Beauty and Its Beast: Today's Beauty-Obsessed Society

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Beauty and its Beast
In today’s beauty-obsessed society, an unhealthy body image in teens is on the rise. Media of all sorts plays a large part in labeling exactly what it means to be beautiful. This brainwashing of unrealistic expectations of what beauty is starts at a young age with fairy-tale movies like Disney. “The Walt Disney Company is one of the biggest media corporations in the world. It has been dominating the world of children movies for decades” (Lamb & Brown 2007). Disney films have been infamously overloaded with gender stereotypes. These films are the very basis of what young children aspire to be. Little girls all around the world emulate the princesses Disney has created over the decades. But you see little girls are not the only ones emulating these fictional characters, but little boys are forced fed lies about what it is to be a hero. However, the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast seems to stray from this trajectory by depicting an intelligent female protagonist, a handsome “bad guy”, and a brute as “Prince Charming.”
The 1991 Walt Disney animated production of Beauty and the Beast, which was based on the 1756 French fairy tale La Belle et la Bête by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont, is a example of a fairy tale. Beauty and The Beast is the story of a beautiful but humble girl called Belle whose father becomes imprisoned by The Beast. Belle courageously sacrifices her freedom for her fathers at the Beast's castle. The Beast treats her well, with plenty of food and water and enough books to fill a library. Belle learns to love the Beast for who he really is. Belle soon becomes homesick and the Beast allows her to leave only if she promises to return a week later. The Beast gives Belle a ring that allows he...

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...onstruct, meaning that what we think males and females should do or how we think males and females should behave is not based on one’s biological sex” (185). In other words, Barnett is claiming that gender roles are learned from a young age and taught by one’s society. In a time of a crucial learning age, a child starts to recognize what is considered “male” and what is considered “female”. Therefore it is very important what he or she is being exposed to. Children have been, and continue to be, influenced by the overly stereotyped Disney frames of gender. This taught behavior is then mirrored into society as the demographic ages and is merged into all aspects of society. These very principles directly correlate with the vast number of people who are falsely under the impression of what it means to be beautiful, along with what it means to be a man, or even a hero.

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