Disney Archetypes

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Though princesses and popular fairy tales have been around for centuries, they make up an enormous amount of American culture today and are well-known among both adults and children alike. Every day, thousands of young children watch princess movies, dress up as one of Disney’s many iconic characters, and play with themed toys. However the royalty that children are trying to emulate represent perfection and are supposedly the most ideal archetypes of a woman, wives, and mothers. Unlike these fairy tale characters, the typical human is far from perfect. With all of the time children spend trying to be like these fictional characters, there are dozens of questions that must be asked and parents worry about what the children learn from these characters.…show more content…
They are easily recognizable and are almost iconic due to their unrealistically thin waistlines, long hair that flows beautifully in the wind, and the addition of unachievable proportions to create the most desirable look for all audiences. A few of the princesses’ bodies are so out of proportion that they had eyes that were larger than their waists. While some people may argue that these characters are drawn that way as an artistic style, one cannot deny that it is completely unnecessary for the princesses to be extremely out of proportion like they are. Outside of the films and merchandise, society continues to propagate these skinny ideals with thin models that are flawless and unrealistically photoshopped. This obsession with thinness can leave detrimental effects on young girls who are unsure about their bodies and can lead to a drop in self-esteem relatively early in life. In fact, “Studies have shown that as early as preschool, children begin to express a preference for thin body types, and girls as young as 5 years old express fears of getting fat or show problems with body esteem, a self-evaluation of one’s body and appearance” (Coyne et al. 1912). These effects on young girls can possibly develop and worsen over a period of time. However, a different but contradictory study done by Hayes and Tantleff-Dunn showed that a relatively small amount of exposure to “appearance-related clips,…show more content…
Perhaps it is as Stanley Milgram, a famous psychologist and experimenter, once said that “ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process.” (85). The creators of the Disney Princess line and the continued support of the consumers allow these ideas to continue, simply because they were not put out into the world to intentionally harm young children. Instead, these princesses quietly exert authority over children while disguised as family-friendly character. Though their authority is fragile at times, they still are able to “command a dismaying degree of obedience” (Milgram
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