Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why do girls like unicorns?” you ask? Good question. (Besides, it beats answering the question: “What is unicorn magical mayonnaise?” Seriously? Have you not seen those early sketches on Robot Chicken?)
The Kitchen Sisters of NPR fame note: “Girls and unicorns have been linked in stories, art and on tapestries since at least the Middle Ages.” Some girls are even considered unicorns in some social circles.
So there is a long, significant history here but the question remains: Why do girls like unicorns?
Yahoo Poster “TrustThe Bear” says: “It is the mythical and magical character behind the unicorn that makes the attraction. There is nothing to explain. Most people have an attraction to something.” (Simple. Perhaps too simple.)
According to Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture, girls express their own “power” by “identifying with these dynamic, strong animals.” They are “sources of power and motion and transformation . . .”
Laurel Braitman, an MIT grad student in the history of science who writes about animals says girls are fascinated with unicorns because they fuel their imaginations. She notes that unicorns—like horses—are “borderland creatures; gateway animals to other worlds. They help (girls) imagine wonderful other ways of being in the world.”
The Kitchen Sisters add that one iconic myth “about girls and unicorns has to do with the unicorn hunt.” According to Nina Shen Rastogi , writer of the Slate magazine article “Why Do Girls Love Unicorns? It’s More Than Just The Horn ” the one and only way a hunter can lure a unicorn is to use a young virgin as bait and have her sit in the woods. The unicorn is drawn to the virgin’s “innate goodness,” beauty, youth and purity.
Interesting. Still, why do girls like unicorns?
Rastogi thinks that “for many young girls, there’s a fantasy that someday you will be recognized as the secretly beautiful, magical thing that you are. The unicorn will be attracted to something ineffable about you, secret from the rest of the world.”
Finally, “Joseph The Second” speculates that part of the attraction might be more carnal. “It may be a male ‘substitute’ Issue.”
Why do girls like unicorns? Now you know.
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