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Are Disney princesses failing as role models?

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amelia-webber
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Even when women do play the lead, they often reify tired adages about women. American linguists found that men speak 68% of the time in The Little Mermaid, 71% in Beauty and the Beast, 90% in Aladdin and 76% in Pocahontas. Ariel, the little mermaid herself, actually prefers to be struck dumb forever in exchange for a man.

With Pocahontas, for example, the Indian princess must choose between success in the public sphere and a happy romantic life. Mulan is a bold Chinese warrior, respected and followed by her people…all of whom think she is a man, because she has deceived them by cutting her hair. The point here appears to be that to become a good leader, a woman should look and act like a man.

In Frozen, Elsa has dubious leadership skills. As the elder sister, she is responsible for governing, but when she gets nervous she lets her emotions get the better of her. Despite her good intentions, she cannot effectively wield power.

These lessons are not lost on children, who are well aware that superheroes are mostly boys and princesses are girls. That makes it more difficult to model leadership for young women.

Unlike superheroes, who use their extraordinary gifts to do good for society, cartoon princesses tend to focus on private issues, not public service.

This was the message of a 2015 holiday advertising campaign launched by the French supermarket chain System U, which reminded consumers that there are not toys for boys and toys for girls – there are just toys.
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Do you agree that adults must ensure that we do not reinforce negative gender messaging in our daily lives by making girls feel that they are most valuable when they look like pretty princesses? What is your take on gender-neutral toys?
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missy.jones
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Personally, I have not bought my daughter all of the princesses books because of this reason. I bought her some just so she has some. I feel that the princesses are all depicted in a very pitiful character, always needing some help from a man. That is not how I want my daughter to view a princess.
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I don't even want my daughter to read fairy tales. There are so many books she can read which are more practical for the modern times. I don't want her to think that women should be damsels in distress.
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For me, I want my daughter to know the role of a man is to save the woman. That's how it should be. Men should be gentlemen and treat women like princesses.
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I don't think so, I like Belle in Beauty and the Beast. She is very open-minded and she loves books, two things that I would stress to my kids when I read this story to them. Belle taught us how to act when we encounter someone who is different from us.
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I don't think so, I like Belle in Beauty and the Beast. She is very open-minded and she loves books, two things that I would stress to my kids when I read this story to them. Belle taught us how to act when we encounter someone who is different from us.
Yes, you get to learn a lot of good morals from Belle's character. Also, Belle didn't start off as a princess.
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These Disney princesses and Barbies are some of the things I don't like my kids to have too much of. I don't want my kids to think that they need to be all dolled up like that to be pretty.
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It's all about the lessons you want to take from each of the Disney characters. Just look beyond the obvious and you'll find some real life lessons.
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Disney princesses are the typical stereotypes for women. Weak, fragile and dependent on men.
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Why blame Disney princesses, we should blame the creators for designing them like that. I think lately, Disney is shifting its gears and empowering the princesses more, say Merida for example. Merida is a princess who wants to take control of her own destiny and hone her archery skill.
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I don't even want my daughter to read fairy tales. There are so many books she can read which are more practical for the modern times. I don't want her to think that women should be damsels in distress.
Don't you think fairy tales help develop their imaginations?
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Host
For me, I want my daughter to know the role of a man is to save the woman. That's how it should be. Men should be gentlemen and treat women like princesses.
Jeez, that's no way to raise a daughter! Your daughter should be raised to believe in herself and in what she can do. She should not have to wait for a man to save her!
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These Disney princesses and Barbies are some of the things I don't like my kids to have too much of. I don't want my kids to think that they need to be all dolled up like that to be pretty.
I agree! Unfortunately though, there's not a lot of female driven stories that can empower young minds.
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Disney princesses are the typical stereotypes for women. Weak, fragile and dependent on men.
I agree! They should really eliminate these stereotypical characteristics.
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If you did not allow your children to read or watch Disney princess when they were younger? What did you make them watch that was a better alternative?
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