Professor checks pretty, pretty ‘princess culture’...

Professor checks pretty, pretty ‘princess culture’ marketing on ‘MTSU on the Record’

The impact of gender-based marketing on youngsters was the topic on a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. Katie Foss, associate professor of media studies in MTSU's School of Journalism and Strategic Media

Dr. Katie Foss

Host Gina Logue’s interview with MTSU School of Journalism and Strategic Media professor Katie Foss first aired June 4 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and online at You can listen to their conversation above.

Foss, an associate professor of media studies, is the editor of “Beyond Princess Culture: Gender and Children’s Marketing.” The compilation of academic analyses looks at how marketers sell disempowerment and lack of critical thinking skills to girls through toys, clothing, video games and other merchandise.

cover of paperback version of “Beyond Princess Culture: Gender and Children's Marketing,” edited by MTSU media professor Katie Foss“Princess Culture,” as Foss defines it, emerged in the early 2000s. She said if the heroines in, for example, Disney animated features and merchandise seem to have become more self-actualized, it’s only in a superficial way.

“I think what becomes problematic is when you take (the heroine) out of the narrative and then you’re just celebrating the princess as a pretty little girl who wants to get married, aside from the narrative,” Foss said.

“It’s not even so much about what the characters are like within their own story lines. It’s when we pull them out of the story lines and strip them of their agency and power.”

Foss also is the author of “Demystifying the Big House: Exploring Prison Experience and Media Representations,” “Breastfeeding and Media: Exploring Conflicting Discourses That Threaten Public Health” and “Television and Health Responsibility in an Age of Individualism.”

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.