ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Entertainment and Media»
  • Cartoons & Animation

Why Disney Princesses Matter

Updated on December 4, 2016

All Fluff And Frill...And Strength

Source

Not Everyone Loves Gorgeous Dresses And Tiaras

The stereotypes about what girls should look like and dress like seriously needs to change.

Even in the 21st century, there are those that expect that to be a woman, you should regularly wear dresses, heels and hosiery in order to look the part. This look has been perpetuated by the likes of June Cleaver during the Leave It To Beaver days, and furthered by images of princesses wearing beautiful tiaras, having perfect features and wearing beautiful clothes. Now, there are young girls growing up who prefer high tops and t-shirts to heels and sequins and frills, but are having to endure the pain of snide looks and comments.

If we are going to promote the notion that girls should be comfortable in their own skins, we have to look at the images that are being perpetuated through the media, and specifically through animation, which is the chief medium that young girls see as they grow up with television and YouTube in the background.

Disney seems to have started to work with the idea that girls need to learn that they can move beyond the trappings that society seems to continue to cling to - that to be a real woman, they need to look the part. Since Mulan, which bowed in 1998, Disney has slowly been integrating the notion that girls and women can be the hero and be strong without having to think about how they are perceived by the men in their lives. Although Mulan ultimately did fall for Li Shang, who was in charge of the army that Mulan was a part of (albeit in disguise as a woman), her heroism was not to rescue Shang, nor was it to impress him. Her heroism was for the greater good of China as a whole, thereby opening the doors for other Disney princesses to be strong without being motivated by a man's interest.

Merida from Brave, Tiana from Princess and the Frog, Elsa and Anna from Frozen, Moana from the film of the same name and even Elena of Avalor are all showing girls that it's possible to be heroic without a man motivating their actions, and it is cool that they are conducting their heroics while still wearing a pretty dress with their hair well coiffed. However, not all princesses wear dresses, nor should they. How is that realistic?

High Tops And Jeans Don't Diminish Femininity

Source

Dresses And Sparkles Sell Big

There's no question - frills, dresses and jewelry still are hot sells for girls, and we as a society are hard pressed to ignore that. It's really difficult at times to look at someone who doesn't quite fit the mould and accept that person for who they are, regardless of whether they are a girl or boy.

There are kids of both genders that are struggling with the images that are perpetuated by the big media companies as to what a guy or a girl should look like. It's really hard to move past the notion that girls should have long hair and wear makeup while guys should be interested in working out and building muscles while looking incredibly macho.

Why do we cling to these notions?

They are comfortable as a warm sweater or a familiar pair of shoes. It's easy for us to look at kids and pigeonhole them. Why is it so many of us look at boys and girls and automatically give boys the dump truck and the girls the kitchen set?

This is not to say that everyone stereotypes in this fashion; it's just that there are more who do this than not, and it's little wonder that we have troubles convincing girls to try the trades like masonry or welding and assuring boys that it's OK to express themselves with sensitivity or artistically without worry that there will be someone who tells them they shouldn't. It's terrible that girls who do not ascribe to the feminine norm are told they aren't a "real girl" or that boys who do not fall into the stereotypically masculine trappings are "pussies."

Who's to say that Disney princesses aren't for both boys and girls? Princess Tiana, Merida and Mulan have strength that should appeal to both boys and girls, so why do we insist on stereotyping genders as having to be one way or another? It's not fair to the kids that don't fall into the various stereotypes, and it's not really not fair for people who think it's OK to do so.

Our kids would be a lot happier if we fell out of those stereotypes ourselves.

How To Start

Source

Breaking Gender Norms: One Teen Male's Experiences

Elena Of Avalor Breaks Away From Boys' Club

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)