Disney Exploring Independence and Identity
Both Pocahontas and Mulan literally prevented wars from happening yet it seems to be post-2010 when feminism becomes a major concern for Disney. It’s no accident that Moana and Frozen‘s Elsa have no love interests. In fact, both films include jokes that humour Disney Princess stereotypes: the animal sidekick and love at first sight, respectively.
Once upon a time, in a not so far off place, a man named Walt Disney changed the way of fairy tales in a fantastic and ground-breaking way. From fairy tales to love stories, Disney has been a part of the lives of millions for over 80 years. The company started by a man and a mouse, has become the leader in animated movies. With being a huge part of the entertainment industry, they are compared to the surrounding culture and ideals that it represents. Disney has for many years been at battle with the public and their audience for being accused of portraying their characters, specifically females, in stereotypical ways. Gender roles and their connotations are a huge part of society, and can impact viewers in the way they compare themselves to the others around them. Media already has a substantial influence, portraying what is expected from society and social norms. Disney was chosen because through its history, the roles of men and women pictured in their films have mirrored the cultural perspective and beliefs of social norms and expectations on gender roles and identity. Disney, therefore, becomes a great illustration and representation of following cultural trends and developments. Also with that, Disney is a great way to follow the influence of views and expectations of behavioral norms linked with males and females.
Another blog discusses the extreme exaggeration of princesses’ eyes and juxtaposes them with more realistic and proportionate eye features. Only the first and second areas are examined, but the concept of them having unrealistic body features is a message present throughout all eras (Lewis, 2013). Clearly these issues are being discussed and journalists, bloggers, and viewers alike all are vying for a change in the way princesses are represented to fit a more realistic ideal.
Lewis, Jen. (2013, October 31). If Disney princesses had normal size eyes.
Brantz, Loryn. (2015, January 26). If Disney princesses had realistic hair.
Saladino, Caitlin J. (2014). Long may she reign: A rhetorical analysis of gender expectations in Disney’s Tangled and Disney/Pixar’s Brave (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Sieczkowski, Cavan (2014, October 30). Disney princesses with realistic waistlines look utterly fabulous. The Huffington Post.