Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A reflection on Cinderella Ate My Daughter

At one point or another in their life, every little girl has seen a Disney princess. Like the picture above, the little girls get false images of what life is really like. Not every woman will be as skinny has Cinderella is in the picture, or will have blond hair and blue eyes as the stereotypical and superficial mark of "beauty".  Not every girl will or should find a boy, a "Prince Charming", that will sweep them off their feet solely for looks.

When it comes to this, I think that it is the parents' job to make sure their little girl does what is good for her. The parents much teach their daughters to become self- sufficient and independent, and not to rely on any man for their financial well- being. I know personally that my father has taught me this for the longest time. He always says "One of the most important things you can do is get financially stable as soon as you can, because you shouldn't have to rely on anyone else when it comes to finances."

That is ultimately what the "princess culture" does NOT teach young girls. Rather, the princess culture seems to teach that evrey girl will find a rich man who will sweep them off their feet, and they will be all set for the rest of the lives; a sort of "happily ever after". But that is the furthest thing from the truth. The truth is, not many girls will find a "Prince Charming", and they will have to know how to be able to provide for themselves and how to so "no" to things that could be potentially harmful to their well- being. In conclusion, here is a video I found, which was created by a college class, that examines the sexist messages in Disney movies:

Monday, March 18, 2013

Unlearning the myths that bind us- a reflection

So, after reading Christensen's article, every notion that I had a Disney as well as other cartoons have been pretty much shattered. I never realized how biased seemingly innocent cartoons could be. Christensen argues in her article that these cartoons are bad influences on children, and I cannot help but agree with her. Children, especially, are very impressionable and the exposure to the kind of racism and bias expressed in cartoons causes children to grow up believing things about others that are wrong.

For example, if you take a look at all the Disney princesses pictured above, all of them are depicted as white, beautiful, and extremely skinny women. Not all women look like this in real life. If young girls grow up thinking that this is what their bodies are supposed to look like, then they will never learn to be happy with who they truly are.

On the boys' side of things, think about male characters portrayed in cartoons: Popeye, Buzz Lightyear, and Captain Hook, just to name a few off the top of my head. All of these male characters are portrayed as hyper- masculine, and resorting to violence and anger in some form or another to get what they want. Young boys growing up watching these cartoons will eventually begin to think that violence and anger is the way to get what they want, too.

Aside from the stereotypical gender roles being present in cartoons, there is also the problem of racism being present as well. The black crow feautured in the Disney movie Dumbo is named "Jim Crow", which obviously refers to the infamous Jim Crow laws of the American south which were enacted from the late 1800s until the mid 1960s. These laws made into law segregation rules, which were to be enforced in all public facilities. But, one also has to keep in mind that Dumbo was a Disney movie which was released in 1941, so it's a "sign of the times", I guess.

In conclusion, I'll leave you with this article, which contains a short video looking at the elements of mostly racism in Disney cartoons.