Cinderella, Pretty Woman and Feminism Essay

Cinderella, Pretty Woman and Feminism Essay

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Pretty Woman is a modern take on the classic Cinderella story where a poor misguided girl meets her prince and her life is dramatically changed. This film has fairy tale elements, but the biggest element in the movie is the use of sex; Vivian, the main character, is a prostitute. She meets her “prince” and is swept off of her feet, but what this really means is that she is bought for an entire week by a handsome, wealthy business man. One would assume that he was buying her for sex, but this is not your average prostitute transaction. This movie has a lot of third wave feminism ideals. Third wave feminism deals with using the female gender and sexuality to further the cause and portray their views. The ultimate goal of this paper is to show that Vivian Ward (portrayed by Julia Roberts), is the poster girl for third wave feminism.
Twenty one minutes into the movie we see a slightly awkward scene where Vivian is talking to her “prince” and holds up a plethora of condoms; she states “I got red, I got yellow, I got green and blue, and for the special man Silver and Gold coins-- the condoms of champions.” He looks at her slightly dumbfounded, because he feels so strange that he has hired a hooker. They have a couple more exchanges and they get less awkward as the movie progresses. The attitude towards women has changed dramatically since 1990, the year that this film came out; you will however, find a few men who still have the attitude that women were put on this earth for their enjoyment.
In the early nineties, women were hyper-sexualized and viewed as pawns in a game. MTV showed music videos with scantily clad women which were seen as extremely scandalous at the time. The nineties was also an era of growth, liberalization and sex...


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...escrewed: Pretty Woman's Co-opted Feminism." Journal of Popular Film and Television 195605th ser. 19.1 (1991): 1-8. EBSCO HOST. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.

Madison, D. Soyini. "Pretty Woman Through the Triple Lens of Black Feminist Spectatorship." From Mouse to Mermaid: The Politics of Film, Gender, and Culture. Indianapolis: Indiana UP, 1995. 224-35. Print.

Pretty Woman. Dir. Garry Marshall. Perf. Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, and Ralph Bellamy. Buena Vista Pictures., 1990.

Smith, Claude J., Jr. "Bodies and Minds for Sale:Prostitution in Pretty Woman and Indecent Proposal." Studies in Popular Culture (1998): 91-99. Web.

Twenge, Jean M. "Attitudes Toward Women, 1970-1996: A Meta-Analysis." Psychology of Women Quarterly 21 (1999): 35-51. Print.

Winn, J. Emmett. "Investigating the American Dream in Pretty Woman." Journal of American Studies of Turkey 19 (2004): 59-68. Web.

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