I think each and every girl including myself has gone through that “princess phase” at one point or another in our lives. How many of us have used Cinderella, Snow White, or Sleeping Beauty as our role models growing up? The problem is that these princesses are role models of what we shouldn’t be like in real life; they are superficial, they rely on fairy godmothers to solve their problems, and they wait around for princes to save them in their time of need.
M. Bakos and fellow classmates Disney Princess movies have set off an unrealistic image of life for little girls
Growing up they are little girls goddesses, idols and friends. They are feminine, beautiful, and always end up living happily ever after. But are these beautiful princesses sending off wrong messages to little girls? Ever since the “Disney Princess Franchise” came out in 2000, more and more girls have been taking away ideals that can affect their self-esteem and relationships in the long run. You may not notice it at first but in these movies girls are receiving messages telling them that if they are not pretty they will never find love and live happily ever after. These messages are making it hard for little girls to understand more important vales than that of being superficial.
The first misconception about Disney Princesses is their superficiality. To start off each princess has impossible body proportions and they all possess the same defining traits: pretty, nice hair, and a waist smaller than their head. Now can you imagine any normal person’s waist being smaller than their head? No because that is physically impossible. Not only are the princesses themselves superficial but their whole lives are based on superficiality. As Laura Robinson states “ I have seen, heard, and read more Cinderella renditions than I can possibly count and every Cinderella character seems to have one trait in common: she’s pretty.” She goes on to describing a series of personality traits a Cinderella can have and then ends off by saying “None of these qualities matter because the only attribute she actually needs to get the prince is beauty.”
This is basically teaching girls that the only way you will get a happy ending is to be gorgeous. Imagine if princesses were of average beauty, Snow Whites prince would have not dared to kiss a dead girl, Cinderella’s prince would not have noticed her, Eric would have never gone out of his way to spend time with Ariel, and Sleeping Beauty wouldn’t have been followed by Prince Phillip in the woods. They’re sending the message to little girls that physical beauty id the most important trait that you can possess.
A second misconception is the myth of happily ever after. Each and every princess movie that I have ever seen has emphasized on the idea of love at first sight. Princesses marry a prince after only interacting with him once. In most movies this would be a typical scenario of how they would meet: Prince “Wow, check out that unbelievingly stunning girl. I love her”, the princess would say “Oh look! A handsome prince” then they would go off telling each other that they love each other and shortly get married. I don’t know about you but if someone randomly came up to me and said they loved me I would probably run away and call the police. Scenarios like that do not normally happen in real life but yet it is repeatedly emphasized in each Disney Princess movie.
The third major misconception girls suffer because of princess fairy tales is the dream of the perfect man. Just like the perfect princess, the fairy tale prince is on a level of all around handsomeness, grace, and charm that is unattainable by actual human beings. Unfortunately since this ideal of a perfect man doesn’t exist girls end up deeply disappointed. Instead of changing their ideas and expectations of what they want in their prince charming, most women simply move from man to man, desperately looking for one who can fill the shoes of the ideal fairy tale prince. This comes to no surprise since there are no realistic relationships between the princess and their prince. As a result these little girls will not be prepared for real relationships.
In conclusion, Disney Princess movies are creating high expectations for girls. This can affect their self-esteem and the way that they view true beauty. Because of these misconceptions little girls will not be able to develop an understanding of what real life is outside of fairy tale movies. It is giving them a false conception of love, and how to attain love, these negative effects will only hurt them in the future. The only way to steer clear of having a little girl grow up as a princess is to teach her more important values, make her understand that no such perfect person exists and make her grow up to be able to create her own happily ever after.