Snow White Women Analysis

Powerful Essays
Q: Disney has effectively altered its representations to empower women

Women have been portrayed as inferior to men, with Disney undermining their agency and power since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). The stereotype of a beautiful women made to become a domestic servant is shown during the golden era of Disney which lasted from 1937 to 1959, containing movies such as Cinderella (1950), and Snow White, both of which demonstrate a white female lead whose only aspiration is to find true love. Following Walt Disney’s death in 1966, the renaissance era of Disney brought forward multiple films such as Aladdin (1992), Pocahontas (1995) and Mulan (1998) from 1989 to 1998. These films present racially diverse female leads who don’t aspire
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Both Snow White and Cinderella themselves start off in unfortunate situations where they are the “damsel in distress”, and are later rescued and willing to be bound to their savior for life, cooking and cleaning to put a smile on their faces. Women watching in the 1900’s are looking for a fantasy to distract them from their own lives - they have been cast back into their stereotypical gender roles after The Great Depression is over, making them stay at home wives while their husbands go out to work for them. They currently are the perfect little housewife - or so society wants them to be. The vast majority of woman will be quite upset with being out of work just because of their biological sex, as it should not be a contributing factor to work capability. Snow White and Cinderella reinforce the idea that women should cook, clean and become a domestic servant for the man they love. When women who are looking for a distraction view this film, it is subtly showing them that in order to live their perfect, happy life they must work for it. That they are only worthy of love once they have served their “prince charming”, as that is what their fantasy is showing them. This representation is extremely harmful to women. They may view these movies and see that they are not these things, that they do not currently cook and clean for their lovers and they may wish to maintain a full time job instead. It leads women to believe that they cannot have their happily ever after unless they do all of the things that they are seeing in Snow White and Cinderella’s perfect fantasy, as Snow White and Cinderella had to do these things to find their happiness. Additionally, it leads men to believe that they are worthy of this kind of love from a woman. That their wives should stay at home and live to serve them instead of working, inflating the male ego and
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