Disney princesses are fun for all ages, but their target audience is young children and “as children grow and develop, they can be easily influenced by what they see and hear”. Therefore, what they see and hear in Disney movies leaves an impression on them. The first princess, Snow White, was created in a time where each gender and race had a specific role in society. Recently, many believe that Disney has come a long way in regards to gender and race since Snow White, as several multi-cultural protagonists have been introduced subsequently, and gender roles do not appear to be as stereotypical as they once were. However, many of the apparent innocent messages about race and gender in these movies, can be exposed as otherwise. Despite
Disney’s Cinderella demonstrates that, whatever the intention of its makers, modern day fairy tales function in our society as hidden instructions for morals and behaviors that we give children. On the surface, it seems to be a simple story about a young woman whose wishes come true. However, the story also reflects cultural expectations of women’s behaviors and goals and defines expectations of “goodness” for women. Power belongs to men in “Cinderella”, and it is depicted as a female ambition and goal. The storyline describes the rise of the submissive haracter to becoming a Princess; she is portrayed as a passive character who waits for the Prince to come for her. While waiting for her Prince Charming she also bears the mistreatment from her stepmother and stepsisters. While masculine power is taken for granted in the figure of the Prince, becoming his wife is the only way women have to share this power. The
The portrayal of Feminine aspects within Disney movies has been widely criticized, however the way masculinity is portrayed in films is also very controversial but infrequently discussed. My goal for this research paper is to look at two Disney films through a feminist lens and queer lens to decipher any stereotypical aspects of masculinity that are shown within the main characters. I am hopeful to find a film that breaks the norm of having a masculine main character that is hyper masculine like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast or Jaffar from Aladdin. I would also like to analyze the damsel in distress situations in films where the male role seems to always be the heroic figure even when they aren’t the main character in the story. Even though
Once upon a time in a land not so far away, the society of man created the idea that it was a woman’s job to conform to the ideologies generated in fairy tales. From women depending on their prince charmings all the way to romanticized sexual abuse and lack of consent, stories like Cinderella and Snow White radiate sexism within an array of scenes of the stories and films. Not only does this affect the way that men view women, but it has had a relatively negative effect on the ways that many women view themselves. Many fairy tales have made their way into mainstream culture, and today many young girls and boys grow up hearing and seeing the subliminal messages in fairy tales. As more and more fairy tales make their way onto the big screen, it can be seen that all princesses seem to share a common feature other than their crowns and lack of self worth without a man by their side; their tiny waists. In recent years during the 21st century more and more people in the media have been calling out fairy tales for their anti-feminist attitudes with sexism, body standards as well as societal comments about women being dependent on men.
Walt Disney over the years has impacted the lives of millions of children with his animated films. His Disney movies have evolved in the last years and have moved from the traditional damsel in distress theme. Specifically, the classic movie Cinderella gives the wrong idea about what it is to be a woman for young girls. The movie portrays a young woman facing emotional, mental, and physical abuse by her evil stepmother and later falls in love with a charming prince. However, if viewers take a closer look, Disney’s anti feminist message is firmly emphasized. The story of Cinderella is sexist due to it’s lesson to girls that beauty and submission will award them a rich bachelor. This is seen through Cinderella’s submissive behavior, Prince
The central objective of the present study was to investigate how the influence of individual’s favorite Disney princess, Cinderella or Mulan, can impact participant’s beliefs on gender role and romance. In this study, participants that favored Cinderella held a more traditional belief on gender roles compared to those who favored the Disney princess Mulan. This finding supported our first hypothesis. This could be because of the traditional female role that Cinderella held throughout the movie in comparison to Mulan. Unlike Cinderella, Mulan was portrayed like a soldier, who had a strong-minded character. Mulan did not fit into the stereotypical model of what its meant to be a female, instead, she transcended the gender binaries. In contrast, Cinderella was portrayed as your stereotypical female character. She was depicted as a loving and nurturing caregiver who was also very submissive and weak. All in all, Cinderella was basically a damsel in distress with her evil witch being her stepmothers and stepsisters. This sharp contrast in characters and their message may influence children in different ways. We as people are more prone to gravitate towards things we resonate with on the terms of our experiences, values, beliefs and even our philosophy on life. Therefore, it was assumed that people who favor Cinderella would have a more traditional view of gender roles.
In current society today, technology is advancing at a rapid rate and with so much exposure to the media it is difficult to control what is being seen by children. Disney is one of the largest and most successful companies in the film industry. From children 4 years old to adults and every age in between, Disney has found a way to create films that entertain all ages. The seemingly innocent content of Disney movies are enjoyed from a very young age; however, behind the colorful and lighthearted storylines of many Disney films lies many unreasonable social ideologies that children may be subconsciously becoming accustomed to. In her work, “Where Do the Mermaids Stand,” Laura Sells discusses the hidden messages in Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Sells explains how this movie expresses a hierarchy of gender and exaggerated femininity by demeaning the role of women in society. Susan Jeffords, author of “The Curse of Masculinity,” discusses similar ideologies in her article. This article looks at Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and focuses primarily the role of men and the how they perform to fit into this white male system by means of upholding hegemonic masculinity. The two articles “Where do the Mermaids stand” and “The curse of Masculinity,” bring to attention the reinforcement of the white male system, the racialization in the white male system, and the reinforcement of hegemonic masculinity in beloved childhood Disney movies.
