis the story placed on traditional feminine beauty standards in their essay “The Pervasiveness and Persistence of the Feminine Beauty Ideal in Children’s Fairy Tales”. The study followed the sales of fairy tales from the 1900’s to the 2000’s to determine if feminine beauty in the stories was more common in times of “normative constraint” ( Baker-Sperry and Grauerholz 715). While there was no significant difference in the number of references to beauty of a specific gender, the feminine beauty ideal came with more standards in the tales. Stories used beauty to represent goodness and ugliness to represent poor character. Baker-Sperry and Grauerholz observed that during times of increasing female power in society, book sales increased for fairy tales that celebrate traditional feminine beauty standards. Throughout the essay, the authors argue that the feminine ideal found in the fairy tales “helps to maintain and legitimate the institution of gender” (Lorber 1994). According to the essay, as women spend time making themselves beautiful, they waste resources that men are putting into society. I do agree with Baker-Sperry and Grauerholz that feminine beauty standards are rigid and are often used as a form of constraint. However, I do not agree with their subtext of negative opinions on feminine beauty in general. One of the most striking
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