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Is Disney Princess Culture Messing With Our Daughters?

Photo by Alice Alinari on Unsplash

Photo by Alice Alinari on Unsplash

Aw, another Quora question answered by yours truly, me.

Welcome to another Quora question night here courtesy of my room, in the corner of my office. Okay, this is a snarky remark, but today, I want it to be a fun reading night. I am not one of those people who wrote primarily serious stuff. I would not be an effective writer if I did that. I want people to enjoy my writing. Yes, I have some serious points even in the quirkiest of writings, but at the same time, I want people to be informed and enlightened.

Note and shameless plug time: the above statement is true. I wouldn't say I like to rush a piece of writing, even for others. So, if you do want me to write something for you or your company, please get it to me in plenty of time (with a deadline), so I can give you my best work.

Before I answer this question and transfer my answer to the Quora page (where it is happily written for questioner), I thought that would give you an insight into the World of Disney, known as the "Disney Princess Culture."

Backstory

If you are not interested in this section of this article, please bear with me. I promise to be very brief about it, and you may skip over it.

I am a Disney Fan. I have mentioned it throughout my writing career. I belong to several Disney fan groups on Facebook, and to top it off, I am willing to endure being my family on a trip to Walt Disney World shortly. My family is your typical family, so being with them on a week’s worth of vacation, or as Europeans say, “Holiday,” will be fun, so no complaints here. I look forward to seeing my one and two-year-old niece and nephew discover Walt Disney World for the first time, as well as my 12-year-old nephew, who has never been. I have written about tips and tricks on how to navigate the parks and how to sign up for the best deals so you do not spend a ton of money. I cannot say that I am an expert or a travel agent. I give out these tips because I know they have worked for me and will work for you.


The Disney Princess Culture: what is it?

The DPC (Disney Princess Culture) is a culture that says the following:

- I have no mother

- My father does not care

- I am helpless

- I want some prince to rescue me

- I will live happily ever after when he does

These are the bases for every Disney Princess story except for a couple.

Let’s examine this theory…

Before you ask, “Why does every Disney Princess story get rid of the parents?” It is not Disney’s fault for the parent problem. They have added to the situation. None of these stories were originated by Walt Disney. These stories are adaptations of the original, mainly by the Brothers Grimm. They are:

  • The Princess and the Frog (the Frog King)
  • Tangled (Rapunzel)
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Little Snow White)
  • Cinderella
  • Sleeping Beauty

Brave, another Disney animated film depicting a Princess named Merida, was an original story written for Disney’s Pixar films, but in the style of both Han Christian Andersen and The Brothers Grimm. It started the style much like Mulan and Moana, where both parents are present, and the mother is alive and present in their daughter’s life. The father is also present in their daughter’s life. Other stores like Frozen (The Snow Queen-Hans Christian Andersen), Beauty and the Beast ( La Belle et la Bête- Gabrielle- Suzanne de Villeneuve), Moana (Disney original-Jared Bush), The Little Mermaid ( Den Lille havfrue- Hans Christian Andersen), and Mulan (Hua Mulan-Xu Wei), almost follows that pattern. Still, Moana and Mulan have both parents at the story's beginning.

The story is still out for the two newest animated stories, Raya and the Lost Dragon and Encanto, where the depiction of having two parents in the home. Raya (Raya and the Lost Dragon) and Mirabel (Encanto) have yet to be counted among the Disney Princesses. There is a coronation ceremony in the Disney Parks, which allows both characters to be counted among the Disney Princesses.

Note: There are two more princesses; the first is Elena. She has not had her own Disney movie yet because she is mostly for little girls, but she has been seen in the parks. Another princess is called Sofia the First and is also for little girls. Both princesses are Disney’s original characters. They are not based on any original old stories. Since Disney loves making 1-2 hour movies, it is too long for a child under four to sit through a movie that long. So, I am guessing that making a movie for Elena and Sofia would not be wise for profit margins.

Now for the Quora answer. Are our daughters being messed up with Disney’s depiction of women?

Hardly, and I wonder where this poster got his analogy from. Here is my two cents worth. I think at one time or another, we all have fallen under the Disney “trap.” It makes good marketing sense. When women were “objects of desire,” it was okay to think that if you were not married by a certain age, you were a has been. This is where the Disney Princesses come in (most of them). Cinderella, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), and Snow White all had you thinking that way. Belle, Jasmine (from Aladdin, who I do not talk about), Rapunzel, and Ariel was also that way. The game changes starting with Tiana (Princess and the Frog), where you can have your man and work. The only reason I have not brought up Jasmine is in the animated movie, she was like the others, but in the live-action movie, Jasmine was more independent like Mulan, Moana, Raya, and Mirabel.

I have to say that the way that children are brought up today has much to do with their parents. Some parents care enough to teach their young sons and daughters how to survive, while others do not care. That is not Disney’s fault. How parents handle things has a lot to do with how that parent was brought up. If that parent’s mother and father did not care how the future parent behaved, that would show through their parenting skills when that person becomes a parent.

Some people blame Disney because they feel that Disney has become a babysitter. The idea of putting a child in front of the television sickens them, and these same people blame Disney for all the world’s problems. Folks, please put the blame where the blame is due. It is not Disney’s fault, the school system’s, or anyone the general public wants to blame for a child’s behavior. This problem is the parent’s fault. As I said before, parents who do not give a kid structure or consequences when a child misbehaves will have a child who ends up in the wrong place. That is all I have to say about that for now.

What Should Parents Do?

One of the solutions I have heard in the past is to talk it out with your child. For instance, please do not turn on the television and tell your child to sit in front of it and watch. This does turn the television into a babysitter, and nothing comes of it. What you could do is engage with your child and ask questions throughout the movie. For example, ask your child what they think about Cinderella’s bravery in Cinderella. Listen for the answer and create a conversation with your child. In that conversation, you start learning about your child, and from there, you can play off their strengths and weaknesses. Teach your child about confidence and that they do not have to depend on anyone, but at the same time, teach them that there are certain times that they may have to lean on someone. If you are a Christian, you may want to throw a bible study related to that Disney movie. These are only suggestions.

Conclusion:

Disney does not teach a child, especially women, to be weak and depend on men. These lessons should be left to a parent who can teach a child that it is okay to have dependence and independence simultaneously.

Please note:

I decided not to answer this question on Quora. This article was too good and deserved more than a one paragraph answer

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