Remarkably throughout all of history, females have encountered the issue of oppression while any form of power is ripped away from them. The concept is plainly indicated within countless fairytales, much like Cinderella as it is narrated from the female perspective. When examining and using the feminist lens for the folk tale of Cinderella, numerous power relationships were clearly viewed. In other words, the relationships correspond with both gender, and how the individual is portrayed. At the beginning of the story’s context, the power connection between Cinderella and her step-mother is rather obvious. In addition, the constant power relationships among male and females within the general public greatly influences Cinderella. Therefore every
Each and every child grows up viewing Disney movies, wearing princess gowns, and buzz lightyear suits. The parents of these children are the individuals purchasing these Disney costumes, toys, candy, and other related items for their children. Our society today accepts Disney and their culture of entertainment as a part of a child’s childhood experience without second thought. Elements of the fairytale of Cinderella has adapted over time to please the culture in which it is told; yet in today’s culture, adaptation to these elements is taken to where it has never been. In “The Princess Paradox,” James Poniewozik says, “You can have the girly dream of glass slippers and true love, these films say, as well as the womanly ideal of self-determination and independence and any contradictions between them are no match for the movies’ magic” (Poniewozik 324). Peggy Orenstein compliments Poniewozik’s article because she states, “The first Princess items, released with no marketing plan, no focus groups, no advertising, sold as if blessed by a fairy godmother” (Orenstein 327). Poniewozik is trying to argue that films have altered the story of Cinderella in the 21st century cinema realm due to the addition of the concept of feminism, women 's separation from men, and the traditional magic implemented within them. Orenstein marries these articles together indirectly by pointing out that Disney legitimately had no marketing plan, yet they continue to rake in money. The reason Disney
The social constructs that have always been the backbone of society are being brought into the light more and more each day. Ideologies such as gender roles and stereotypes are two of the main focuses now being debated. The culture surrounding gender has always been incredibly concrete, the line between what was feminine and what was masculine always prominent. However, more often than ever, people are beginning to fight the norms that individuals are being forced to comply with. Some individuals, such as Monika Bartyzel, freelance writer and creator of the weekly feature “Girls on Film”, believe that representation of the princess culture is creating a stigma and a mold that young girl are being forced into accepting. On the opposing side,
The Disney film “The Lion King” is a great example of how females are seen as subordinate to males. Giroux states, “All of the rulers of the kingdom are men, reinforcing the assumption that independence and leadership are tied to patriarchal entitlement and high social standing” (Greene 582). This is the case for most Disney films that the male characters have power over the female characters. The female characters are depicted as weak and dependent on the male characters. This can give young girls the wrong idea of what type of roles they should take on. If they keep seeing female characters being portrayed as weak and dependent on males they may think that they should be the same way. However, not all of the female characters in these movies are portrayed the same way.
From the minute one is born the division between genders is placed. The phrases “act like a lady” or “be a man” become everyday practices and lifelong slogans. Fairy tales are always focused on women who play the beautiful damsel in distress persona and on men who play the handsome knight coming in to save them. Whether you are female or male, it is important to remember that these fixed characteristics placed on genders are never to be reinforced. In a world full of gender stereotypes, the Disney movie Mulan challenges the societal construct of masculinity and femininity by proving that gender roles are not fixed traits, but socially constructed views that can be changed.
The portrayal of women, gender roles and stereotypes in Disney films has long been a controversial topic. Disney’s 1959 animated film, ‘Sleeping Beauty’, and Robert Stromberg’s 2014 live action remake, ‘Maleficent’, each provide a different take of Charles Perrault’s 1697 fairy tale, ‘La Belle au bois Dormant’ (‘The Sleeping Beauty’). The comparison of Aurora, one of the main characters from both films, brings into light the stark contrast in portrayals of gender roles as well as physical ideals and stereotypes in women. Emphasis or lack thereof on physical characteristics and gender representation from both texts challenge and reflect ideals and stereotypes that are impactful to the audience.
For my final paper where we had to pick a topic from current popular culture, I decided to write my paper with the focus on Disney movies. More particularly with the focus on the Disney princess movies. When it comes to the Disney movies they have always been and will always be such a huge part of our society. While growing up most children grow up watching these movies and get the idea that that is what they want to be when they grow up. When you ask a young girl what she wants to be when she is older there is a good chance that she will say that she wants to be a princess when she grows up. I have always been such a huge fan of Disney movies and I have a feeling I always will be. I found it very interesting this semester when we spend the short class period talking about the Disney female and male characters. It is rather interesting and something that I can say that I really never noticed before but the fact that the majority of all the female characters all had the same face shape. Whereas the males there were none two that were the same. However for this paper I will be looking into the relationship to cultural meanings about gender and other identity markers, such as race, sexuality, and cultural norms as seen in some of the more classic well known Disney movies.
Cinderella is a well beloved folktale following the life of a kind hearted heroine trapped in an abusive household, yet despite the obstacles faced, she manages to attend a ball and eventually receives her happily ever after. The story has been reinterpreted in numerous countries where it is estimated that there are nearly seven hundred versions out there. With the continuous popularity of Cinderella, there has been much criticism concerning the representation of Cinderella and the effects it has on the female demographic. By analyzing Cinderella’s gender representation of a particular version in accordance to generated criticism related to the effects it has on the female demographic, it can be determined that as new renditions are being created over time, it can be noticed that Cinderella’s gender representation are gradually becoming more independent, and active.