Girls’ empowerment, to be fair, has been part of the Disney princess marketing message. Ever since The Little Mermaid came out in 1989, Disney has been customising fairy tales to make them palatable to modern sensibilities — injecting some level of spunk or work ethic into one-dimensional characters, tweaking story lines so princesses could play at least some role in their own saving. But I have felt these efforts to be faulty given how the tie-in consumer products have turned out. Segregated toy aisles — Cars vs. Dolls, Lego Star Wars vs. Lego Friends, pink vs. blue, delicate toys vs. masculine toys — and the messages they send to both boys and girls about ambition, interests, and career possibilities. Their purpose is to primp, pose, and drum up a global appetite for bling.