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.
The story of Cinderella lead me to believe two things: in order to have a better life, I must have a boyfriend and that makeovers fix everything. Disney movies not only constructed my ideas of femininity, but they also imposed gendered sexuality on me at an early age through the use of patriarchy within these films. The message that a woman is lost without a man upholds the dominant social position of men and the submissive social position of women. Due to the emphasis on hetero-romantic love and the construction of heterosexual relationships as magical and natural, I learned to value my appearance as a little girl by wearing makeup, wearing nice clothes and styling my hair so that I could get my prince-charming, who would then validate my femininity. Moreover, my idolization of Disney princesses refined my knowledge on
The movie “The Princess and the Frog” is not your typical “boy saves girl” movie. Instead, this Disney movie presents us with a strong female lead who doesn’t need a man to achieve her goals. In many previous Disney movies, it is demonstrated that a girl needs a man in order to get her happily ever after. Without a prince, she is nothing. In “The Princess and the Frog” the gender roles are presented to us as equal, even reverse at times.
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. Disney came out with its first princess movie in 1937 and since then it has produced thirteen other princess movies (History.com staff).
Disneyfication is a term that refers to the transformation of a society to resemble the Walt Disney Corporation movies and theme parks. Disneyfied societies are superficial, fantastical, and heavily romanticized, filled with bright colors and happy endings. The whole society is overly sunny and cute, where people have big, babydoll eyes and impossible waistlines and sing about everything. Disneyfication is a fairly dangerous thing, that perpetuates the idea that boys are superheroes and girls are princesses, and that the girls need to have the boy swoop in and save them. While most societies are racist, sexist, and heteronormative, Disneyfied societies tend to completely ignore the fact that these problems exist within them, and therefore perpetuate them.
People of all ages throughout the years are very familiar with the concept of Disney movies. Some notable classics of Disney are “Beauty and the Beast” which was released in 1991 and “The Little Mermaid” which was released in 1989. Among the children, the Disney princesses left a good impression on them like Cinderella from “Cinderella”, Pocahontas from “Pocahontas”, and Mulan from “Mulan”. However, many believe that Disney movies serve as a good influence to young audiences but people should know that Disney also has its flaws. Disney have showed negative portrayals of Disney princesses in their films especially when it comes to their usual unattainable beauty ideal and portraying their princesses as inferior to men.
As society has changed in the seventy-three years Disney has been making movies, so have the animated films themselves. While many young girls love the princesses and look up to them, others view these characters as negative role models. Disney Princesses have always appeared in movies as young women who dress in elegant gowns, have sexy bodies and perfect hair. They are always paired with a prince who lives in a castle, meaning that he has a lot of money. This description of what the Disney Princess is like; give us a big concern in the influence this image is giving to the little girls.
From its onset with its first feature-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, Disney has grown to become a worldwide phenomenon today. But over the years, various parent groups, scholars and film critics have accused Disney for creating shallow, stereotypical princesses whose ultimate aim was to find her 'prince charming ' and live happily ever after. In her article, “What’s Wrong With Cinderella?” in the New York Times, Peggy Orenstein expresses her concern over the effect of princess figures like Cinderella on young girls ' perceptions of themselves and how they should behave (“What’s Wrong With Cinderella?”). 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.
Cinderella gets married to the prince, and the step-sisters are punished by getting pecked in the eyes by birds. Similarly, in Walt Disney’s “Cinderella,” she is also treated horribly, and awarded a beautiful outfit by her fairy godmother, letting her attend a ball, encountering her true love. Cinderella gets married to the prince, however, the step-sisters are forgiven and live with Cinderella at the castle unlike the original story. Both stories have many similarities, especially in the climax. However, the
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. Their strides are always heel first, bent knee exaggerations of incorrect ballet postures and movements.”. The creators not only use incorrect ballet movement, but the dancing roles of the stepsisters were performed “by men in drag, parodying gendered constructions of classical dance roles.” As a result, in early Disney films, dependent women were stereotypically feminine, while independent women were constructed with masculine characteristics, shown demolishing family