The Little Mermaid (1989) movie is directed by John Musker, Ron Clements, and stars Jodi Benson, Samuel E Wright, Pat Carroll and many other talented actors. The animated, Disney film is about a naive but carefree, 16-year-old mermaid as she struggled amidst her fascination for leaving life in her watery world; to live on land. As a matter of fact, Ariel, the little mermaid, made a costly mistake of conferring with Ursula, the evil sea witch, to help her become human. Unfortunately, Ariel was only concerned about fulfilling her dreams; and, Ursula had her own selfish agenda in place; which was to take the sea world from Triton and rule as queen.
Although still problematic, gender roles constructed by society has progressed throughout the years in small ways, not as much as hoped. The social construction of gender in definition means the construction of gender roles created by others that determine their behavior and develop standards based on their sex. By social definition, women are to be what they are socially constructed to be; weak and submissive and men are also what they are socially constructed to be; powerful and dominant, if they do something outside of these rules they are to be ostracized in their community. These ideas run wildly at large; specifically, men are pressured to these ideas from way back then but also very much now. Not only are men being pressured to act a
In the article “Doing Gender,” Candace West and Don H. Zimmerman are trying to explain how gender is socially constructed (through believes and practices) embedded by everyday interaction or social interaction. In other words, by “doing gender.” They claim gender as an accomplishment that can’t be avoided and it’s constantly watched and judged by others. Also, West and Zimmerman introduced the concept of gender and the implication of it in our society, as well, by introducing the distinction between sex, sex category, and gender.
The characters in The Little Mermaid are stragetically designed in a way that conveniently adheres to stereotypical ideas of how males and females should behave, value, and appear according to their gender roles in a patriarchal society that demeans women. In order to do this, the main male characters, including King Triton and Prince Eric, must depict hypermasculinity to dramatically contrast from the creation of their fragile and inferior female counterparts. This is to also exhibit the men’s hypothetical ownership over these women, and using their displayed incompetence as justification of their assumed possession of Ariel. Ariel, the central female character, is depicted as beautiful, because she meets stereotypical standards of beauty
The Impact of Culture and Gender Roles Heather Richardson-Barker Drexel University Society has clearly defined boundaries between what is considered to be male or female. The development of an individual’s gender role is formed by interactions with those in close proximity. Society constantly tells us how we should look, act and live based on gender, as well as the influence of family, friends and the media have a tremendous impact on how these roles are formed and the expected behavior of each gender role. The term Gender, as defined by the United Nations, includes the psychological, social, cultural, and behavioral characteristics associated with being female or male. It further defines acceptable
Little Giants and the gender role in society I remembered when I was young, there were plenty of movie that has girls play dolls and boys play football. These movies were popular amongs children that day until now, girls were meant to be soft and boys were meant to be powerful and strong. Then one day, I’ve watched a movie that has a girl play in the football team and I were supprised because it’s the first time that I’ve seen a movie that shows girl can be both femininity and masculinity. This movie has a huge impact on young children behaviour and has influenced childrens in constructing gender roles in the society. ‘Little Giants’ has shown the characteristic of the main character to be abnormal and changing the gender stereotypes in young audiences’ perspective.
The use of archetypical characters and situations provides readers realism to identify the characters and situations in the real and social world. In Linda Seger’s essay, “Creating the Myth,” Seger reveals that most successful films are based on universal stories. Her essay states the ten steps of hero stories to describe common characteristics of most succeeded heroic stories in the society. To learn more about archetypes, I analyzed characters of an animation, The Little Mermaid. In this animation, diverse characters appear to form an interesting story for children.
The Disney princess movies had a great deal of influence on many young girls watching princesses represent what royalty looked like. The princesses are always beautiful, polite and seeking the love of their Prince Charming. This plays a strong role in perpetuating the idea that being a princess means seeking only love from a man, and a man who contains all the stereotypical masculine qualities; handsome, powerful and rich. For example, in The Little Mermaid, Ariel had to give up who she was in order to win over the affection of her prince charming. She traded in her voice in order to have real legs and near Prince Eric.
