Disney: To be a Young Woman Essay

864 Words 4 Pages
To be a Young Woman (according to Disney) Since Disney first introduced Snow White from the film Snow White and the Seven Dwarves back in 1937, the definition of what it means to be a young woman has been hugely influenced by Walt Disney Studios princesses. From the hair and the dresses to the demeanor and poise, Disney princesses have been showing girls of all ages how a woman should look and act, if she wants to have a happy life and find the perfect husband. Being constantly fed the seemingly ‘ideal’ image of beauty since their youth; most girls feel a need to strive to that level of beauty in order for them to feel accepted in society, and confident in themselves. According to researcher Dawn England, “The princesses in the first …show more content…
Images of feminine beauty and youth are highlighted through large expressive eyes, pouty mouths and elegant bodies” (Ayob). These common princess features are the features typically of young adult women. When young girls see this, their want for maturity grows, making them not want to act like a young child, but rather a teenager. Ayob continues on to talk about the pressure for girls as they try to achieve the princess standard of beauty, “Young children look to these characters as role models and the images, as artificial as they are, subconsciously become ideals for them. Young girls emulate the movements and styles of these princesses, who become the Barbie dolls of the imagination” (Ayob). A specific example of the type of beauty the princesses have comes from Sleeping Beauty’s Princess Aurora, “Aurora as "Barbie's medieval cousin" (p. 27) and, strikingly, she is contemporaneous with the first appearance of Barbie, likewise in 1959, a doll representing an idealized American teen” (Rozario). The classic features of the original three Disney princesses have been the ideal images of beauty throughout the generations and continue to serve as the classic image of femininity. Throughout the three films of the princesses, all three of the princesses have relied on a man for help and protection. According to the article by Bridget Whelan, “Two of the three first wave Disney princesses spend part of

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