Post # 1
So, the thread about Barbies got me thinking about a discussion I had at work the other day. Has anyone ever noticed that there are some potentially negative messages in the Disney movies? It seems like the majority of the Disney princesses can’t figure out a way to solve their own problems. They need a prince charming to come rescue them. So, it really doesn’t matter if they are smart as long as they are pretty, because then some guy will come solve all of their problems for them. Also, the step mother always hates the step daughter because of her youth and beauty. I think this reinforces the attitude that older and/or less attractive women should be jealous of younger/more attractive women because youth and beauty is what makes a woman valuable.
The Disney princes are a little strange as well:
Cinderella: Prince Charming danced with her all night, but the next day he couldn’t even recognize her until he saw her feet. Pathological foot fetish?
Snow White: Prince Charming is taking a stroll through the woods and encounters a beautiful corpse(he doesn’t know its a sleep spell). “Gee, what a beautiful corpse. I think I’ll kiss it on the mouth”. Necrophilia?
Beauty and the Beast: I think the message of true love transcending physical appearances is great. Honestly though, I think Belle had Stockholm syndrome.
There’s more, but no one wants to read a post that long. And yes, I know I am probably way over analyzing and reading too much into this, LOL.
Post # 3
@Bridey77: Hahahahahaha! Thank you! I thought I was a crazy feminist but I thought the same thing 🙂
“Cinderella: Prince Charming danced with her all night, but the next day he couldn’t even recognize her until he saw her feet. Pathological foot fetish?”
THIS!!! It even bothered me when I was 5! I mean, seriously, he was in love with her but couldn’t recognize her face without her fancy clothes?!? What a douche! My Dad aced the explanation though. “You see, it was a long time ago and the prince probably needed glasses but nobody had invented them yet!”
Post # 4
This is a huge thing with hard core feminists. I try not to think about it too much ;P
@MsMeow: your dad’s explanation is perfect!! Nevermind the fact that the king’s assistant/advisor wears a monocle 🙂
Post # 5
@Bridey77: I think you have to take the good with the bad when it comes to disney princesses.
Snow White- While Snow White has some negative aspects of the story (the dwarves only wanted her around because she could cook and clean) she taught me a good lesson of don’t eat food from strangers! I also think it’s important to realize it was made in a different time.
Cinderella- Again, negative aspects- She was kind to everyone and that really showed me that kindness always wins in the end. Also, true love will find you.
Beauty and the beast- Personality is everything, do not judge a book by its cover, we sacrifice for those we love.
You’re right there are a lot more. More than anything the stories focus on true love, sacrifice, and being a good person. There are definitely downsides! Yet, I do not feel as if they are really taken all that seriously.
Personally, my biggest issue with the princesses is their recent make overs. I just can’t get over belle’s. Every time I look at her now in the store it’s like she’s had a very apparent face lift. I think that sends a nastier message than the movie itself does.
Post # 6
My thing is that I don’t understand grown women who are obsessed with Disney Princesses. It’s weird. I see this stuff all over Facebook and it just rubs me the wrong way for some reason…
Post # 7
I grew up with Barbies and Disney and I don’t have body image issues or unrealistic expectations of love.
Yes, the stories are strange when you really get to the bottom of it. But they’re cute and fun. Plenty of women grow up watching Disney and do not feel they are only valuable if they are beautiful or need men to solve their problems. For those that do, blaming it on Disney Princesses is oversimplifying the problem.
Post # 8
Wow, people read WAYYY to much into things. They are just that make believe stories for children. Why must we look into them with fine tooth comb?
Post # 9
I also wanted to add that the actual stories are WAY WORSE than the movies themselves.
Poor Ariel dies for crying out loud because she was told that she had to kill the prince to turn back into the mermaid. She couldn’t, so she threw herself into the sea and turned into sea foam.
Cinderellas step sister cuts of her toes to be able to fit into the shoe. When there is blood on the slipper that’s when they investigate and find Cinderella.
Sleeping beauty is the worst IMO- She has been cursed, the prince (who is married) climbs up the ladder and rapes her. She gives birth to twins and wakes up. Then, his wife tries to have them all killed. There is a happily ever after…but holy sh*t
Rapunzel’s story is really bad too
Those grimm brothers were messed up.
Post # 10
Just a friendly reminder that you can like Disney films, and even Disney Princesses, and still be critical of them. Especially things that are so overtly problematic.
Disney princess movies are tons of fun, and I get Fiance to take me to the screening of every new one. But even the new ones, where Disney’s trying so hard to be more conscious of the messages they’re putting out there, are still really shady and skeezy. A lot of this is because the stories themselves often come out of some pretty dark fairy tales to begin with, and because we’ve grown up with them we don’t necessarily think about how messed up they are.
Post # 11
@annb9: ME TOO. I think some people have the Princess Syndrome.
Post # 12
- Wedding: May 2013 - Pavilion overlooking golf course scenery, reception at banquet hall
I won’t have a problem with my kids watching the princess movies… in a way it’s kind of necessary to know the basic premises of the stories in order to “get” analogies and expressions that we use in day to day society, i.e. turning into a pumpkin, noses growing when lying, etc.
As long as you teach them proper modern feminist ideas about independence in real life as they grow up, they should be fine. If they ask questions, answer honestly. Don’t let the movie raise your kid.
My nieces weren’t allowed to watch Frozen because the tiny plot point *VAGUE SPOILER BUT IT HAPPENS IN EVERY DISNEY MOVIE ANYWAY* the parents die. I just feel like that’s way too sheltered, and it’s good for kids to learn that life goes on after tragedy.
Edit: The first Disney movie to meet my child’s eyes will be Mulan. It is the best one by far and while it’s not perfect it’s still got good chunks of obvious girl power 🙂
Post # 13
@Bridey77: ….all Disney movies have taught me is that I want to be a mermaid so effin BAD!!!
Post # 14
I WOULD LOVE TO BE A MERMAID
Post # 15
I like Disney princesses…I grew up with them and as a tall, chubby African American girl…I took these petite thin, white princesses for they were, beautiful singing cartoon damsels lol. They weren’t my role models? I did think it was strange that there was never a human princess of African descent until I was a grown woman (even though Princess Tiana is a frog 90% of the movie), but I get it, they’re based on stories mostly written by white people.
When you look deeply, you’re going to find anti-feminist attitudes sprinkled throughout the male dominated history of America and that includes our culture and *gasp* our cartoons. I wouldn’t say raise your daughters on the morals of these stories because they are effed and outdated…but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some good ass songs and brightly colored visual stimuli.
Post # 16
- Wedding: June 2014 - Ontario, Canada ♥ EDD- April 2016
This was a major topic of discussion in some of my gender studies classes and, as a feminist, I definitely see and understand the problematic nature of these movies. However, I think that as long as Disney princess movies are balanced with other types strong/independent female imagery and thoughtful discussion, it’s fine for kids to watch them (: There are tons of stereotypes in Disney movies (just like any other movies), but there are also good lessons. Like Barbies, these movies can be a good conversation starter!