Monday, July 27, 2015

If The Shoe Fits

Walt Disney is renowned for many things. His kingdom of animated wonders, a legacy of creative genius, the way he'd put on the Mickey Mouse suit and insist on being called “The Commodore”... But one thing he can never take credit for is a realistic representation of his Disney Princesses.

And despite recent efforts to portray more modern and diverse heroines, the Disney Princess line-up still largely resembles Thursday night at a Tallahassee strip club.

If you were a Disney princess which one would you be?

Criticism that Disney heroines represent an exaggerated and unrealistic physical standard of beauty is well deserved considering these films are designed for an audience of 5 to 10 year olds. Who exactly are the pouting lips, doe eyes, and heaving bosoms designed to appeal to?

I like to think I'll raise my children in the sort of open-minded, accepting household where we appreciated all bodies like pow, animated and otherwise. But it does it over simplify women's role in society and representation throughout history to believe that heavier, plainer Disney Princesses are some magic bullet that liberates us from years of patriarchal oppression?

It's a difficult issue to address when you're up against an intimidating group of Disney Princesses all in hot pursuit of their Happily Ever After (all all who strangely resemble the Mean Girls from my High School).

I'm genuinely glad to see Disney's outdated stereotypes modernized, but I'd hate to see one set of restrictive standards replaced by another. I don't think our ultimate end game is necessary some elaborately constructed Disney role model giving their stamp of approval on wearing glasses, liking books, or playing sports. Instead we should foster a society in which young women can be their own role models.   

Cinderella herself said it best:

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