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.
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.
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
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.
In the article, “The Princess Paradox,” author James Poniewozik argues that even though girls may grow up in a household that nurtures extreme independence and feminism, some girls want to be a princess coupled with being a strong individual. Poniewozik is compelled to explain this new cultural aura concerning both feminism and the desire to be a princess. He explains that now, in opposition to the idea of a need for domesticity as well as the polar idea of feminism, girls believe that they can be a princess independent simultaneously. He also explains that the princess must fit the girl, not the other way around. The author overall adequately supports his claim, that a change in media and film has altered girls’ desire to simply be independent, with details; however, he distracts from the topic at times with unnecessary information that
Most Disney princess movies establish these female archetypes of physical attributes and personal characteristics each princess must obtain in order to fit within the ‘norm’ of what a female is defined and seen as. Physical attributes include a petite figure, voluminous hair, and symmetrical faces (example within image #1 on page 11). In addition to these are the personal characteristics of dependence and naivete. Although these standards of a ‘perfect’ female may have not been created by Disney, they surely have been reinforced by it. Common features seen throughout Disney films are princesses being given natural beauty, which in turn is what defines them as a princess.
Julianna Tafuri Mr. Bollinger Senior Thesis 14 September 2015 Gender Roles in Disney Animation: Proposal for Disney Reforming the Present-Day Princess When I was a little girl, I would spend most of my days watching Disney Movies and being fascinated by their magical elements and stories. Perhaps the most fascinating movies to me, were the tales of the distinguished Disney princesses. However, as I grew older and broadened my knowledge, I was able to observe that Disney used to accept stereotypical social norms to define their princesses. For over three quarters of a century, Disney’s viewers have been accepting these norms and not questioning them, until now. These familiar customs have characterized the way that society views gender roles.
Even when Disney began to feature strong women who could kind of save themselves, like Jasmine, Esmeralda, and Megara, Disneyfied societies clung onto the misogynistic ideals of the past. Disneyfication perpetuates sexism and the idea that females are the weaker sex, while Disney continues to move forward with strong female characters, like Nani from Lilo and Stitch, and Tiana from The Princess and the
Woman are traditionally seen to be fragile and pure (white being the symbol of purity), thus “Little Snow White” does a good job in emphasising this ideology of women. The Queen’s blood being drawn is yet another symbol of the fragility of women, however this idea can be extended to include the image of womanhood through monthly menstruation. Furthermore, as demonstrated in the Grimm Brother’s “Aschenputtel”, Snow White must do “heavy work from morning to night” in order to be allowed to stay at the seven Dwarfs cottage (118). Thus, Snow White must do traditional feminine tasks through keeping house – cooking, cleaning, washing and sewing – in order to earn her place. All of the motifs mentioned above are strongly associated to the view of a female’s
This caused the failure of Lady Tremaine and the stepsisters to create a familial relationship with Cinderella. Disney even designated specific body figures and movements for Cinderella aside from her stepmother and stepsisters. According to the article, “Somatexts at the Disney Shop” by Elizabeth Bell, “The language of ballet, and its coded conventions for spectatorship of “high” art, are embedded in the bodies of young Disney women.”. This well represents how Disney cinema agreed with the patriarchal gender schema. 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.