England, D., Descartes, L., & Collier-Meek, M. (2011). Gender Role Portrayal and the Disney Princesses. Sex Roles, 64(7/8), 555-567.
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.
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,
We can see that throughout the making of Disney movies the gender images have not evolved to match the changes in our society now, they have stayed stereotypical and similar to when Disney movies were first made in 1937 (Towbin et al 2003). In studies of 16 different Disney movies Mia Towbin (2003) and others
This study intended to observe the behavior of characters in Disney movies in order to examine their potential influence on the development of gender roles in society’s youth. First, we were interested in determining whether or not, Disney products do in fact contain characters that portray gender stereotypical behaviors as has been discovered in previous studies. If we were able to determine that stereotypical gender behaviors are present in Disney tales, then we would like to build off of previous studies. Therefore, next we attempted to analyze whether the characters in these movies have any fluidity in their behavior in that is either gender more likely to cross over and exhibit
Many of us have seen a Disney movie when we were younger. Disney movies captured our attention with their mortals and successful conclusion. 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, The 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 thought of 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 tobacco are at their ages but do we want to think it is normal. When we think that little girls wat...
Disney films have always been a huge part of the pop culture. They featured instantly recognizable characters among every age group. These characters, especially the princesses, have been very influential, more precisely on young girls, from Belle to Frozen. However, the majority of these films revolve around the same plot with minor differences: it is always a tale about finding romantic love, a prince charming who saves the princess from a danger and they live happily ever after. However, in 2012, Disney and Pixar produced Brave, a movie that challenged the types of Disney movies we were used to. It favors feminism and gives girls a nontraditional princess model. Brave stars a strong female protagonist, Merida, and an influential plot that
Most children grow up watching Disney princess movies. Girls want to be extraordinary, beautiful, and similar to the princesses seen in these movies in terms of behavior. These movies teach them that they must be fashionable, beautiful and be rescued by a prince in order to be happy. However, these movies have been shown to have negative impacts on these young girls’ life, often resulting in low self-esteem, disobedience, overdependence, and an unrealistic expectation of male partners. As a result, young girls should not be encouraged to watch Disney princess movies because they idolize the characters, which are simply fictitious and just meant for entertainment, and these movies also cause disobedience, low self-esteem and lack of confidence.
In society today, there is pressure from all sides to conform to a certain ideal of beauty. People are overwhelmed with the different types of images and media forms that are telling people how to act and what to look like. Media is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal. It has the power to educate, affect social change, and much more, but if taken incorrectly people will take drastic lengths to change something about themselves. There have been many attempts to empower women through different types of media, but many have failed miserably. Over the last couple of years, Disney has struggled greatly with the representation of women throughout Princess movies because young girls are hounded with images of princesses,
Over the years, Disney has presented many movies to their audience—most having a Princess as the protagonist. These movies became a babysitter for most parents in the early stages of their child’s life. Most people found these movies as relatively harmless. The obvious assumption about the Disney Princesses is that they only desire true love since almost every movie ends in romance. Parents just viewed these movies as romantic movies on a child’s level. However, these movies were not solely intended for an audience of an age that can be counted on both hands. They were intended to speak to “an intelligent and active audience” (Sumera 40). However, there are many people who disagree with the ways of the Disney Princess movies. The disagreements lie within the portrayal of women gender roles in these movies. It is argued that Disney portrays women as a being nurturing individuals without any control over their identity. The women are unable to think for themselves, because they are uneducated, and they are quick to fall in love with the first man that pays them any attention. However, this is not completely true. The people that are against the portrayal of women in the Disney movies are failing to recognize the underlying concepts in these movies. For example, Belle, in Beauty and the Beast, was well educated, Mulan went to war despite the consequences, and Merida, in Brave, stood up to her mother in refusal to marry. The Disney Princesses desired intelligence, bravery, strength, and independence—not true love’s kiss.
A little girl sits on the floor with her gaze fixed on the television screen in front of her, watching magical images dance before her eyes and catchy songs flow through her ears. Even though she had seen it at least twenty times before, she still loved The Little Mermaid just as much as she did the first time she watched it. As she watched it, she longed to be a beautiful mermaid with a curvy body and wonderful singing voice like Ariel. She longed to be saved by the handsome Prince Eric, and fall in love and live happily ever-after like Ariel did. In today’s society, women strive to achieve equality between the sexes. Despite the tremendous steps that have been taken towards reaching gender equality, mainstream media contradicts these accomplishments with stereotypes of women present in Walt Disney movies. These unrealistic stereotypes may be detrimental to children because they grow up with a distorted view of how men and women interact. Disney animated films assign gender roles to characters, and young children should not be exposed to inequality between genders because its effect on their view of what is right and wrong in society is harmful to their future.
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 (...
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.
Since Disney’s Snow White appeared in 1937, Disney princesses have been a present in pop culture. With the release of new movies frequent and re-release of decades old movies inevitable, a continuous stream keeps Disney princesses in the foreground of adolescent society. It is with the value of entertainment they have been created and as entertainment they should be viewed.