Disney's Subliminal Stereotypes

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Disney’s Subliminal Messages and Stereotypes
When the majority of young adults and teenagers in today’s age look back at their childhood it is almost guaranteed that Disney made an appearance. Whether it was a princess fancy dress party, listening to the fairy tale songs, or building their own castle, it all started from watching the infamous and classic films. But what many don’t realize is how Disney may have influenced the way we look, think and act. Indirectly, it has taught its young viewers concepts innocent children should not be exposed to: ideas of sex, drugs, racism and gender inequality. The later raises the main focus of this essay; how have subliminal messaging and stereotypes in traditional Disney princess films affected gender
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Thus a subliminal message is an idea that is delivered unknowingly to the audiences’ subconscious mind via an image or text “imbedded in another medium designed to pass below the normal limits of the mind’s perception. These messages are unrecognizable by the conscious mind, but in certain situations can affect the subconscious mind and can negatively or positively influence subsequent later thoughts, behaviours and actions, attitudes, belief systems and value systems.” (‘Definition’) Humans do have freewill, so our conscious can reject an idea, however our subconscious will accept any information it encounters; making up 90 per cent of our mind it is where all the decision-making takes place. According to Atkinson and Shiffrin, our long-term memory is infinite in terms of storage and each memory lasts as long as the holder, hence a message encountered in one’s formative age can consequent their actions on their deathbed. When reading facts and figures it is not the information that alters the reader’s decision, but the occurrence of inception, the idea planted in the mind, that encourages them to act in that…show more content…
A series of examples and experiment help prove the affect they have. The most famous occurrence was in the mid 1950’s, the time subliminal messages were first used, when researcher James Vicary presented the potential of the tachisoscope. It is a device based on camera technology that has an extremely rapid shutter speed, making it simple to flash precisely timed images onto a screen. It was first used amongst students at the Ohio State University to see the affects it may have on speed-reading. The device flashed up to nine digit numbers embedded into images at a one-hundreth of a second in front of the student before they were instructed to try and remember the numbers. As a result a portion of the student’s ability to comprehend 600 words per minute had increased to 1,416; some improvements were more modest, but nearly every person included in the experiment saw beneficial signs due to the tachisoscope. The tachisoscope continued to improve participants abilities, from first-grade level children whose reading level increased to that of a third grade child, to engineers and scientists whose “reading speed increasing by an average of 52% to 85%” (Hawk, Ray) to US army and Navy members who as a result of the tachisoscope training “went through the entire war without once having a single incident where a friend or foe aircraft or ship was
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