- This picture illustrates the six classic Disney princesses that have impacted young girls in our society for years.
- When it comes to raising girls, parents today have plenty to worry about: self-esteem, self-image, depression and eating disorders. Today's culture teaches women that their worth is more about beauty and less about their intelligence. The “princess effect” has taken a toll on how young girls grow into the mature emotionally developed women.
Sarah’s concern is one in a million of parents concern within this phenomena of Disney princess’s stereotypes. Amongst most parents gender stereotypes push every button, numerous parents cave into what their child wants. This might not be a bad thing. What parents need to know is that it’s a balancing act. Educating parents on the Disney princess effect is not to stop children from enjoying these classic movies but to educate their children on what is right and wrong. If children are watching these movies parents need to educate their children and teach them that these stereotypes should not impact them while they grow up to be men and women.
Disney’s image of princesses has drastically changed over the years. This picture blog shows from the late 1930’s all the way through 2009 the development of Disney's characters from passive to heroes. Multiple elements have been altered viewing appearances, gender roles, traditional princess images, and marketing.
When looking at this tweet you see how someone has unrealistic expectations on how their future should be. Young girls that are inspired to have this "Disney princess effect" are not growing up to be strong, independent women that are motivated to change something in the world. In many of the Disney princess movies for example, Beauty and the Beast shows how women are not supposed to have any intelligence, but should focus on fulfilling a man's needs. This has an impact on how a girl views her female position in the world.
This is a great question for every parent or any feminist. If you have a moment the blog that was linked to this tweet is great. It has a lot of information that is of help to understanding this “Disney princess effect”. The blogger talked about Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter, she is an expert on this topic. Orenstein wrote a book to help other parents, and herself on how to raise a daughter in a princess world. Society needs more education on this topic to help young girls develop and become great women they can be. Peggy Orenstein has started a great discussion in society about Disney, television, music, and what the media portrays to young girls.
One important factor in raising girls is to be open-minded. Having your own opinions and view on how you think everything should run might not actually work. Haley Krischer is a feminist mom with a daughter that loves princesses. Many parents are in this situation but do not know what to do. Nicole Cooley, wrote a book called Milk Dress and Shauna Pomerants, author of Girl Power which they talked to their daughters early on about feminist version of princesses. Both authors feel that princesses are not the necessity of a girl’s life but it is hard to move past it once a girl sees one.
Disney reflects images of women as they are in each particular decade. For example in 1937 Snow White cooked, clean, and took care of men, which in that decade that’s what most women did. They were not doctors, lawyers, but stay at home mothers that made sure everything was ready once a man came home from work. Having children watch these old Disney princess movies can impact a child’s knowledge on how women should act in society. However as long as society keeps growing and changing in a positive feminist way hopefully Disney princesses will also.
As many critics agree Disney’s classic main characters are young, beautiful girls in search of a man, and they do not have any ambition of their own. One of the main problems that these movies are teaching young girls is the stereotypes portrayed in these movies. Not only do they make stereotypes on ethnicities but also beauty. Having this expectation of beauty only makes it normal for the media to show pictures of outrageous standards of beauty. If you look at each Disney princess in this picture there is a clip of what the main gist of each movie is supposed to teach a girl. With this said, each movie is not teaching girls how to be independent, strong, loving, educated women.
Most Disney princesses act as a “damsel in distress” which portrays them to be taken care of in order to survive. This is not true in a feminist eyes, being able to take care of your self but also love and cherish someone is how a Disney princess should portray a girl. Having girls watch these movies is just showing them that you need a man to take care of you always.
In the video there are negative morals that are taught from each Disney princess. For example, Cinderella “it is not how hard you work but how beautiful you are”. The theme in this movie is beauty is the most important thing. Which, then turns into more girls trying to lose weight at a younger age and a higher amount diagnosed with an eating disorder.
One of the lessons that children learn throughout watching these movies are bad people are always fat, old, and/or ugly. During childhood, a child’s brain learns morals, language, recognizable patters, and social skills. When a movie is consistent with its physical indication of evil, the physical indication begins to stick with the child watching because their brain has correlated evil with old, fat, or ugly.