The Smurfette Principle: a Popular Media Phenomenon

1036 WordsDec 5, 20125 Pages
The Smurfette Principle: A Popular Media Phenomenon By Youssef Sourgo You have certainly had the opportunity to read or watch The Smurfs. The Smurfs was “a Belgium comic and television franchise centered on a group of small blue creatures.” In order to understand the “Smurfette Principle,” it’s necessary to watch at least one episode of The Smurfs which features Smurfette. Smurfette, the only female Smurf, is now used as an analogy for female characters who exists alongside a large number of male characters. This recurring phenomenon in countless fictional and cinematic works has been the subject of heated debates, and has even proved to perpetuate dangerous stereotypes about women in general. The website TV Tropes defines a “trope” as…show more content…
This trope perpetuates some negative stereotypes about women that boys, at an early age, endorse as granted facts. They consequently base their thoughts and attitudes toward girls and woman on those dangerous stereotypes. In her article, “What the Smurfette Principle Teaches your Kids About Girls,” published on the Huffington Post, Soraya Chemali exhibits some of the dangers of this media phenomenon. According to her, the Smurf village story from which Katha Pollitt was inspired to coin the phrase “the Smurfette Principle,” communicates the following dangerous stereotypes about girls to boys: - Girls are socially inactive and redundant—as the character Smurfette doesn’t have a job in the series, contrary to most (if not all) of the other members of the Smurfs community. - Girls are judged according to their physical sex appeal Some tend to argue, however, that this “fake issue” is not worthy of all this concern and attention, and that (mostly female) critics are making an unnecessary buzz about it. Others think that those fictional productions within showbiz are not meant to be one-gender-centered, at all. They are only the fruit of an unconscious creativity process; that is to say: choosing the appropriate cast members for a certain movie has never been based on bias or a particular gender preference. Instead, it is just an attempt to bring a certain

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