The Disney movie Little Mermaid is an unsuitable movie for the children due to its negative gender representation which overemphasizes physical appearance and stereotypical gender roles through the characters in the film. In the Disney film Little Mermaid, they over-emphasize physical appearance and stereotypical gender roles throughout the movie, which causes negative effects on children for it could discourage them their own self-image, on how they look and may despise their body appearance. Throughout the film, the vast majority of the human-like characters were depicted stereotypically. Many of
Although the movies are magical, the messages that these princesses send to their young audiences especially girls are not as flawless as a princess’s face. In truth, these movies encourage female stereotypes, give girls unrealistic body ideals, and finally teach that girls shouldn’t be independent, and that they should let men take initiative for them. In Disney Princess movies, the princesses encourage dreadful female stereotypes. In fact, professor Sarah M. Coyne from Brigham Young University conducted a study using 198 preschoolers to figure out the impact of Disney Princesses on kids.
Children and young adults are identifying with gender roles at a young age due to mass media. Children develop within a society that is gender-specific when it comes to social and behavioral norms. These come from the family’s structure, how they play with others and by themselves, and school. Girls were expected to be more passive while boys were to be more aggressive and expressive with masculine behaviors. “Before the age of three, children can differentiate toys typically used by boys or girls and begin to play with children of their own gender in activities identified with that gender.
The Little Mermaid: Hegemonic Femininity The transition from a girl to a woman is created by the socially constructed ideals of femininity often depicted in commercials, books, and mainly films. One of the famous animated princess Disney films, The Little Mermaid can be easily added to yet another Disney film portraying hegemonic femininity. In the 1989 film The Little Mermaid, (Ron Clements, John Musker) a beautiful, young mermaid is willing to make a risky deal with an evil sea-witch because she yearns to walk on land and fall in love with a Prince, while secretly the sea-witch wishes for the mermaid to lose the deal. Ultimately, mermaid ends up achieving her dream of marrying the Prince, although the evil sea-witch tries to destroy the plan.
Although some people believe that nature affects the gender identity, others argue that, based on the education an individual receives, it is actually nurture. For example, John Moore, a teacher at a female-only school, says, “My findings suggest that, in some senses, the single-sex school is strongly feminist” (Moore, 2005). On the other hand, many societies teach the children gender stereotypes to try and limit them from becoming against what the society feels is appropriate. Gender roles or stereotypes are “a set of qualities, behaviors, and attitudes that are considered appropriate for males and females based on their biological sex” (Whalen & Maurer-Starks, 2008). Most of the time, these stereotypes are taught and explained to the children in the early stages of learning, since as mentioned above, gender identity is most likely detected after the child is two years old.
Despite the fact that The Little Mermaid is an iconic story with memorable characters and is beloved by millions of people, it is still evident that the premise is problematic, especially when its target audience is young, impressionable children (primarily females) who are themselves still trying to form their own identities. Her change from mermaid to human denotes a huge shift in who she is as a character, as she is literally being changed from one being to another, and in doing so she must do away with everything that made her who she was before she met the prince: a mermaid, a princess, a daughter, a sister, a beautiful singer, and more. This may have been considered collateral damage by both Andersen and Disney, but it does not excuse the reality of the impact of the message the story promotes. In the Disney film, Ariel considers what the cost of being human would be as she negotiates with the sea witch, "If I become a human, that means I 'll never be with my father or sisters again" (Clements and Musker), to which the Sea-Witch Ursula replies, "That 's right... But--you 'll have your man.
Gender Stereotyping suppresses an individual to believe that they are not perfect and will not be accepted by society unless they follow the societal norms. The most shocking part about gender stereotyping in children, is that adults instill it in them without even realizing they do. Consider a person’s life for example. From the moment he/she born, that one word defines most if not all of their life choices starting with the clothes they wear to the decorations in their room to the toys they play with. “Children develop gender-typed patterns of behavior and preferences as early as age 15 to 36 months” states a psychological viewpoint on gender stereotyping in children.