She traded in her voice in order to have real legs and near Prince Eric. This movie represents everything that society says a real life princess should be; beautiful and silent. Ariel is the princess that shows that the innocent and quiet women will always win. Women in movies and books are often described as dependent, weak, self-critical, and passive. While there is a great deal of influence over younger girls, boys are also influenced through the slight humor in male characters.
Since the 1930’s, Disney has been producing adaptations of fairy tales. Disney is known for their use of stereotypical images which is prominent still in today’s society. The first Disney film emerged with the adaptation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and soon after that came Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Since the beginning, when the fairy tale princesses were “born”, it became evident that young girls and women were trying to imitate their behaviors. Young girls and women identify themselves as these character which affects not only how they view themselves but also their future roles in society based on the girls’ unrealistic beliefs.
At some point in life, being a Disney princess was every females’ dream. Their kindness, courage, and beauty is thought to provide a safe culture for children (Mcbride, 2016) Not to mention, their flawless appearance and their happily ever after makes the princess culture. For these reasons, parents perceive the Disney as quality family entertainment (Buckingham, 1997). But in actuality, princesses may not be the most positive role models for young viewers. The issue associated with Disney Princesses movies is that their usual gender stereotyped as the submissive female who falls in love with a man to live happily ever after.
The Disney films depict changing the perception of women over time, even though most of the roles remain as they were, several years ago. To illustrate this, below is two explanations; Gender roles depictions in Disney movies tend to conform to regular perspectives of men and women. Princess-hood is bound with being frail, latent, and subservient to guys, devoted, and unequipped for carrying on with an autonomous life . The greater part of the Disney princesses from the first two involves women traits portrayed as being useful, passionate, requiring help or being a casualty, dreadful, conditional, touchy, supporting, tender, physically frail, and physically alluring (Britain, Descartes, and Collier-Quiet, 2011). The first era of Disney princesses specifically are more accommodating and tend to conform to the traditional portrayal of women roles.
When we have a closer look at Disney movies such as "Cinderella", "Snow White" and "Aladdin", Disney 's princess portray is feeble and desperately in need of intelligent, strong savior. When young girls watch these movies, they are modelling Disney princesses on their
Disney tells stories about pretty girls and princes who meet each other once and fall in love. This indirectly implants in children’s mind that appearance and materialism does matter, which might lead to vanity. For instance, the Hunchback of Notre Dame shows us that no matter how caring and kind Quasimodo is, Esmeralda and Phoebus are one couple because they are adequately good-looking. Another research has shown that in Disney classic movies, female characters are praised for their appearances (55%) and only 11% are for their abilities; however, Disney has changed their practice as in the millennial Disney movies, women are commented on their skills and abilities more (40%). (Guo 2016) In my opinion, despite the changes, children could barely realise as my niece still wants to be Elsa or Rapunzel because they are pretty.
As a young girl, I always and still do admire Belle for her intelligence, love for books and bravery in speaking her mind and most importantly, the decision of not changing herself for the world because world often changes. Unlike some of other Disney heroines, Belle’s defining characteristics made the Disney animated movie Beauty and the Beast as a tale old as time. This also leads to many studies on Disney Beauty and the Beast. In this section, I would be providing critical critiques on some of the studies. (Beauty and the Belles Discourses of Feminism and Femininity in Disneyland, Allison, 2002) critically analyzed Belle in a more general and brief historiography of the fairy tale.
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
Grimm’s Fairy Tales (1812) “Cinderella” and “Snow White”, and Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales (1837) “The Little Mermaid”, shows an existence of gender stereotypes occurring in a children’s story. Although fairy tales are an important part of children’s literature, in what way do they influence them? The debate is endless; however, people think the bad influence is mainly on the women because of the way they are stereotyped. The female’s roles in fairy tales characterize women not having their own independence, power, and voice to represent them. In these three stories, the women’s characters perpetuate the stereotypical gender message that the ideal woman is submissive in different ways.
Fairy tales act as almost a role model for them. Children want to lead the same lives they see in their favorite fairy tales. They start to believe they have to act according to the gender standards they see in these movies. Girls grow up feeling as if they are inferior to men and that they need to follow the typical gender conventions for a girl. This