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Disney Princess Movies: Then and Now
Transcript of Disney Princess Movies: Then and Now
History: Gender Expectations
Gender: provokes determination of many judgements, where expectations of behavior, occupation, and sex are made.
What roles do
within Disney Princess movies help to portray society's view on gender and interactions? How has this changed through the years?
Perception: An interpretation made by an individual, taking previous knowledge and experiences to create an idea.
Body Image: Long beautiful hair, unrealistically small waistline, fair skin, dainty mannerisms.
Lifestyle: Beauty triumphs all. Because a woman possesses attractive assets, pleasing to the male gender, they are seen to be more successful in their desire to be happy.
The way a child perceives a Disney Princess movie and its characters has a lot to
do Schema Theory
Areas of Knowing
Areas of knowledge are considered to be the categories of knowledge possessed. Each Area of Knowledge can be used to analyze both shared and personal knowledge, allowing the learner to have a complete understanding of a topic.
History: The acknowledgment of passing events which help to influence future decisions.
Human Sciences: Studies and interpretation of human experiences which help to analyze further happenings in human life.
Although all princesses possess a desire to escape from their surroundings, their wanting to break out signifies their happy ending.
Certain princesses rejected their suitors who conflicted their goal of true happiness. This idea supports Disney's claim of using "Post-Feminist" ideals helping to stress a woman's right to make her own decisions.
Therefore, Disney was able to shift their message from choosing any attractive prince to choosing the right attractive prince.
Real Life Situation
During childhood, an individual's imagination is willing to conceptualize anything witnessed visually or verbally.
Once they've learned to associate certain images with concepts, they form a schema to use in their everyday life.
This idea is exhibited through Disney Princess movies, which are watched by children in their younger years.
Schema: a process in which a person associates behaviors or thoughts with previously learned information or experiences.
Observational Learning: another process developed by Bandura which supports the idea that humans continuously process information, taking into account their behavior and the outcome of their actions.
Social Learning Theory: a process developed by Bandura which explains the way an individual learns new behaviors, values, and opinions.
Based on the Disney Princess movies which portray characters with specific traits and roles in each tale, all which conclude in a "happy ending." By watching all princess movies at a young age, they are able to associate beauty or masculinity with happiness.
Human Sciences: Psychological Theories
Ways of Knowing
Ways of knowing are used by each learner to provoke deeper thought and understanding behind a concept while categorizing each topic through shared and personal knowledge of the learner.
Disney Princesses: Now
Disney Princesses: Then
All princesses including Jasmine, Snow White, Milan, Aurora, Cinderella, Pocahontas, Belle, and Ariel desire to find true love and are awaiting his arrival in one way or another.
Aspirations in life: To follow their dreams while being beautiful and inevitable wedding to a handsome prince. Snow White and Cinderella especially perform conventional women's tasks cooking and cleaning while singing songs about love.
Young girls may conceptualize this and many inspire to be like a princess.
Reason: a concept that justifies a decision based on one's evaluation of consequences.
Disney Princesses: Over Time
1930s-1950s: Women like Snow White Aurora, Cinderella, Arielle and Belle were considered to be voiceless female objects awaiting a man to marry them. Arielle literally trades her voice for legs, a physical attribution which serves to please a man.
1990s-today: Pocahontas, Mulan, Jasmine, and Tiana perform the prince's role and save the day. Their activity and more masculine roles in society help to depict their increase in power and loss of submissiveness.
Although some princesses may want forbidden land or love, a happy ending is not reached until the father approves of the marriage.
The lack of reason in most older Disney movies simplifies the thought process of a woman while also creating an unrealistic series of events.
This is made fun of in recent films like
These two theories support the idea that through culture and exposure to societal ideals, one is more likely to conform to those ideals rather than protesting them. While children watch these movies at an early age, they are more likely to idolize a princess' body image and lifestyle.
Schema's are used to organize our knowledge, assist to recall information, and guide our behavior.
It has a lot to do with association and stereotyping, because whether its subconsciously or not, our brains start to connect certain subjects or experiences to each other.
Schema can change the way an individual perceives any event or behaves and reacts to an event as well.
For children, they associate specific physical qualities with specific internal qualities (Little Mermaid)
New Disney princesses created recently, continue to have differing ethnic backgrounds and more independent assets.
Tangled: has a less passive and more proactive character when she finds help from a thief to see the floating lanterns for her birthday. ("I'll read a book or maybe two or three" and "When will my life begin?")
Brave : overcomes her family difficulties and takes control of her own destiny without marriage.
Ana and Elsa: Their determination and love for each other neglects the traditional ideals of male heroism and bases the ending story on sisterly love.
Based on our knowledge question: "What roles do
within Disney Princess movies help to portray society's view on gender and interactions?", it is apparent that Disney's portrayal of women throughout previous and recent movies has changed to reflect changing societal values.
Because of this, children watching more recent movies will change children's perception and reason of gender and interactions in society.
*Bias Acknowledgment: This conclusion is based on our personal interpretation and we acknowledge our bias as women in American culture.