Stereotypes In Fairy Tales

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Since the 1930’s, Disney has been producing adaptations of fairy tales. Disney is known for their use of stereotypical images which is prominent still in today’s society. The first Disney film emerged with the adaptation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and soon after that came Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Since the beginning, when the fairy tale princesses were “born”, it became evident that young girls and women were trying to imitate their behaviors. Young girls and women identify themselves as these character which affects not only how they view themselves but also their future roles in society based on the girls’ unrealistic beliefs. Disney fairy tales illustrate various stereotypical images that can ultimately affect the young minds…show more content…
Many of the Disney princesses often represent ideal female qualities and characteristic behaviors. In Towbins article she also 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). For example, in Disney’s Snow White, Snow White tidies the cottage she lives in, she cooks for the seven dwarfs, and makes sure they wash up for dinner. In Cinderella, Cinderella is responsible for cleaning, cooking, and doing the laundry for her step mother and step sisters. These images show young girls that cleaning, cooking, and doing the laundry are “female” tasks. In almost every Disney fairy tale, the princess, with minimal effort, manages to capture the heart and affection of a handsome and wealthy prince so they will never have to obtain such duties as cleaning and cooking. In her book, The Sexualization of Childhood, Sharna Olfman explains the various images Disney princesses convey to children. She argues, “The female ideal is a rich white girl who lives in a big house with servants who do the work” (Olfman). Cinderella and Snow White both attain a wealthy lifestyle through marriage, after being saved by a prince. In the article, “Gender Roles in Disney Movies” Victoria states that “each of the Disney princesses emphasize the importance of marriage and a domesticated lifestyle. By watching each of these movies you rarely see the female roles deciding to break off and start a career or follow an independent lifestyle that doesn’t involve a man” (Victoria). Olfman goes on to say that young girls are taught to seek a life path that does not require great effort and consists of gaining a man’s affection through beauty and feminine
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