Disney is a world-famous company that has been around for more than ninety years
Disney is a world-famous company that has been around for more than ninety years, every year, creating new stories so that everyone can enjoy, specifically children. Disney premiered the first Disney princess in 1937 which was: Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs. With the years going by, the company has created countless of Disney princess stories from “Cinderella” (1950) to “Moana” (2016). In the film Snow White and the Seven dwarfs, the evil queen sends the huntsman to kill snow white; however, they decide not to kill snow-white and let her live. After the queen discovers that Snow White was still alive, she created a poisoned red apple that will put snow white into sleep. There is one thing that can save her which is a true love kiss, which would revive her. Afterwards Snow-White bites into the apple and falls into a deep sleep. The dwarfs believing that snow white was dead, build an open grave for Snow White body to rest on. Moments later the Prince comes across Snow White corpse. Suddenly he kisses her, causing her to awaken from her deep sleep. The end is similar to multiple princess film that has been produced they get married and lived happily ever after. This is affecting young girl’s psychological mindset in a negative way because its teaching young girls that a magical kiss can resolve problems. Psychological is related to the mental and emotional state of a person. Disney princesses are for all ages, but their target audience is young children. One of the similarities in all the Princess films is Romanticism. Each film demonstrates romanticism in their own unique way; however, they all include a prince that rescue them from a situation. Young girls are learning at a young age that a man is needed in their life when that shouldn’t be the case. This issue impacts young girls because they are being thought that a man is needed in their life’s. Disney Films are influencing female’s psychological mindset of how a female should behave around men, in addition to when what a female needs in her life. Making women believe that a man is required to be happy.
It’s well known that Princesses are very feminine, since they are based on ancient times, but this does not prevent girls in adopting the characteristics that Princesses have. Children grow up watching films over and over repeatedly. Watching a film multiple time allows a child to remember lines and create personal connections with character’s. According to the article “Gender Role Portrayal and the Disney Princesses” by Dawn Elizabeth England & Lara Descartes & Melissa A. Collier-Meek in 2011 states that ” feminine characteristics are…Submissive- yielding to power or authority, humble and ready obedience. This trait was usually in response to another character’s assertiveness”(599). Disney characters specifically princesses are created weak enough, to be influenced and controlled by a person that is more dominant. In the films the Prince or the evil character hold the characteristics of being dominant and controlling in their own unique way. Creating young girls to becoming easier targets at being submissive because they want to be like a princess; therefore, they won’t stand up for themselves. A research conducted at University of Colorado Springs, mentions the following, “when children formulate ideas on how they should play, imitating the characters and stories they’ve seen on a screen, becoming the person and not building upon themselves”(Tonn, 2018). Children are recreating the characters they grow up watching. At a young age a child should be creating their own style, figuring what they like, but instead they are following the princess dialogue and life.
Many girls are reacting their favorite princess’s character, which might be very negative. Young girl’s psychological health is at risk because they are becoming a person that doesn’t exist and are just adding to their own characteristics. Hains (2014), within this regard, mentions in her work The Princess Problem: Guiding Our Girls Through the Princess-Obsessed Years that “if girls have a tendency towards that spectrum, then it takes their feminine side and exaggerate it even more.” Disney princesses have certain charactersitcs already means that from an early age, girls tend to easily adopt the characteristics that certain characters have, and this could be very harmful.
The perception of both the appearance and the behavior of these characters creates a negative impact on our society and children. After observing all of this some popular films will be mentioned, as well as the main themes or lessons that transmit to children, regardless of whether they are positive or negative. Movies like “Cinderella” (1950) come to show kids that a man will always arrive to save a woman, just as every woman must have certain requirements to get married. Many young girls relate to Disney princesses. The characters in Disney movies are often well developed, impressing young admirers. Many children watch these movies over and over again until they memorize the dialogue and songs in them.
Various stereotypes are represented by several of these princesses.
Disney films are about romanticism, love at first sight, get rescued, live happy for ever. The way This message is perturbing, considering Disney’s
Women?s representation in popular culture facilitates the stereotype of the simple minded, emotional and domesticated female. In most instances they do not have any role but to support the leading male characters. Most of them are written as princesses who need to be saved from the „wicked witch? and then fall in love with their prince charming.
extreme and enduring popularity with children; multiple generations of children have learned gender roles from these films, and a new generation is currently doing the same. Fairy tales and Disney are almost synonymous in American culture; Disney princess merchandise is inescapable in toy stores, and other media, such as television shows (ABC’s Once Upon a Time and NBC’s Grimm) and new films (Mirror, Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman) that refashion the same old stories prove the staying power of Disney fairy tales over almost a century, and even though some of these films are decades old, they are still relevant for both children and their parents.
Disney Princess stories not only teach us how a princess looks but also how women gain happiness, meet a soul mate and live with the man. From the very beginning, her quest is one- to find her Prince Charming. As an early Disney film, traditional gender roles are presented showing her cooking and cleaning and mothering the seven dwarfs. She is portrayed naturally as a happy homemaker, as she waits for her prince to come and rescue her.
In The Little Mermaid?, even once when Ariel has achieved her human form by her own means, sacrificing her sweet voice for legs, she cannot truly fulfill her desire to remain a human without the help of Eric, the representative of dominant male belonging to the patriarchal society as Ariel relies on Eric?s kiss to make her dreams come true. Ariel?s sacrifice itself represents blatant sexism in that she trades her means of communicating and expressing her intellect and personality for the physical sexual symbol of human legs making her into „a woman as man wants her to be?. Even the Sea-Witch Ursula quells Ariel?s lack of her sweet voice by telling her, “You?ll have your looks, your pretty face, and don?t underestimate the power of body language.”3 The lesson that is conveyed to the girls is that they need to sacrifice their voice- their power of communication, in order to achieve the bodily perfection which is the ultimate attribute for girls. When Ursula transforms her into human in order to win Prince Eric?s love, she does so by becoming tall and slender, giving a message that a physical transformation is the best way to win a man?s heart. The endings of the stories thus never change; for a woman to achieve perfect happiness, she has to find the perfect man. So Ariel has been criticized by feminists as though she seems to have little ambition to beyond getting her Prince.
This is dangerous for them because these Disney Princesses are unrealistic depictions of womanhood and harms a young girl?s perception of herself and how she should present herself in front of the society. Disney and its princess phenomenon have been identified as a powerful influence on children?s media and product consumerism, contributing to a new “girlhood”, that is largely defined by gender and consumption of related messages and products. These things associated with the Disney princesses encourage the girls to look as the Princesses looks, a wild impossible expectation. Wohlwend states that “the pervasive availability of consumer products associated with the Disney Princess blurs the line between play and reality, allowing children to live in-character.”10 This is dangerous for the young girls who are about to face the harsh realities related to the society.