Disney Media's Influence On Adolescents

Words: 1790
Pages: 8

I am a firm believer that we learn everything we need to know in Kindergarten. We’re taught that hitting won’t get us what we want, naps are imperative, and we shouldn’t judge books by their covers. It truly is important that we’re exposed to these life lessons at such a developmental stage because they sculpt the way we view the world around us for years to come. It’s no secret that kids also learn a great deal about their society from the media, whether it is video games, TV shows, or even movies. Animated films, particularly the ones produced by Disney, have been at the core of children’s culture for decades. I chose to shine the spotlight on a Disney film for this paper because Disney media reaches an enormous number of adolescents and subsequently influences them at an age where their developing minds are sponges for subliminal messages. Henry Giroux even notes that Disney films influence children’s role models and values even more than conventional forms of learning, such as public schools, religious institutes, and family (Giroux, 1995). Even more, most children are familiar with the stories of Disney princesses and internalize their …show more content…
Keeping the previous statements in mind, I believe that realistically, this movie (and the other animated Disney princess films) aren’t solely to blame for the negative and untrue gender ideologies kids learn from media. However, if parents show The Little Mermaid to their kids, I think it’s important for them to point out the positive things in the movie to try counteracting the subliminal messages while they watch. For example, when Ursula is killed, a parent could tell their child that she got what she deserved, not because she was a woman in power, but because she was mean to everyone around her. That way, instead of a child inferring what they’re supposed to take away from the movie, their developing minds absorb the lesson from their parents