England, D., Descartes, L., & Collier-Meek, M. (2011). Gender Role Portrayal and the Disney Princesses. Sex Roles, 64(7/8), 555-567.
The point of many films is to convey a message to its viewers, such as morals and ethics. Consequently, films intended for adults convey messages suitable for adults; while children’s films do likewise for their target age groups, as one might expect. These children’s films, directed towards particularly younger audiences, prove useful when they contain beneficial maxims. Although at times, these films elicit less than healthy social views. Disney’s Aladdin is a prime example of a children’s film that immerses the audience in unhealthy views towards women. This film is an irresponsible in its portrayal of women - it sexually objectifies the female protagonist and enforces sexist ideologies, which directly affects the female characters within the story’s patriarchal system. The idea of sexism towards women is rampant throughout the movie Aladdin by making the following three claims: a woman’s worth is defined by men, women are incapable of making their own choices, and that women are inadequate and thus require saving by a man.
Once upon a time, there was a 16 year old mermaid princess named Ariel who gave up her voice, an important part of her identity, in order to be with a man who she became infatuated with at just one glance. Ariel has a very traditional gender-stereotypical role in the film, as the helpless, clueless, naive, physically weak, submissive, and attractive female protagonist that Disney films, especially the classics, portray so often (England). There is a lot of controversy surrounding this film in regards to its patriarchal ideals. The Little Mermaid, like most media, is build for the ‘male gaze’, a term coined by Laura Mulvey that suggests that visual entertainment, such as movies, are structured to be viewed by a masculine consumer. I will argue that the male gaze perpetuates harmful gender-stereotypes in The Little Mermaid.
Women have been in movies since they first started playing on the big screen, they have played an assortment of roles, the damsel in distress, the first one to die, the poor scullery maid who ends up a princess, the evil witch, etc. While some of the roles have shed bad light on women, for example being a femme fatale, other movies have set positive examples for the future generations. As time has changed, the Disney princesses have evolved with it, each princess becoming more outspoken and independent, influencing the young women of today to want to grow up to be just like them, “They enact a shift from the "princesses" of ballet to the "heroes" of sport. Heroism, egalitarianism and autonomy are slipped into the conventions of Disney princesshood” (Do Rozario, R.,C., 2004, para. 34). In Mulan the movie, Mulan saves her father by disobeying him, and taking his place in the war by doing that she ended up saving her whole country. Disney isn’t telling young women to disobey their parents; they’re showing them that while you may be a girl, you can be brave and succeed.
Disney movies have a very narrow view of what women should be like. Since the arrival of the first Disney movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, the idea of it has expanded, but rather marginally. There is a clear distinction of what a young women should be and what she shouldn’t be. Those who do not fit the mold of Disney’s expectations are cast aside to become villains, but those who do, end up becoming the damsel in distress. Ultimately, these stereotypes are what influences young girls who watch these films, and can have devastating effects on their self worth and change their idea of what it means to be a women. Films like Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,
Many of us have seen a Disney movie when we were younger. Disney movies captured our attention with their good morals and successful conclusions of finding their true love. The animations and music transform us into a land of magic where anything is possible if we just believe. Disney movies wrapped us in the idea that good always triumphs evil, that happy ever after exists. We have become the generation of Beauty and the Beast, 101 Dalmatians, Dumbo and Snow White as children now have not heard of these or have watched them. Some of these movies have been recreated and released in high definition and on DVDs in the past few years, but the structure and themes of the movies stays the same. However, we never stop and think about the undertones in Disney movies. They contain abuse, violence, dysfunctional relationships, and gender stereotypes, which is not appropriate for children. They may not understand what abuse, violence, dysfunctional relationships, alcohol or gender stereotypes are at their ages but do we want them to think that it’s normal. When we think that little girls watch these movies where the female characters are controlled by man or need a man to watch over them, they are not creating good role models for them. Would we not want them to have a better understanding that women do not have to have a prince charming to be happy, women can be independent and have careers and yes find love but not give everything up so their prince charming has the control.
We have all grown up watching Disney animated films and for most of us, it was the most memorable part of our childhood. What we didn’t and don’t realize till this moment is that almost all the disney animated movie portray stereotypes such as racism, gender stereotypes and the. Through its atrocious stereotypes, Disney animated films such as Lion King, Snow White and The Little Mermaid suggests that women are less in power than a man, skin color plays an important role in determining the character of a person and transformation a princess goes through, in order to get the “prince” of her dreams.
Feminism in today’s society holds true that women are strong individuals who are capable of achieving their dreams. A significant problem with the Disney Princesses is that even surrounded by the notion that females have the same inherent dignity as men, they continue to be portrayed as passive women with limited aspirations. For example, in Snow White, the character of Snow White is glorified by her ability to sing beautifully and cook for the seven dwarves (Hynes). In Beauty and the Beast, Belle is ignored when she tries to make conversation about a book she is reading, which suggests that a well-read woman is not worthy of attention (Hynes). And, in The Little Mermaid, Ariel sings about all of the wonderful treasures that she possesses, which encourages the valuing of material goods (Hynes). These films give rise to the belief that a woman’s worth is dependent on her ability to maintain a household,...
