This blog will discuss a quite different kind of topic. I’ll try to write about what I learn as a Psychology student and relate it to something that closes to us. Pardon my very limited knowledge and please correct me if I’m wrong.
Let me ask you. Who is your favorite Disney Princess? and Why do you like them?
From a long time ago until now many people grow up with their own fairy-tale and I am one of them. I’m pretty sure every one of you are familiar with many fairy-tale. But have you thought that the stories will affect the behavior and personality to perceive gender equality in the world?
Gender inequality has been a debatable topic from era to era. Many platforms talk about gender inequality from different perspectives. Now, I want to show you the development of the Disney Princess animation movie in gender role from time to time. I believe many people, especially women, grow up with watching some Disney cartoon movie.
Do you know who is the first Disney Princess? Yes, she is Snow White. The first Disney animated feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on 1937. It shows that since a long ago a lot of people are growing up with many stories of Disney Princesses. Right now we have more than 9 Princesses who have different characteristic depending on the era and keep develop the character of the princess. As you know, Princess Snow White has a stepmother who poisoned her and there’s a Prince Charming who save her and bring her to the castle then have happily ever after.
If you pay attention to most of the Disney Princess stories, most of the story shows the limitation of women role to defend their self. The story will be about helpless women who survive because the prince charming come and help them or the story about a woman who must follow the family tradition since the woman future will be based on their husband. Also, most of the story only shows that the meaning of beauty is based on physical appearance. Is that a good role for us? Can the story have an effect on us after a couple of time?
During my university, I read an article about “the princess effect” on people behavior and personality. A journal by Brigham Young University describes that the Disney princess culture could make young children more susceptible to gender stereotypes. Why?
Let’s take a look.
This investigation by Child Development Journal analyzed the level of commitment with Disney Princess media/items as it identifies with gender‐stereotypical conduct, body regard (i.e. self-perception), and prosocial conduct amid early youth. Participants comprised of 198 youngsters, who were tried at the two-time focus (roughly multi-year separated). The information comprised of parent and educator reports, and tyke perceptions in a toy inclination assignment. Longitudinal outcomes uncovered that Disney Princess commitment was related with more female gender‐stereotypical conduct couple year later, even subsequent to controlling for starting levels of gender‐stereotypical. Parental intervention fortified relationship between princess commitment and adherence to female gender‐stereotypical conduct for the two young ladies and young men, and for body regard and prosocial conduct for boys as it were.
For many years, most people have a stereotype about what kind of toys describe your gender. Girls will play with their doll, especially Barbie and boys will have a puzzle and a miniature of the vehicle.
More prominent female stereotypical behavior isn’t a problem for the boys n the study who engaged with Disney Princess media had better body esteem and were more helpful to others. These valuable impacts recommend that princesses give a required balance to the hyper-manly superhuman media that is generally introduced to the boys.
In any case, the negative impacts for girls aren’t restricted to harming only stereotypical behavior. The investigation additionally demonstrates that girls who are unhappy with their physical looks will engage more with the Disney Princess for the sake of the role models of what they consider to be beautiful.
The role of parents or the guardian is really important to lead the children to avoid this kind of perception. Children don’t need to avoid a princess culture completely. It will be almost impossible to avoid kids from princess movie, toys, etc. However, parents need to give the understanding to the children about the power of media. It will be great if the parents able to tell their kid about the good and the bad of Disney Princess Culture.
By the time, we also can see that the development of Disney Princess. These days, many new Disney Princesses appear with their ability to defend themselves and more independent. From my perception, it will change the perception of Princes Effect to the children. The perception of Disney Princess is no longer about the physical beauty but also the beauty with self-confident and independent. It will help girls to have a better understanding of their role in society. Also, parents need to guide the children to be more independent and able to defend themselves no matter what is the gender.
So, what do you think? For all of you who grow up watching Disney Princess, do you have the same opinion as me?