Gender Roles in Disney

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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.

Disney Princess movies target children and are none other than a transfigured fairytale story in which innocence and moral virtue are questioned. In pursuit of romance and having the mindset of doing whatever it takes for love, Disney creates this magical world and targets the youth, especially young girls. Walt Disney was a creative and “radical filmmaker who changed [one’s] ...

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...ironment. Young people use all kinds of media to find out who they are and what the world is like. The media is a powerful influence on children’s ideas and understanding of the world. If Disney continues to portray women with these stereotypical ideas, this endless cycle of gender roles will never be diminished.

Works Cited

Bell, Elizabeth, Lynda Haas, and Laura Sells. From Mouse to Mermaid: the Politics of

Film, Gender, and Culture. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1995. Print.

Berg, Charles Ramirez. Latin Looks: Images of Latinas and Latinos in the U.S. Media.

Ed. Clara E. Rodriguez. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1997. Print.

Lee, Robert G. Orientals: Asian Americans in Popular Culture. Philadelphia: Temple

UP, 1999. Print.

Giroux, Henry A., and Grace Pollock. The Mouse That Roared: Disney and the End of

Innocence. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010. Print.
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