What young girl does not dream of becoming a princess and living in a castle happily ever after? Virtually every young girl identifies with princesses and has watched at least one Disney Princess movie. From the first movies of Snow White and Cinderella, to the later movies of The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, to the most current movie Moana, Disney Princess movies permeate not only the movie theaters, but also our culture. In fact, “becoming a princess is as easy as purchasing a tiara and hosting a princess-themed birthday party or buying a Halloween costume and playing pretend” (Garabedian, 2014, p. 23). Nonetheless, as declared by Princess Merida in the movie Brave, “there comes a day when I don’t have to be a princess. No rules, no expectations. A day where anything can happen. A day where I can change my fate” (Andrews & Chapman, 2012). In other words, does the life of a princess measure up to the expectations of little girls everywhere? The Disney Princess brand has grown incredibly popular, especially with young girls. In spite of this, the franchise has also become extremely controversial due to potential gender stereotypes in the films. “Gender is one of the most discussed topics in today’s society…[it] represents and also reproduces certain attributes, expectations and roles which are associated with male and female…influencing the views and opinions of future generations” (Maity, 2014, p. 31). Yet, is the Disney Princess brand harmful to young children due to gender stereotypes? Two essays that contemplate the Disney Princess brand and gender stereotypes with opposite viewpoints on this controversial issue are “Girls on Film: The Real Problem with the Disney Princess Brand” by writer Monika Bartyzel and “In Defense of Princess Culture” by writer and mother Crystal Liechty. However, Liechty’s essay “In Defense of Princess Culture,” is the most effective article in convincing the audience of her point of view due to the claim, support, warrant, language, and vocabulary employed.
The representation of women in Disney films has indefinitely transformed throughout the decades due to Disney’s need to gradually create conventional views and ideas of women. When comparing the 1998 Disney film, Mulan, and the 2016 Disney film, Moana, people may suggest that both are progressive feminist films that accurately depict their individual cultures, while uplifting the women in these films. However, with further analysis, Mulan consists of not only sexist views towards women, but also underlines stereotypical gender roles that men are greater than women. Moreover, Moana reflects a change of the conventional woman in Disney films by rejecting the female stereotypes as well as creating a headstrong and independent character who
Children watch Disney movies and dream of a life like that of a princess. To be saved from the dangers of the world by a handsome prince and live happily ever after. What some people don’t realize is how Disney shapes the minds of children to act a certain way. Children get an idea of how to play the role of their gender through these movies. The 1991 film “Beauty and the Beast” is the first Disney movie that defies traditional gender stereotypes.
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 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
One famous and notable example of children’s films are those produced by the beloved Walt Disney Company, a company which exerts “a powerful influence on children’s media…contributing to a new “girlhood” that is largely defined by gender and consumption of related messages and products” (England, Descartes & Collier-Meek, 2011). England, Descartes and Collier-Meek (2011) also claim that Disney films are highly accessible to children and that they are a popular choice of both children and their parents. While some may see Disney films as wholesome and family-friendly, Zarranz (2007) sees something deeper—he sees past the innocent nature of the films to a deeper level, a level of “power relations and adult sexuality”. Zarranz (2007) discusses various ways that popular animated Disney films are harmful to women, from setting dangerous body-image ideals to patriarchal social structures in The Little Mermaid, to hyper-sexualisation and colonization themes in Pocahontas, to expected housekeeping duties and need to be rescued in Cinderella. These themes do nothing more than perpetuate overused and damaging
For the past seventy-eight years, Disney continued to create Disney princess movies, a phenomenon which swept the world, with a worldwide gross of up to six hundred million dollars, with young girls adoring each and every movie. Girls from the age of two watch and enjoy these chauvinist movies, spending hundreds of dollars on outfits so they can resemble their most idealized princess, includes Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana, Rapunzel, and Merida. However, the Disney princess demographic does not cater to each girl that admires the princesses. While a single Caucasian girl’s dream blossoms, dreaming about the multiple princesses she could grow up to be, an African American girl’s falls to pieces,
As we all know princesses are a big part of the Disney film industry and they all have something in common, and that is that they are involved in a social problem of feminism. The conflict between the Disney Corporation and the feminist has been going on since the first Disney Princess film in 1937. The majority of the Disney film's audience are children. Disney films have expanded their arsenal to give young people a lesson about ourselves’ ever-changing morals, but they expose the wrong way of being a princess and also can be transmitted as the wrong idea to young people, which is not helping, because of the Disney Industrial’s size or the coverage of their media. For example, Disney has set forth a standard of how all of their princesses are supposed to look like. The portrait of women in Disney films is often the stereotypical version of them; the cultural beliefs of the 1940s are reflected in the roles of the women
Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora from Sleeping Beauty, Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Jasmine from Aladdin, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and even Elsa and Anna from Frozen all have one thing in common: They are motherless. This presentation will explore Disney's motherless princesses and how women are represented in the films. Not only are the mothers absent but when there is a mother figure in place she is cruel and evil. To understand exactly why this is so prevalent in many Disney films, this work will build upon the works of Ann Hall and Mardia Bishop, Marjorie Worthington, and Lynda Haas. Thus, it appears Disney movies have removed mothers and replaced them with evil or uncaring mother figures. Also, multiple sources contend that the,
For decades now, Disney Corporation has been providing us with countless films made to delight and amuse children and adults alike. But not all Disney films seem particularly appropriate for their target audience. Many of these films portray violence, gender inequality, and skewed views of leadership roles that seem altogether inappropriate for impressionable young children. Better and more contemporary heroines need to be added to Disney’s wall of princesses in order to counteract years of sexism.
Animated fairy tale movies directed to children are what children look up to and base their childhood around. These movies not only allow Halloween costumes and toys for children they shape the type of character a child wants to be. Unfortunately most of these fairy tale movies involve an extremely sexist plot as well mainly consisting of a damsel in distress and a big strong man ready to save her. The main Disney princesses that I think of Cinderella,
Presently, many books and fairytales are converted movies and often, producers alters the original tales to grasp the attention of a large audience. However, some of these interpretations hide the primary interpretation. The original interpretations of the Disney classics Snow White and Sleeping Beauty are greatly reinvented from the original fairytales Sun, Moon, and Talia and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs because of the brutal nature of the treatment women in these original forms. Although there are differences in certain aspects from the original tales to the movies, there are many issues that are influential to the young girls who are still watching the Disney version. I realize this when my youngest niece, Anella asks me, “Why can’t
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.
Disney is known for playing a large part in the development of children. Children idolize the company and its characters. And while the children are more than likely unaware of it, Disney helps to construct a sense of morality, creativity, and imagination. Although these are certainly positive attributes that build a strong foundation for a child to flourish, there are critics out there who argue that there are controversial issues buried deep within the films. One of the largest conflicts critics come across is the portrayal of Disney’s villains. From the time Snow White came out in 1937 up until the release of Frozen in 2013, there had been severe concerns with the representation of women within the films and even some of the men. In
Disney movies play a role in the childhood of many. Parents would expect not to have any troubles with showing these movies to their children, but infact there is many forms of gender stereotyping within these movies that can leave subtle impacts on a childs growing mind. In the Disney story of Cinderella, after her parents die Cinderella's wicked stepmother makes her a servant in her own house. Living with her two jealous step sisters. Cinderella wants to go to the royal ball which she has no chance of attending. Cinderella then gets a fairy god mother who makes her dreams come true. Cinderella enchants Prince Charming at the ball, but must face her enraged sisters and stepmother when the spell wears off at midnight. The message shown throughout this movie is that having good looks will help you succeed in life. Its shown throughout the movie that