##s And Stereotypes In Sleeping Beauty And Robert Stromberg's Sleeping Beauty

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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’s animated film, ‘Sleeping Beauty’, centres around the female lead, Aurora, and from the very beginning, a huge emphasis is placed on her physical characteristics and unrealistic body proportions. In a scene at the start of the film, infant Aurora is blessed with magic gifts from each of the three fairies, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather. Each of the fairies bestowed upon Aurora one gift; the first of which, from Flora, was beauty, and the second of which, from Fauna, was the gift of song. Aurora was to have, ‘Sunshine in her hair,’ with, ‘Lips that shame the red, red, rose.’ This strong emphasis on physical traits and beauty reinforces gender ideals in women and carries the negative message that being beautiful is more important than having other traits such as kindness and
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