Gender Roles in Disney Essay

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Media is a powerful agent in entertaining children. It also influences and teaches the youth of society the suitable and appropriate gender roles that they inevitably try to make sense of. The power of media is very influential especially in the minds of the youth. Disney movies target the youth and plant certain ideas and concepts about social culture into the vulnerable minds of children. Media uses gender to its advantage, just like Disney productions. Humorous caricatures reveal some harsh realities about the portrayal of Disney Princesses in many movies made by the Walt Disney Company. Disney mixes innocence with the ultimate form of fantasy to capture an audience. Predominantly, Disney helps highlight the gender roles by showing the…show more content…
Disney directly exposes the idea that young girls should make their main goal in life to find their prince charming, fall madly in love, and live happily ever after. Making young girls’ aspiration in life revolve around finding a man of their dreams “transfix[es the] audience and divert[s] their potential utopian dreams and hopes through the false promises of the images [Disney] cast[s] upon the screen” (22). Disney tells the audience that women need a man to be happy. Disney presents the idea that women are dependent on me. Just like in The Little Mermaid, Ariel goes as far as surrendering her voice, to a witch named Ursula, and abandoning her family in order to be with her prince. Ariel also trades in her life as a mermaid, drastically changes her body, and sacrifices her greatest talent all in order to win her prince. Disney sends the message that girls need to give up their talents and lives in order to be with a man. Disney suggests that a woman’s main priority is her lover, no one or nothing else. Disney effectively portrays women in a negative way, depicting them as weak and needy. No attempt to break the stereotypical gender roles of women are evident however, these stereotypes are growing as Disney instills this image of women in the minds of viewers.
Disney successfully blurs the border between entertainment and pedagogy but introduces the misuse of stereotyping and social influence.

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