Disney’s gender roles and female body ideals are the elephant in the room that most people ignore. For decades, Disney movies have been very popular amongst young girls who are looking for role models to guide them, and to look up to. However, these movies help girls reinforce the female ideal that society has created, teaching them how a “real” girl dresses and acts. What are the psychological effects Disney movies have on young girls’ ideal of body image and female gender roles? The Princesses in Disney movies are portrayed as young, voluptuous, and beautiful while the female villains are usually older, heavyset or emaciated , and considered “ugly” or undesirable. These perceptions can give young girls an inaccurate view of what beauty should look like and what they should strive to be. This causes negative effects on how young girls view themselves and can lead to eating disorders later in life. Not only do the Disney movies portray body image inaccurately but they also reinforce gender stereotyping. Throughout each movie the princesses are “damsels in distress,” naïve, and cook and clean while wearing very
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.
The Walt Disney Company is a pillar of American culture, and has had an immense impact on society as a whole, for decades. The films created are filled with beautiful messages, catchy songs, and colorful characters. When discussing Disney films, critiques, and viewers in general, tend to focus the conversation around the portrayal of women and the influence it has on young women. There has been an unavoidable debate concerning the ideologies promoted by the Disney films, and in particular its princesses, since Snow White came out in 1937. The princesses were in fact often represented as passive characters with tiny waists, who are constantly in need of rescuing. These concepts in creating female characters contribute to societal standards of
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.
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
Disney princess movies are inappropriate for young girls. People blame adult media for a child’s corruption, but they fail to see where it all started: Disney princess movies. Women should not see Disney princesses as their role model. They should accept themselves for who they are than comparing themselves to unrealistic Disney characters. If young girls continue to emulate Disney characters, it might affect their future. It is better to stop them at their early age. Therefore, they should not be encouraged to watch Disney princess movies for the betterment of their future and society.
This is because children tend to be the major audience of Disney films. The author’s main claim is that typical stereotyped gender roles of Disney’s princess films has evolved from 1937 of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves to the most recent film, The Princess and the Frog released in 2009. Princes and the princesses, the main characters of the films in the past were depicted as they were more fit into the stereotyped gender roles: princes tended to be more masculine whereas princesses were emphasized for their femininity. The author provides support through suggesting other academic theoretical views stating how Disney’s princess line affects children’s development of gender roles. The purpose of the study is to show how characteristics of princes and princesses from Disney’s films have changed over the time. The author then introduces the results of the study saying that it is explicit that princes showed masculine characteristics in older films while princesses emphasized their femininity in the past. However, both characteristics have slightly mixed in current films. The warrant that the author uses is that children can be also stereotyped by Disney films due to their susceptibility and flexibility toward such information. Therefore, the huge market of Disney’s merchandises has significant influences on children’s cognitive development of gender perception. This is due to the fact that they are both the most targeted consumers of its market and watchers of the films
According to Giroux (1996), animated movies are a part of children’s culture. Children’s culture consists of entertainment, artifacts, myths, etc. that are based around the notion of what it means to be a child. Animated movies, particularly Disney films, encourages the child’s imagination and fantasy to be enhanced, creates a drive within them to go on adventures and helps them develop an aura of innocence. Animated films are “teaching machines” (Giroux, 1996, p. 66). Disney films teach children about specific roles, values and ideals and also take them through the world of enchantment. It helps them to understand who they are and what it means to be a part of the society and an adult environment (Giroux, 1996). Disney characters are a reflection
Young girls from all over the world idolize the princesses created by Walt Disney. The Walt Disney Company (also known as Disney) is a mass media corporation founded by Walt Disney that is known for the creation of widely known and loved animated films, many of which include greatly admired princesses. The popularity of these princesses reached such a height that Disney created a franchise featuring various female heroines from several of Disney’s successful films. Society’s views on gender roles at different periods of time are reflected through each Disney Princess’s character and the time in which they were created.
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.
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.
The debate over the good and bad aspects of Disney movies has been going on for years. It has become a part of pop culture in a way never expected through things such as YouTube videos and meme’s. While looking at multiple Disney movies may give a wider range of example of both the good and the bad in Disney movies, to help depict the effects the movies actually have on kids it is most beneficial to study just one movie. Zia’s essay argues that Disney movies have a good influence on children by teaching them good life morals. However, one of her examples, Mulan, is not an example of achievement through hard work like Zia explains, but rather a change made through magic, and example of the horrible historical inaccuracies made in Disney movies and the lack of parental respect that they teach children.
Critics have warned the public audience about Disney programming’s affect on the “invasion and control of children’s imagination” (Ross 5). These movies express the typical gender roles “such as males being physically strong, assertive, and athletic, and females being prone to overt emotion, inc...
Each Disney princess has different positive attributes that make her unique, the most recent Disney princesses are especially fitting in today’s society. In Jena Stephens’ analysis of the three most recent princesses, excluding Anna and Elsa, she describes Rapunzel by saying, “Her forward thinking, desire to prove she is just as capable as a man, and realistic dreaming make her a great role model for young girls”. Whether it is to become a princess and marry her true love like Cinderella or open a restaurant like Princess Tiana, all of the Disney princesses have aspirations. Jena Stephens says, “The words that Tiana sings about the necessary hard work it will take for her to reach her dream stand out as a message to young viewersone that does not covey that love is the only thing that will make girls happy”. Not only do Disney princesses have dreams but they make their dreams come true with hard work. As Liz Gumbinner described her trip to Disney World with her daughters, “The princess luncheon led to a great discussion later in our hotel room, in which we told our girls that it is okay to be strong, smart, hardworking and still dream of marrying a prince”. Disney princesses carry themselves in a humble and confident manner. The princesses are beautiful but they are not conceited. Lastly, they are never stuck up but rather loving and independent which makes their character so