Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Body image and the Disney Princess

There are many things I love about Disney movies. The magic, the silliness, and the imagination they can instill. However, the one thing that I can never shake is the stereotypical representations it holds. Specifically, I wanted to touch on body image, which is a big topic surrounding today's media influence. The Disney princess is beautiful, but much like the Barbie, a complete falsity and physical impossibility. Interesting to note, even in this picture, the princesses are positioned much like fashion or magazine models. Perhaps this is foreshadowing stereotypical magazines to come in the future of young girls?

The Disney princess possesses a perfect hour glass figure found attractive by the male species for reproductive purpose (as explained by the evolutionary theory). Additionally, she is well endowed, has perfectly symmetrical features, an extremely small waist size that seems to be an impossibility, and long luscious hair. Much like many cultural impressions, due to the idolization of such princesses, young girls are unfortunately influenced by these impossible ideals of beauty.
Although I direct this towards girls, it isn't to say that boys are less subject to these stereotypes. Take a look at a Disney hero for example.

The men are typically tall, with larger legs, smaller waists, larger torsos (again noted as most desirably by the evolutionary theory), along with perfectly symmetrical features, and never move an inch of hair. Therefore, young boys as well are subject to impossible standards to live up to, unless they aim for Quasi-Motto, then perhaps they can reach their Disney Hero goal.
Essentially, these types of media representations influence children at young age to believe a certain kind of beauty, Disney Princess beauty, represents the way they should look.

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