The Negative Portrayal of Women in Disney Princess Movies Disney princess movies are beloved by many little girls; however, the children do not understand that from a young age they’re learning that a woman is only good for her looks. Every princess has a slender frame and that’s what the children are referencing as beautiful. Not to mention that most of the princesses have fair skin. The princesses have very little, if any diversity and are treated as weak objects.
Most Disney princess movies establish these female archetypes of physical attributes and personal characteristics each princess must obtain in order to fit within the ‘norm’ of what a female is defined and seen as. Physical attributes include a petite figure, voluminous hair, and symmetrical faces (example within image #1 on page 11). In addition to these are the personal characteristics of dependence and naivete. Although these standards of a ‘perfect’ female may have not been created by Disney, they surely have been reinforced by it. Common features seen throughout Disney films are princesses being given natural beauty, which in turn is what defines them as a princess.
Many girls dream of their knight in shining armor, a perfect wedding, and a happily ever after ending. Disney princesses give them hope to find love and happiness along with emphasizing their want for the beauty and grace princesses illustrate. Authors of “Cinderella and Princess Culture” and “The Princess Paradox,” Peggy Orenstein and James Poniewozik respectively, agree that most girls like princesses. However, these articles convey differing parental opinions on lessons girls learn from princesses and the unfavorable effects this has at their young age. Orenstein describes her negative views on princesses through her experiences with her daughter and the knowledge of Andy Mooney’s business decisions on princesses.
Another Example of symbolism in the Disney movie of Rapunzel stories is color symbolism. In these color examples I’m going to use the movie Tangled, from Disney. Throughout the movie, I noticed many color schemes that really brought together the meaning of Rapunzel. The first color to catch my eye was Rapunzel 's “spun gold”(Grimm 2) hair. The gold in her hair characterizes the Rapunzel flower that she impersonates.
Disney princesses have usually been shown through a traditional fairy tale concept, the damsel-in-distress in need of help and to be back but in line. These films represent the ideologies of gender which originated from the play Macbeth. However Frozen both challenges and reinforces the traits of a typical
Amanda Putnam’s essay, “Mean Ladies: Transgendered Villains in Disney Films”, is a compelling piece on gender portrayal and views in Disney films. Putnam opened the essay with a personal anecdote about her daughter. Her daughter wanted a Disney movie without a “mean lady”, as in most Disney films the villains are scary, evil women. The real life evidence strengthened her claim that children are noticing the characterization of female villains in Disney films. The antidote was brought fill circle when she referred back to her daughter in the final paragraphs of her essay.
However, the later Disney films have gradually attempted to break away from this stereotype resulting in stronger female characters like Ariel, Mulan, and Elsa among others. Keeping this transition in mind, this paper uses semiotic analysis of four popular Disney films, namely, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), The Little Mermaid (1989) and Mulan (1998) to depict the influence of societies ' changing perceptions of women on the portrayal of Disney princesses. These films taking into account the earliest film and certain popular characters that have represented a shift from being the coy damsel in distress to a woman who plays an active role in determining her own destiny. The portrayal of the Disney princess has changed in accordance with the development of women in society over time (1937 to 2013) from demure and traditional to
The findings of this study indicate that body image-related messages, especially those concerning beauty and thinness, are prevalent in the examined Disney films. Physical appearance is noticeably prioritized over other attributes of characters. It is seen that the dominant source of female beauty is physical attractiveness, specifically thinness. Characters beauty in the movies tends to be associated with goodness whereas unattractive features tend to be associated with evil. This concludes that the embodiment of the “thin ideal” throughout mass media is proven to be prevalent starting at a very young age for women.
Is it really just biological and physical factors that determines whether someone is beautiful or handsome, or is there more to it? Whenever we hear someone describe another person as being 'beautiful', we automatically visualize a tall, slim woman with a curvy bone structure, long, blonde, glossy hair, smooth, sallow skin, crystal blue eyes, peachy lips, a neatly chiselled jaw line and prominent cheekbones. We also very often associate positive traits such as innocence and goodness with the stereotypical meaning of 'beautiful'. All the features listed above are the type of characteristics people constantly see Disney promoting in their films which leads many to believe that they portray the 'beauty-is-good' stereotype. However, whilst Disney are seen to be the main culprits of encouraging this stereotype, there is no solid empirical evidence to prove that they are continuingly displaying it in every single one of their
Disney even designated specific body figures and movements for Cinderella aside from her stepmother and stepsisters. According to the article, “Somatexts at the Disney Shop” by Elizabeth Bell, “The language of ballet, and its coded conventions for spectatorship of “high” art, are embedded in the bodies of young Disney women.”. This well represents how Disney cinema agreed with the patriarchal gender schema. Ballet, one of the most beautiful forms of art, was used to construct the most feminine-like Disney princesses to normalize the denial of women dominance. High class protagonists like Lady Tremaine and Cinderella’s evil stepsisters, “are animated as antitheses to correct dance carriage and movement.
In "Little Girls or Little Women? The Disney Princess Effect", Stephanie Hanes makes the argument that Disney princesses and modern day media influence young girls in negative ways. Hanes suggests that sexualization is everywhere including cartoons. She points out that any detail such as Ms. Piggy showing cleavage, leads girls to assume that doing so is okay and natural. Furthermore, Hanes asserts that allowing girls to see themselves as sex objects is a contributor to depression, eating disorders, and many other health problems for young girls.
The title Miss Representation is significant because the documentary revolves around the representation of women in media and how their portrayals are oversexualized, placing a misogynistic lens over how women are represented. The argument that the title makes is that women are shown primarily as weaker, less cerebral, and more useful as physical objects than men, and therefore are highly misrepresented by TV shows, movies, and advertisements which focus only on the physical aspects of women and not on the academic or mental aspects. This is pervasive throughout the documentary, as seen through interviews with various women and young girls providing examples of the misrepresentation of women. One such example is when a young girl discusses the fact that
After reading, “Woman Warrior,” by Maxine Hong Kingston, she wrote and I quote, “Even as her hair lured her imminent lover, many other men looked at her. Uncles, cousins, nephews, brothers would have looked, too, had they been home between journeys. (pg.10).” Relating to gender stereotypes this is an example of how a woman's beauty has more of an effect than her actual intelligence. She is only noticed for her looks and her hair.
Until August 18, 1920, women were restricted rights. Throughout history, gender roles were set as women were ineligible to be educated and get paying jobs, leaving them to stay at home to cook and clean. August 18, 1920 was the day it changed for woman. The 19th amendment of the United States constitution was ratified to give women their own suffrage. After this day, women gained more equality, access to education, jobs in the workforce, and a change in domestic role.
Leslie Marmon Silko describes the importance of stories and storytelling in the Pueblo culture in “Language and Literature from a Pueblo Indian Perspective.” Silko explains that the “Pueblo expression resembles something like a spider’s web-with many little threads radiating from the center, crisscrossing one another,” rather than “being taken from point A to point B to point C” (pg 48 pp 1). Silko writes that “the origin story constructs our identity-with this story, we know who we are. We are the Lagunas. This is where we come from.