Perhaps the first thing you think of when you hear the word “Disney” is the classic Disney Princesses. Ariel, Cinderella, Belle, whoever may come to mind they all have one major thing in common. Every Disney princess has a grossly disproportionate body shape. Really look at a the Disney princesses, when would you ever see a woman with similar body proportions? You wouldn’t, not a healthy one anyway. Media in the 21st century is so focused on body images and being skinny. There is a difference between skinny and HEALTHY believe it or not. Can you be thin and healthy? Of course. Can you be a curvy and still be healthy? Absolutely. But the most important fact is that no matter what size someone is they are still beautiful.
Now just to get something clear, I am in no way anti-Disney. I loved Disney princess movies when I was a little girl as much as any other kid. Even now in college I still enjoy watching a Disney movie ever now and again (My roommate and I are OBSESSED with Frozen!). But even in the newest Disney princess movies they continue to use these insane body proportions. Arguably they have gotten even more disproportionate throughout the years, specifically in the head and face. Their heads and eyes are huge! Now Disney princesses have always been known to have big eyes compared to their faces, but really look at them. A large part of Anna and Elsa’s faces (the two newest princesses) is just their eyes. In an article posted on The Huffington Post there is a section of it looking specifically at Anna’s eyes. They are the same size as her wrists! Even if you walked around with your eyes wide open they would not compare to princess eyes. Also princesses are not known for their height. According to the Disney actors audition website most of the princesses are between 5’2 and 5’6.
Also did you know that most Disney princess are only 16 or 21 years old? According to a research study done at Seton Hall University that is the average age for a princess.
I feel the same way. I’m 19 and look nothing like a Disney princess. Although if this is what guys are going to think about me if I did look like one than maybe its a good thing I don’t.
However Disney portrays these princesses theres something about a princess that is timeless. Girls from every generation are influenced by princesses; If you say you never wanted to be a princess at some point in your life you’re probably lying. Even the people who play the characters in Frozen admit that they have always wanted to be in a Disney movie.
There is another way to become a Disney princess however, regardless of body shape. At the Disney resorts little girls can go to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Downtown Disney to get a princess makeover from the fairy godmothers, for a fee of course. The more you want to pay, the more of a princess transformation you get. You can do the basic package which is makeup and hair along with a princess sash and tote all the way up to the full transformation which even includes your own princess costume among other things. That’s if you can get mommy and daddy to spend the $194.95 (plus tax). But shops like this in Disney continue to encourage that a major part of being a princess is physical appearance. Even through the music in these princess movies there is a main focus on physical appearance. Since princesses usually are married off within a short time period of meeting their princes, the entire relationship would have to be based off of physical attractions. This gives off the wrong messages that as long as you are pretty, your relationship/marriage will be perfect and you’ll live happily ever after. Ursula explains this to young Ariel in the song “Poor Unfortunate Souls”. The same idea is present in Beauty and the Beast, Gaston is dead set on marrying Belle. Has he ever talked to her? Or taken her out on a date? Probably not, he just wants to marry her simply because she is the most beautiful girl in town.
Gaston: “Right from the moment when I met her, saw her
I said she’s gorgeous and I fell
Here in town there’s only she
Who is beautiful as me
So I’m making plans to woo and marry Belle”
In my podcast I discussed with my Aunt (who has two young children), parents, and sister about how they feel Disney may affect young girls. They all had different perspectives but in general agreed how there is or could be influences on a mindset from these characters.
So maybe one day we will live in a society where a large part of being a woman isn’t focused on physical beauty. Sitting in class working on this I noticed the guy sitting in front of me has the background of his phone set to a Victoria’s Secret model on the beach. Pressures are so strong on girls to be these symbols of sex and beauty from our social norms of living in this airbrushed society, and Disney animation does not help. While animated movies may not be the first thing someone would think of when asked what they think is something that distorts our perceptions of beauty, Disney princesses certainly do have an effect.
We are all Wonderwomen! Drawing. Joyful Expressions. 22 May 2013. Web. 25 April 2014
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Kothari, Monika. Why Is Disney Still Making Female Characters With Such Cartoon-ish Bodies? Huff Post Women. The Huffington Post., 9 Jan 2014. Web. 26 April 2014
“Audition Calendar & Casting Calls.” Disneyauditions.com. Disney. Web. 22 April 2014.
Nottingham, Rebecca (rebeccamy23) “Ah I really want to be a Disney princess but I’m too tall waaaah” 21 April 2014. 3:46 pm. Tweet.
Danielle, Anya (anyadanielle) “I’m 16 why don’t I look like Ariel or Aurora or another 16 year old Disney princess” 20 April 2014. 8:22 pm. Tweet.
Collegefession (collegefession) “The first thing I thought when I saw Frozen was how much I wanted to fuck the two princess chicks.” – DePaul University” 24 April 2014. 11:00 pm. Tweet.
“Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique – Downtown Disney” Disneyworld.go.com. Walt Disney World Resorts. Web. 27 April 2014
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