Gender and Disney Movies Essay

Submitted By malakakis
Words: 1729
Pages: 7

In our society today there is pressure from all angles including media, schools, our peers, their parents and our parents to conform to certain behaviors which are acceptable and applicable to our gender, boys are brought up to be boys and girls are brought up to be girls. This is evident in the toys which line the store fronts, the books that children read and the upbringing of their parents. From an early age media targeting kids places images in their brains which are everlasting, and which dictate what is and what is not appropriate for their respective genders. Young girls are bombarded with toys and stories which tell them that the key to being happy is to be pretty, fashionable and to find a prince that will save them and carry them away into the sunset. On the other hand little boys are taught to be tough, handsome, strong and aggressive in order to become successful and happy as men. This type of manipulation carries on into teenage and adult life for all the little children growing up in today's society. It is taboo for a boy to play with a doll for example. They are expected to play with toy cars, and other toy figures that depict strength and aggressiveness such as figures of The Hulk and Dinosaurs, where as girls are encouraged to play with make up, princess dresses and shoes, nail polish, dolls and doll houses.

Literature Review:
This source is a 15 page analysis of how Disney movies have impacted children and their view of gender roles.

2. Parental Influence on Children's Socialization to Gender Roles
Adolescence, Summer, 1997
Susan D. Witt, Ph.D
University of Akron
School of Home Economics and Family Ecology

This source discusses how children are influenced at an early age to play certain gender roles, primarily by their parents and by their surrounding societal norms.

This source explains how gender roles are differentiated in Disney movies and the impact it has on children who watch them.

I watched several Disney movies which were Toy Story, Pocahontas, and Beauty the Beast, and Drake & Josh. In these movies, the male characters are always portrayed as being strong and aggressive in nature. The portray the male characters as being more intelligent than the women. The men are always physical when demonstrating emotions and sometimes they either hold back emotions or don't demonstrate them at all. The men are also strong and heroes of the film, they have no domestic jobs and all the overweight males are regarded as being undesirable. This creates a dilemma for boys who are not strong, good looking and aggressive. It also makes them feel that expressing emotions by crying for example is not accepted by society because they are boys and are not supposed to express emotions in that manner. As for women in these movies they are always portrayed as being more beautiful than intelligent, they are always the weaker gender and need saving or male help, and they are expected to take care of the home, cook and play a domestic gender role. Overweight women are always portrayed as being mean and evil, and single. This translates to girls watching that if they are overweight or not very good looking like a princess should be, they are not acceptable by society and something is wrong with them. The princesses all have beautiful faces, beautiful bodies, they are feminine, have long hair, beautiful skin and wear nice clothes for the most part. They are also excellent singers, have a lot of charm, especially with the male characters, they enjoy taking care of the house, cleaning and cooking, and their beauty is appreciated by the male characters and is why they find success and happiness. We never see a princess who is overweight, and who does not have long hair and is not good looking. Because of this image of a princess being so