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Disney Princess Films' Influence

In: Social Issues

Submitted By lovelylucy
Words 1336
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College Writing
4 December 2014
Disney Princess Films’ Influence

Disney princess films often influence young girls into thinking they must conform to princess-like attributes. The films are teaching girls that they should live their lives like the fairy tales. Disney noticed the opinions that some viewers had on their past films and tried to change their old habits with their new films. Jennifer Hartstein, a child psychologist, wrote a book for parents in hopes to rid their daughters of the anxieties they develop when exposed to the consumer goods that are Disney princesses (Teitel online). Disney films are known to teach the younger female generation “everything from ‘only appearances matter’ to ‘don’t expect to rely on yourself; you'll need a prince to rescue you’” (Teitel online). Hartstein brought up the great point about what Disney films are perceived to be teaching. Hartstein believes that the typical princess is not only unreasonably airy, destitute, and vacant, but a threat to the development of girls who worship at their pink, sugary altar (Teitel online). If a young girl becomes obsessed with princess movies like Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella, she may become determined with maintaining her princess-like beauty and become indifferent in her own freedom; so kind of like a princess, herself (Teitel online). Frozen is often seen as the revolutionary movie that broke the stereotype that some viewers have on Disney princess movies. However, the males in the movie are noticeably varied with their looks and personalities, while the females are the typical Disney princesses, with long, beautiful hair, tiny waists, and perfect noses (“Perfect princesses are pretty boring” online). Disney tried to break their stereotype of the damsel in distress and the prince coming to save her, but kept the physical characteristics that all Disney princesses have. The public view is imperative to the Disney franchise because it has a great influence on products in the children’s toy industry. The merchandising that parents partake in does not help the effort to rid the assumption that young girls must act or dress a certain way. Toys are being automatically gender-specific. Math and sciences often apply to boys, but color them pink with sparkles, and girls can have them, too. Girls should be able to enjoy math and science without them being assumed as male subjects (“Perfect princesses are pretty boring” online). Many Disney fanatics are stumped as to why others are so against the influence of Disney films because the fanatics think there is nothing wrong with the films. The problem that anti-Disney Princess viewers have is the lesson that the young girls are taught through most of the princess films: that there's a method to beautiful. This method led to things like store aisles being filled with dresses that are alike to the princesses’ and an overriding of the real beauty in young girls (“Disney rescues girls from princess culture” online). Most people, nowadays, would argue that Disney is getting better with breaking their stereotypes with the creation of their new films. Fairy tales are now quite contradictory of what they have been known to in the past. This decades’ new movies with heroines at their center are Shrek, Brave and Frozen. They are obvious partings from the prince-rescues-princess norm (Teitel online). This new era of breakthrough films seemed to start with Pocahontas. Pocahontas, although extremely fictional, was the best representation of a princess who made her own way, by herself. She refused to leave her home with John Smith because, beyond family responsibility, she likes her way of life more than anything else. She was one of the first princesses to show that she does not need a man (Teitel online). One of the more recent movies without the prince rescuer was Maleficent. Joan Acocella, of the New Yorker, reviewed the kiss between the mother and daughter at the end of Maleficent and wrote, “That is 'love's true kiss': not romantic love, the thunderbolt, but a steady, daily love. And not necessarily from a man, who you think will magically save you, but from a woman, who perhaps will unmagically save you just by having loved you, quietly, for a long time” (Teitel online). Acocella also wrote, “It's the movie's harshest withdrawal from the usual Sleeping Beauty story, and the kiss is not only clearly feminist, but moving too,” (Teitel online). She understood the reason behind Disney straying from the original movie. Disney Junior drifted away from the older films and created Sofia the First, a new children’s show. The lesson of the show was to teach what it takes to be good and how you can be your own person. They wanted to reflect on the fact that if a princess can do it, so can any young girl that watches the show (“Disney rescues girls from princess culture” online). This new concept caught television critics’ and the rest of the world’s attention. “The US giant's latest character, Sofia the First, has been launched in Australia and overseas with a modern twist to the story - the princess is not rescued” (“Disney rescues girls from princess culture” online). Ms. Kanter, the general manager of Disney Junior Worldwide, states that Sofia the First is “‘not suggesting you just sit and wait for somebody to ride up on a white horse and take you away. You have to make your own life; you have to decide who you want to be and go after it and be that person’” (“Disney rescues girls from princess culture” online). Disney realized the reputation that they were given and continued to try to break that repute. “Late last month Pixar previewed Inside Out, their next big blockbuster hopeful, slated for 2015. It's the studio's first film to center around a heroine who doesn't wear a crown. Riley, the movie's protagonist, is an average American girl in the throes of puberty. (The film takes place, Magic School Bus-style, inside the girl's brain, where comedians Amy Poehler, Bill Hader and Mindy Kaling voice animated emotions that steer Riley's consciousness like a spaceship)” (Teitel online). Disney has been trying to break their notoriety, but the public has yet to see the complete turnaround from their original films’ lessons. Disney princess films often influence the young girl viewers into thinking they must accept conformity. The films are not teaching girls the reality of life. Disney tried to change their old habits with their new films, though some may argue, did not succeed.

Works Cited "Disney rescues girls from princess culture." Sun-Herald [Sydney, Australia] 10 Mar. 2013: 26. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 20 Nov. 2014. http://ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/NewsDetailsPage/NewsDetailsWindow?failOverType=&query=&prodId=OVIC&windowstate=normal&contentModules=&display-query=&mode=view&displayGroupName=News&limiter=&currPage=&disableHighlighting=false&displayGroups=&sortBy=&search_within_results=&p=OVIC&action=e&catId=&activityType=&scanId=&documentId=GALE%7CA321702970&source=Bookmark&u=nysl_li_kmhs&jsid=6722489a0cce2921b1e224a574c33440 "Perfect princesses are pretty boring." Age [Melbourne, Australia] 28 Dec. 2013: 17. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 20 Nov. 2014. http://ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/NewsDetailsPage/NewsDetailsWindow?failOverType=&query=&prodId=OVIC&windowstate=normal&contentModules=&display-query=&mode=view&displayGroupName=News&limiter=&currPage=&disableHighlighting=false&displayGroups=&sortBy=&search_within_results=&p=OVIC&action=e&catId=&activityType=&scanId=&documentId=GALE%7CA354061763&source=Bookmark&u=nysl_li_kmhs&jsid=a30bda46091e71176e8593cc8ad6156d Teitel, Emma. "Happily ever after, minus the prince." Maclean's 21 July 2014: 13. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 20 Nov. 2014. http://ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/MagazinesDetailsPage/MagazinesDetailsWindow?failOverType=&query=&prodId=OVIC&windowstate=normal&contentModules=&display-query=&mode=view&displayGroupName=Magazines&limiter=&currPage=&disableHighlighting=false&displayGroups=&sortBy=&search_within_results=&p=OVIC&action=e&catId=&activityType=&scanId=&documentId=GALE%7CA375290310&source=Bookmark&u=nysl_li_kmhs&jsid=21662ab621ca054804a591fc9b71c8fe

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