How Did Disney Princesses Shape Our Childhood?

There’s a reason why your sister wants to become one of the Disney princesses.

Anyone who has seen these movies has imagined themselves as their favorite Disney princesses. All of us at some point have been obsessed with them, acted them out, and loved having anything with their faces on. We have adored them to bits.

As much as we loved them, we unconsciously brought on us a part of these imaginative wonders, living in our own world of make-believe.

How Did Disney Princesses Shape Our Youth?
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Creators of earlier Disney princesses movies have been accused multiple times of projecting women as weak and dependent. Princesses who need a man to save the day. When encountered with a problem, just throw yourself on the closest thing possible and weep.

How Did Disney Princesses Shape
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Before you come at me with your – Mulan saved the whole damn China and how Pocahontas didn’t need anyone. You’re right. Time’s changed.

It’s Anna saving Elsa from herself now.

Anna saving Elsa from herself now
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It’s about brave and carefree Merida.

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Moana having the incentive of saving her whole village… not only this, Disney has evolved to incorporating sensitive and less talked about issues in society like how Frozen 2 gives strong messages on mental health through Anna and Elsa’s relationship.

But hey, my generation and the millennials growing up had the likes of Snow White, Aurora, Ariel, Jasmine, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel and we swear it wasn’t until some time ago we heard of the less popular Mulan and Pocahontas (no offense). They weren’t dull for a single moment but now when you look back at them and notice what’s really happening and how these characters made you want to change who you are – you question- Why?

A lot of studies done on young girls suggest that the princess culture runs strong in their preteen ages and the influence is greater. But (there is always a but) Princesses’ potential as positive, prosocial role models is limited. For one thing, the earliest of princesses are defined by their appearance.

As much as they look beautiful with their unrealistic bodies, they have troubled people’s daughters trying to have the tiniest waists possible. As per studies, this may not really affect you as a child but may lower your body image in the long run.

Another concern is that of color. Disney princesses are mainly created for the western audience but are watched worldwide which subconsciously whispers to little girls that you have to be white to be beautiful.

Disney has definitely put in efforts to diversify the princess sphere responding to claims that the princesses are only white and cast in passive roles.

Naomi Scott played Jasmine, which was Disney’s first princess of color and first showed in 1992.

Naomi Scott played Jasmine
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The earlier movies cast the princess in passive roles. They spoke that you needed the man to save the day. There wasn’t much proactivity in them. Though this was more or less influenced by the image women were given then, we’re talking about the 1800s and 1900s here. So there we were, waiting for that prince in shiny armour on that white horse.

Thanks to Disney, this changed. These claims were worked upon and they decided to show stronger and unconventional women through the movies Frozen, Brave, Moana and so on.

It is not my claim that being a princess is toxic or so. My point of view concerns our perspective of them and what we think are princess characteristics- beauty (especially physical) and desirability.

While there is no harm in trying to look beautiful and desirable, it shouldn’t be something that completely defines you and makes you feel valuable. At the end of the day, everything withers away, but it’s your values and what you bring to the table that stays.

Let’s have a look into the mind of a perfectionist.

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