My childhood has been just like every kid growing up in the 20th century. It revolved around the Disney story’s that were filled with magic and dreams. From Cinderella to Sleeping Beauty, my beloved children 's stories were controlled by male characters. At a young age this taught me that women are not as useful as men. These stories made me learn what it means to be a boy, girl, man, or woman. The ratio of males to females as main characters was so outstanding it lead me to question how these stories impacted how I view men and women.
He left this world, impacting and inspiring the lives of everyone, young and old and changed the world of movie making forever. Part of the study will consider Walt Disney 's background, and his self-made success in America such as the famous Disneyland we all know today. Multiple resources have been collected that focus on Walt Disney 's life and how he significantly impacted the entertainment industry and became a symbol of America, to achieve this goal. The primary source is the book, Remembering Walt: Favorite Memories of Walt Disney by Amy Boothe and Howard E. Green. In the book, there are several interviews with family members and coworkers. Walt Disney promoted diversity an idea that wasn 't even thought of in the 20th century. "Disney
From an early age we get bombarded by fairy tales distinctly known for their images of fantasy and “happily ever after’s” in an attempt to mold our perceptions of the world and our behaviors. We are taught to distinguish between right and wrong and through these fairy tales, with their usual story lines of good triumphing over evil, a sense of hope and innocence gets etched into our psyche. Perhaps one of the most well-known and beloved fairy tales of them all, The Little Mermaid, has not only captivated the imaginations of both young and old but has been somewhat misinterpreted and recreated to from its original version by Hans Christian Andersen to become more appropriate and favored by society. Although the Disney recreation is quite more “kid friendly” and whimsical, it has however lost its essence and some of its morals; replacing them with different ideas and themes.
Disney promotes sexisim by forcing young girls to live in a patriarchal world. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The little mermaid, Aladdin, and Snow White are all examples of popular Disney movies that encourage young viewers that they need a man to save the day. Yes, it’s true that there are recent movies such as Moana and Frozen that prove otherwise, but how long will it take to completely get over the fact that women are mainly viewed as secondary citizens compared to the men? There are countless examples of how Disney movies influence this theme, and how much the female characters’ actions, ideas and thoughts are not included in a Disney movie.
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 their mask of progression, Disney princesses still have the potential to corrupt the minds of young children through sexism and racism.
Society cements certain roles for children based on gender, and these roles, recognized during infancy with the assistance of consumerism, rarely allow for openness of definition. A study conducted by Witt (1997) observed that parents often expect certain behaviors based on gender as soon as twenty-four hours after the birth of a child. The gender socialization of infants appears most noticeably by the age of eighteen months, when children display sex-stereotyped toy preferences (Caldera, Huston, & O’Brian 1989). This socialization proves extremely influential on later notions and conceptions of gender. Children understand gender in very simple ways, one way being the notion of gender permanence—if one is born a girl or a boy, they will stay that way for life (Kohlberg 1966). “According to theories of gender constancy, until they’re about 6 or 7, children don’t realize that the sex they were born with is immutable” (Orenstein 2006). The Walt Disney Corporation creates childhood for children worldwide. “Because Disney are such a large media corporation and their products are so ubiquitous and wide spread globally, Disney’s stories, the stories that Disney tell, will be the stories that will form and help form a child’s imaginary world, all over the world, and that’s an incredible amount of power, enormous amount of power” (Sun). Because of the portrayal of women in Disney films, specifically the Disney Princess films, associations of homemaker, innocence, and dependence are emphasized as feminine qualities for young children. Thus, children begin to consider such qualities normal and proceed to form conceptions of gender identity based off of the movies that portray the very specific and limiting views of women (...
Media is a powerful agent in entertaining children. It also influences and teaches the youth of society the suitable and appropriate gender roles that they inevitably try to make sense of. The power of media is very influential especially in the minds of the youth. Disney movies target the youth and plant certain ideas and concepts about social culture into the vulnerable minds of children. Media uses gender to its advantage, just like Disney productions. Humorous caricatures reveal some harsh realities about the portrayal of Disney Princesses in many movies made by the Walt Disney Company. Disney mixes innocence with the ultimate form of fantasy to capture an audience. Predominantly, Disney helps highlight the gender roles by showing the audience simply what they want to see. In the attempt to stick to the norm and portray stereotypical female characters, Disney created Princesses. Presented as damsels in distress and inferior beings to men, Disney Princesses give children an inaccurate portrayal of gender roles at a young age. Through Disney’s social success and intriguing films, such as The Little Mermaid, Snow White, Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Beauty and the Beast, Disney Princess movies portray stereotypical representation of gender roles through the denigration of the female image, targeting and ruining the perception of youth today.