Evolution of “Candy Land”

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Candy Land is a popular board game with many characters, and the original game has been around since the 1950’s. Though the design has been changed a few times since then, the last makeover that the characters in the game received was quite peculiar.

Characters like Queen Frostine and Princess Lolly both have new and more adult-like appearances. Ditching her old outfit that resembles an overall, Princess Lolly is now dressed in a strapless mini dress, ballet flats with ribbons and lots of jewelry. Queen Frostine, who looked like a fairy godmother in the earlier versions of the game, now resembles a cartoon version of a model. With heavy makeup, a fancier dress, (similarly) lots of jewelry and the best part, fishnet stockings, she adopted a much more “glamorous” appearance.

These changes are interesting and remind of the argument Peggy Orenstein makes in “What’s Wrong With Cinderella?” about how toys are “sexualized,” and specifically girls’ toys are. It is not coincidental that the characters that received the most dramatic makeovers are the female characters and this game is just a single example of many more. These types of characters implement a model of femininity that has little to no variety and presents outer appearance as a priority. With much pressure on young girls to look and dress a certain way, these examples do nothing more but to enforce the existing negative stereotypes and expectations. Of course, this doesn’t mean that ten-year-old girls will request wearing fishnet stockings at the first sight of Queen Frostine, but the danger is not in the single example; it is in the trend as a whole. As more and more characters start to look a certain way, these depictions are standardized and the definition of an “acceptable appearance” becomes even narrower. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the models that are presented to children, because they will inevitably influence their views of themselves and others.

 

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