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Gender Stereotyped Ogre Snack Cakes

Right now, I am a sucker for anything with Princess Fiona from Shrek on it. I’ve always been a Fiona fan anyway, but since she ended up being even more badass than she was in the original Shrek film in Shrek Forever After—complete with a warrior costume, gear, and awesome Amazonian hair—I totally want her on everything from my folders to my journal, a la seventh grade.

And while this goes against my anti-consumerism nature, I’m quite willing to purchase a treat for my daughter when she asks for something reasonable. So the other day, when she saw a box of cupcakes with Fiona on them and asked for them, I said, “Sure,” and tossed them into the cart. However, I noticed that they were diet cupcakes—the 100 calorie packs—and then wondered if I should get those or not. After all, they were tiny, which could be a waste of money if my daughter went through them all in a single afternoon. Plus, she’s always been underweight since she was born prematurely—to the extent that her doctor still has us giving her whole milk even as she approaches age five. So if diet food ever goes into our grocery basket, it’s usually for me—and definitely not for her.

It wasn’t really that big of a deal—until I noticed that Shrek was on the Twinkie box. Okay, so they’re promoting the film on a bunch of (really gross) pastry boxes, that’s fine and dandy. My daughter doesn’t like Twinkies, so we stuck with the cupcakes even when I couldn’t find any “normal” ones to buy.

Then it hit me—why was Shrek, the male ogre, on the box of regular ‘ol Twinkies, while Fiona, the female (and much more kickass, if I do say so myself), was on a box of “diet” cupcakes (if there really is such a thing; I personally don’t believe in them)? Was it her female ogrehood that made her such a prime candidate for the “reduced calorie” cupcake? Are we insinuating that Fiona has to diet in order to maintain her ogrely figure?

It wouldn’t be a big deal if Shrek were on a reduced-calorie box, too—but he wasn’t. And I just wonder if this was a completely innocent gesture—just trying to market the film and the products to both people who want full-fledged junk as well as those who want a reduced calorie version—or if it’s some kind of sick, sadistic, twisted way to get girls to start dieting even earlier.

I’m probably just paranoid, right? Either way, I bought her the cupcakes. I didn’t eat any, but I cut Fiona out, and she’s on my planner, reduced calories or none.

I think you’re hot just the way you are, Fiona. No pseudo-dieting required.