Orenstein places blame on Disney, shaming them for taking advantage of the pre-existing princesses for their own profit. In becoming so focused on the negativity that she believes these princesses may impose, she doesn't realize the potential greatness that companies, like Disney, try to advocate. To some, princesses create dreams for girls and it gives them inspiration at a young age. It shows them to be brave, like Mulan or even strong-willed and persistent, like Cinderella. It gives developing guidelines for positive characteristics, this way, when they encounter difficult situations later on in life, they already have a premise for how to deal with it.
Both authors indicate parental and business opinions of princesses in pursuance of appealing to many readers. Orenstein expresses her dislike towards Disney princesses by proposing that young girls learn incorrect values from the original princess movies, since they teach women unrealistic love and beauty standards. However, Poniewozik believes that recent live action princess movies demonstrate women achieving their personal goals before seeking true love in order to teach independence and convey his supporting views of modern princesses. While Poniewozik and Orenstein want to see the next generations of females become strong, self-sufficient women that do not need a fairytale lifestyle they disagree with how princess movies in general teach these lessons to young
Disney princesses have usually been shown through a traditional fairy tale concept, the damsel-in-distress in need of help and to be back but in line. These films represent the ideologies of gender which originated from the play Macbeth. However Frozen both challenges and reinforces the traits of a typical
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
Everyone and their grandmother has watched Disney movies. Some of Disney’s most iconic movies are their modern day reinterpretations of common fairy tales and the princesses with in them such as Cinderella, Jasmine, Snow White, and Rapunzel. However, anyone with eyes can notice that all of their princesses no matter their background rhave one thing in common; They are all fashionably, sometimes impossibly, skinny. And by contrast, many of the villains particularly the female ones are seen as undesirable.Being undesirable, particularly in the case of Cinderella, is shown by making her stepsisters fat and ugly. That is the issue the author, Jane Yolen, focuses on in her poem Fat is not a Fairytale.
Mia Adessa Towbin, author of “Images of Gender, Race, Age, and Sexual Orientation in Disney Feature-Length Animated Films” discusses the gender roles in Disney films. She states, “Men are depicted as physically aggressive, non-expressive, and as heroic saviors, particularly of women. Women are portrayed as beautiful, dependent on men, and engaged in domestic responsibilities” (Towbin, 35). This demonstrates the idea that women are depicted as weak and submissive, and are expected to be affectionate and nurturing whereas males are dominant and strong and meant to save the day. In the popular Disney film, Beauty and the Beast (1991), gender roles are clearly depicted.
Who does not love Disney, with movies for all boys and girls alike? From Cars and Big Hero 6 to Cinderella and Mulan people love these types of movies and want more and more of Disney. On the other hand, people also criticize these movies endlessly. Peggy Orenstein argues that Disney is a huge influence on young girls. She believes that it pushed her daughter to want to play dress up and to be fragile or to like the color pink like every other girl because that is how girls are, they like to follow the example in front of them, but is that true?
Whenever Rapunzel glances in the mirror, she is either faced with the possibility of her identity being something else (secretly a Princess as she reveals herself wearing a crown). In contrast, Mother Gothel the evil witch, can be seen obsessed with her looks and “unresisting” of a mirror, which contributes to a new Disney ideology: “being obsessed with appearances is bad.” This may be a progressive development, but it may also be a form of shaming the girl who enjoys looking her best. Merida’s imperfectly perfect curls are uncontrollable, a fine allusion to her personality. When she mirror gazes at herself, after being stuffed into a dress that she can hardly breath
Nonetheless, these films are great sources of stereotypes. Appearance is something valuable, to a point that it seems that beauty is what makes someone special ('Cinderella'). Also, heroines fall in love at first sight, without knowing the prince. They teach girls that they should change who they are for a love ('The Little Mermaid', Ariel transformed into a human to be with Eric), and to be happy they have to fall in love and marry a prince. Girls are also presented as damsels in distress that need to be saved from a man (Rapunzel, Ariel, Snow White with a kiss, Cinderella etc.
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.