Gender Identity In Walt Disney Movies

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Fairy tales have existed for hundreds of years to impart lessons to young children and teach them the importance of certain behaviors, thoughts or attitudes necessary for cultural success. These stories often give out the concept of good versus evil where goodness often triumphs with the protagonist embracing the desired societal behaviors. One of the most common ideologies that fairytales impart on its reader or listener is the idea that females should be young, pretty, helpless and submissive while males should be strong, handsome, resourceful and dominant. A young girl’s journey into adulthood is very much constrained by the constructed ideals of femininity. Such ideals are perpetuated by cultural traditions, education and very often, the media. The media often, implicitly or explicitly, promotes mental models of how a woman should look, speak and interact with others. Arguably, young children’s self-image is influenced by how they perceive their identities in texts both verbal and visual. Hence, media that girls are exposed to at a tender age play a major in shaping their gender ideologies. In the essay of Alice Neikirk entitled “…Happily Ever After (or What Fairytales Teach Girls About Being Women)”, she states that instead of reflecting reality …show more content…

Disney movies, which can be seen as very strong influences on impressionable children, seem to unequivocally present the romantic lives of princesses. In every film, the audience watches a beautiful princess almost fall into a moment of danger, if not for the charming prince, quick to rescue her. Yet, at a deeper level, we see that Disney Films are vehicles of powerful gender ideologies creating. Disney, through its movies, has the power to create a generational time frame of attitudes and beliefs in future gender definitions and gender roles for billions of young girls and female adolescents around the

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