Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Disney Princesses, Heroines or Stereotypical Females?


Who cannot say that they did not watch a Disney movie when they were growing up and fantasized about the magical worlds portrayed in the Disney films like Aladdin, Cinderella, and Beauty and the Beast?When I was smaller I would dress up with a "glamorous" tiara and imagine that I was the princess of this picturesque kingdom and had my happily ever after with a handsome prince. The Disney princesses were all beautiful beyond comparison and at the end of every storyline their beauty played a key role in their happily ever afters. But never did I wonder what price they had to pay in order to get their happy endings. 

All the princesses ended up with their happy endings but in the process they became victims of male objectification. Cinderella was saved by Prince Charming from her dreadful stepmother and her horrible living conditions, but did he have a good enough reason to save her? Not really he fell in love with her physical beauty the night of the ball. Jasmine refuses to get married in order to satisfy a law, so she and her father the sultan end up enslaved by Jafar. The hero of the storyline is none other than the "street rat" Aladdin. Ariel changes her physical appearance by exchanging her beautiful voice for legs, so that she can go to the surface and fall in love with Prince Eric. The problem is she cannot speak, but really do women  have something important to say or to do according to Disney movies?


  1. I agree that some of the original Disney Princesses were a little less than strong and independent, but I think that they are taking good steps in the newer movies. For example, as someone said earlier on the blog, Mulan is a good example of girl who fights for what she believes. The new princess from the movie Princess and the Frog has also been making some strides, as she was 1) originally supposed to save the prince by kissing him and 2) has a definite life goal so she is able to support herself through hard work and dedication. I think that the fact that the princesses are changing as women get more recognition and power is a good thing.

  2. Yes, there's definitely a change from the various generations of Disney princesses. The Cinderella/Snow White era did not represent a very feminist one, but Mulan and Pocahontas were definitely a step in the right direction. And then, with Tangled and the Princess and the Frog, there was a certain change from days of a damsel in distress.

  3. This is a bit of a tangent, but I've recently been obsessed with the show "Once Upon a Time," which centers on the re-imagining of many of the Disney fairytale characters into real-life counterparts. The Snow White in "Once Upon a Time" is definitely stronger than the one in the original Disney version, for she actively fights for her survival after being banished by the Evil Queen. Hence, I think overall media has slowly taken steps towards redefining these classic "damsel in distress" characters into women that we can now relate to.

  4. I totally agree with the fact that the media is slowly taking steps towards a much more dynamic princess that is not a damsel in distress, for example the new Snow White movie in production with Kristen Stewart where she takes the role of a warrior along with the huntsman, but originally these princesses were weak examples for little girls everywhere.


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