Cinderella Stereotypes

958 Words4 Pages
Since the release of the very first Disney princess movie, Snow White, in 1937, the ideology behind princesses has infiltrated its way into society, specifically in regards to gender roles. In the first few movies, female characters, specifically princesses, are consistently seen as submissive and heavily reliant on male characters, while men are seen as strong and independent. This “damsel-in-distress” stigma is prominent in early princess movies such as Cinderella, released in 1950; however, the release of Beauty and The Beast in 1991 sparked a new era of Disney movies. This new era embraced heroines and independent princesses who took control of previously masculine-reserved traits. The shift can be attributed to the feminist movement of…show more content…
To begin with, Cinderella consistently embodies the role of a domestic servant. Even in the very opening scene of the movie, Cinderella is summoned by a bell to begin cleaning her step-mother’s estate, and is also referred to as a “servant” in the opening narration (Jackson, Wilfred, et al). This label in the first five-minutes of the film exemplifies the oppression of Cinderella's character, as she is not treated as a human with equal rights. Furthermore, a study done by Elizabeth Dawn, a professor at Arizona State University, utilizing a coded analysis of the gendered traits in the Cinderella movie, reveals that Cinderella portrayed a total of 187 female characteristics during the movie, out of a total of 229 characteristics. The majority (80%) of the characteristics displayed are female and include the common ones of “nurturing” and “submissive”, exemplifying the gender norm of domestic activities being reserved for women, (Dawn). This unequal distribution of characteristics can be attributed to the unequal distribution of employment opportunities between genders during the time of the release, since women were commonly restricted to domestic activities. In addition to Cinderella exemplifying the gender norms of the time, other minor female characters do so as well. In a song performed by Cinderella's mouse acquaintances, one of the female mice recites, “...Leave the sewing to the women,” after being offered help by a male mouse. This short line intensifies the interconnected and diverse inclusions of gendered characteristics throughout the film, all highlighting the notion of domestic activities being prearranged for women. Moreover, during the time period of Cinderella's release, gender inequality was still a
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