In Orenstein's "Cinderella Ate My Daughter," she explains how the princess treatment of little girls and the toys parents give their kids can teach children wrong lessons. She interviews several mothers on their views of Disney princesses and their tales, and most of them say that they like the clothes and the toys related to the princesses, but they don't like the tales themselves. To me, this is incredibly stupid. If you are letting your daughter wear the clothes of this princess and play with toys related to her but not letting her known the context behind them, then what lesson are you teaching her? Don't research before you buy? Don't look into issues before deciding on them?
Now it might sound like I'm over-exaggerating when I ask these questions. But this is the same as asking "what lessons will I teach my daughter (or son) by letting them watch Disney movies?" That she can only be saved by a man? That she should strive to be beautiful and find a relationship?
Kids will grow up, they will become teenagers, and eventually adults. Saying that their insecurities or failed relationships are based on them watching Disney movies is absolutely ridiculous. And by letting them play with the toy and wear her costume, you are still subjecting her to the body image of that princess, and the beautiful dresses and jewelry she wears.
To me, the stories are the most important part of a princess.
For example, Pocahontas. My favorite Disney princess, I'm absolutely obsessed with her. She loves nature and is adventurous. When she meets John Smith, she teaches him to be more open-minded and eventually falls in love with him. He jumps in front of her father to save him, NOT her, and then he is shot with the arrow. This causes major health concerns. When given the choice, she can either keep him with her so she can be with him, or let him go free to receive proper medical care. She gives up a relationship so he can be better off.
No to me, that teaches a way better lesson than letting your daughter wear a short Native American dress and play with Pocahontas and her animal friends.
Feminist Rankings of Disney Princesses
The above link shows the Feminist rankings of Disney princesses and why they show Feminist qualities.