Our childhoods are drenched in pretty princesses, courageous knights, evil witches and magical creatures. Why do we give books to children? They peddle stereotypes, close minds to new experiences and offer limited horizons.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Disney princesses are beautiful, slim and more often than not, white. While there are some exceptions Mulan, Pocahontas and Princess Jasminetraditionally, a white face reigns supreme. Equally problematic is the unrealistic body standards set by whippet-thin Belles and Ariels, who dictate the animated fairytale world.
For centuries, fairy tales have permeated many cultures and societies. In particular, the evolution of many tales follows the development of gender roles and expectations of the societies in which they originated. This can be seen in how many popular tales have adapted over time and are depicted in popular culture today.
In The Little Mermaidwho provides Ariel with a shelter and future life of luxury? Prince Eric. In Cinderellawho brings her out of rags and into riches? Prince Charming.
A few months ago, I noticed an image on Facebook that was garnering thousands of "likes" and "shares. Snow White, Cinderella and their girly gang are grouped together, each adorned with a caption. Sleeping Beauty says: "Pretty girls don't even need to be alive to get some hot princely action.
Tunku Abdul Rahman University College. More about this item Keywords Disney ; princesses ; gender ; portrayal ; spectatorship ; females ; films. You can help correct errors and omissions.
Fairy tales depict the fantastical lives of princes and princesses, witches and ogres, giants and dragons. They have endured because of their magical power to take us away from the mundanity of everyday life and capture our imaginations. But are they really so far removed from reality?
If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be very intelligent, read them more fairy tales. It cannot be questioned that fairy tales are the best way to bring up children through heroic actions of their favorite characters.