Comparative Critique The topic of gender equality, culture and environmental effects on girls and young women has brought up the discussion of princess culture - dressing up, waiting for prince charming, the importance of beauty. Both “The Princess Paradox” and “Cinderella and Princess Culture” examine how companies such as Disney are responsible for girls falling into princess culture and influencing them. However, there are distinct parallels between Orenstein and Poniewozik on how they perceive the effects of cinematic influence. Orenstein insinuates that Disney’s princess culture bears a negative impact on the mental health of young girls whereas, Poniewozik disputes that princess culture is a gateway to female empowerment. In the chapter “Cinderella and Princess Culture”, Orenstein, a mother and writer for The New York Times, expresses her concerns about companies marketing princess culture to girls.
With this said, each movie is not teaching girls how to be independent, strong, loving, and educated women. Most Disney princesses act as a “damsel in distress” which portrays them to be taken care of in order to survive. This is not true in feminist eyes, being able to take care of your self but also love and cherish someone is how a Disney princess should portray a girl. Having girls watch these movies is just showing them that you need a man to take care of you always which is not true a girl can take care of herself with the help of her parents and taking care of her school and social life. One of the lessons that children learn throughout watching these movies are bad people are always fat, old, and/or ugly.
Orenstein argues that feminism entails women casting aside traditional feminine things and standing with strength and independence. Older Disney movies depict a girl whose problems are solved by their one wish, a handsome prince. Orenstein describes the worry a parent feels with such archaic ideals being instilled in their daughters at such a young age, citing research showing that such influences being detrimental to a girl 's mental health. Orenstein believes that although there is no definitive proof that princesses are harmful to girls, the helpless stereotype they promote can lead to lower self-confidence. Poniewozik, although describing a similar concern, casts aside these woes and applauds the new princess movies providing strong female characters that can get that man, too.
It’s made obvious that they have no chance with the prince because of their looks. They are portrayed as heavier than Cinderella, who is extremely slender. This is a serious problem because they are the first Disney women who are of a normal weight and they are portrayed as ugly. Cinderella only gets the man because she is skinny and “beautiful” Disney doesn’t only portray women as objects. They also portray them as weak and unable to lead without a man.
From the very beginning of Disney Princesses’, young children have received the wrong ideas on what gender roles should really be like. The story of Cinderella is about a young girl whos mother and father both passed away. However, before her father's passing, he remarried a woman with two daughters. Her step-mother took in Cinderella and made her the maid for her and her two children after the passing of Cinderella’s father. After being tormented and ridiculed, Cinderella was introduced to her Fairy Godmother.
A rich man‘s wife….” the reader automatically knows that the man has money. We wonder if that might be the reason the stepmother doesn’t like Cinderella. The father doesn't come up as much in the story. We can see that he cares for his child since he asked her what she would like when he was off to the fair. He acts like Cinderella isn’t there, just like her cruel stepmother.
“When I grow up I want be a princess.” Almost every little girl 's dream was to grow up and live the life of the princesses we saw in movies. It was not until I actually started to analyze the movies that I realized that I do not want to be the princess I see on the screen. For so long I fell in love with the idea that I will one day find a man who will take care of me. I also pushed myself to fit the image of a “perfect princess”. By this I mean, I was obsessed with becoming a size 0, wearing dresses all the time and even trying to talk like the princesses.
Low self-esteem in young girls is rumored to stem not only from the roles they assume they must fulfill, but also due to the conventional image of a princess (5). Women are indirectly taught that in order to be considered beautiful there is certain criteria that must be meant. Princesses are depicted as skinny images of perfection, which alters girls perception on what and where true beauty stems from. In fairy tales when males speak of princesses it is simply for their great looks and very rarely for the smarts or kindness they possess. Descriptions of beauty in this light stifles the ambitions of young girls and damages the perception of others who may not conform to these stereotypes
Through her study, she found that “…engagement with Disney Princesses can be limiting, as young girls especially are more likely to embrace traditional female stereo-types both concurrently and longitudinally.” (1923) This shows that by watching these films, girls are only shown female leads in traditional settings, which can limit what they are cable of doing later on in life. This idea is very similar to the idea presented in Lori Baker-Sperry’s article, “The Production of Meaning through Peer Interaction: Children and Walt Disney’s Cinderella.” The author is interested in knowing how the Disney movie Cinderella, effects young women’s self-esteem. During her interaction with a group of young women, she found that “The girls were envious of Cinderella. For example, one girl asked, with a voice full of anxiousness, how Cinderella got to be so beautiful, and stated that she wanted to be as beautiful as Cinderella.” (725) With this, she found that girls often wanted their lives to look like those depicted in these films. Which can contribute to the levels of their
Some people act differently towards each other depending on who they’re talking to. They usually talk in a more proper manner with someone who is high in society than with someone who’s low in society. Since Cinderella’s father had recently remarried, she had to live with her step-mother and step-sisters. Cinderella did all the chores and assisted her sisters to prepare for the ball. Although she wasn’t allowed to go with her sisters, she accepted help from her Fairy Godmother to prepare to make her way there.