Gender Stereotypes In Disney

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Disney has been around for almost nine decades and since then, it has brought on hours of boundless enjoyment to young children and has always been viewed in a positive light, but recent research and debates have shown that maybe Disney is not as glamorous as it likes to pretend to be. After watching Disney films with his three sons, Pennsylvania State University professor Henri Giroux said,“This isn’t just entertainment. It’s teaching our children. Popular culture is a powerful educational force, regardless of where you are politically. And there are things going on in popular culture that aren’t very friendly to our kids” (Giroux 1). He was right. When looked at with a critical eye, there are many flaws that could be found within its contents …show more content…
A few researchers have named this phenomenon, The Disney Effect. “In children’s animation, females, minorities, and workers have few redeeming qualities,” (Giroux 1). Disney has many problems that can affect both genders and offend many in multiple ways. Gender-wise, Disney forces many “traditional” or stereotypical roles on each gender. For females, they must be aesthetically pleasing. Everything, even finding a good husband, comes down to their image and how they look. This belief is depicted by the role of the Princess. Princesses are meant to be a certain weight, be skinny and have flawless skin. Child Psychologist Sharon Lamb argues that “Disney girls are depicted as women with Barbie doll bodies” (Lamb 2). Basically, what they are saying is that females must be perfect, which everyone knows to be impossible. This outlook on perfection can lead to eating disorders and self-esteem issues along with the lack of confidence. Women are also expected to be compliant and that without a man, they are nothing. They are willing to give up everything just to obtain a husband. An example of this can be seen in The Little Mermaid. Ariel gave up her home, family, and voice just to marry a man who would take another woman to the altar just because she could