`` Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots `` By Carmela Lavigna Coyle Essay

`` Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots `` By Carmela Lavigna Coyle Essay

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Females. Since birth, society places them into a category with certain expectations. Take for example, Alicia Keys. She has been in the public eye for quite some time. Although there are perks to being in the spotlight, there are also disadvantages. One of the most common obstacles Alicia Keys faces, especially as a woman, are contradictions. Constantly, she is challenged with the task of being herself while also being accepted by society. Consequently, you cannot completely fulfill one without neglecting the other. With all the pressure Alicia encounters in order to fulfill these standards, she risks the chance of losing herself in the midst of it all. Correspondingly, this is the essential message Coyle wants to convey to a group of young white females who want to break through their forced cycle of socialization. In the children’s short story, “Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots?” by Carmela Lavigna Coyle, the author purposely creates the mother of the protagonist to be contradicting in efforts to demonstrate the contradictory message society conveys on young females: be yourself as long as you remain within the boundaries of the norm. This is an effective tactic in addressing her intended audience, but in the process of doing so, she neglects females of different races and males as a whole.
In the storybook, Coyle uses a young white female daughter and her mother to address the views on gender roles. Throughout the story, the protagonist is constantly asking her mother questions that pertain specifically to her personal interests. Most of the questions are stereotypically correlated with young boys and what they typically do – activities such as riding bikes, climbing trees and playing in the rain. The protagonist has in...


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...ook could have better conveyed her overall message.
Despite this one area of flaw, Coyle was to get across her message that society conveys a contradicting message of being yourself, as long as you stay within the walls of the social norm. She first does this by having the protagonist’s mother assure her that is acceptable to break through binary standards. Soon after, the author demonstrates how contradicting society is by having the mother directly advise her daughter to remain within the boundaries of what is socially constructed. Lastly, the mother starts giving the daughter responses that leave room for personal interpretation – allowing the protagonist to define her own identity. Ultimately, this is what Alicia does. From her own personal experiences and given responses, Alicia steps away from the norms society places on her and becomes her own person.

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