Are Disney Princesses Damaging Children? (JOUR 4250)

Adults know that Disney princesses’ bodies and stories are pure fantasy. But do young children understand the concept of fantasy? Not completely. Lately the Disney princesses have been receiving a lot of criticism surrounding this issue.

The princesses have perfect bodies, hair and makeup. They are helpless and weak until a prince saves them. Their life goal is to marry that prince and live happily ever after in a palace. Are these characters sending children, especially girls, the wrong message?

Take a look at some recent criticisms:

The Princesses’ Bodies Are Not Realistic

arielAriel
elsaElsa
jazmineJasmine

Photo Credit

Disney Princesses Are Historically Inaccurate

jazmine realJasmine: Fourth Century A.D., Arabian Peninsula
pocahontas realPocahontas: Early 1600s, Virginia
snow white realSnow white: 1500s, Germany

Photo Credit

Disney Princesses’ Hair Is Too Perfect

ariel hair Ariel with wet hair
cinderella hairCinderella with bed head
 mulan hair Mulan with static
pocahontas hair Pocahontas in the wind

Photo Credit

All of these points about the physical characteristics of the princesses are spot on, but there is still a deeper problem that we aren’t talking about.

I grew up watching the Disney princess movies and think I turned out OK. But I can’t deny that there was a time when I believed life would always be picture perfect and someone would always save me if I needed help. We need to stop teaching young girls they can completely depend on a man to be successful and happy. There may be debate about whether or not girls will decide for themselves as they get older, become educated and have a deeper understanding of the world. Everyone’s views are different and there is no absolute truth, but I am all for sending a better message to children. They need to know life does not always go your way, no one is perfect, a man won’t fix all of your problems and it is good to be independent.

Is this the message we want to send? Credit

Is this the message we want to send? Credit

The flip side:

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