The Disney Princess Effect

Improved Essays
The Disney Princess Effect
Does Disney effect how younger children see themselves? Young children are exposed to countless movies, television series, and toys that can lead them to create their own self image in the future. Numerous studies have been preformed to see if these social medias have effected younger males and females with gender role and self image. Some say it has little to no effect on how their children grow up. That it gives no unrealistic view on how they perceive themselves. And their children know the difference between a fairytale and realistic things. While other parents contradict their views. Those parents feel Disney Princess’ and toys play a strong role in how their young ones view themselves and those around them.
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Parents are finding that their children are having lower self confidence at younger ages and they relate that to these Disney characters that they are watching. Ashley Bispo writes, “Fairytale Dreams: Disney Princesses’ Effect on Young Girls’ Self-Images,” she states, “Nevertheless, the fact that societal beliefs about ideal body shape have been absorbed and adopted by 6 year-old girls indicates the existence of a cognitive substrate which may underlie that later development of affective body dissatisfaction and associated lower self esteem, for example with onset of puberty” (Bispo 8). This focusing on kids imitating those they admire. They see them and they assume that everything they do is a social norm. So if they see certain body types then during there transition period known as puberty then they will try to be that body type. Also, mother’s and father’s state that children look at Disney characters and see them all having this slender body and they look up to that. Sharon Hayes and Stacey Tantleff-Dunn wrote, “Am I Too Fat to be a Princess? Examining the Effects of Popular Children’s Media on Young Girls’ Body Image.” They concluded that, “Dieting and, in some cases, problem eating behaviors also are more prevalent in 9 year-old girls who display signs of body dissatisfaction and weight concerns at younger ages than those who do not” (Hayes and …show more content…
Studies have been organized and tested to specially prove that children are influenced by these movies in such way. Karen E. Wohlwend conducted research in one kindergarten class to look at how children act around each other. She talks about how students act during their play time. She states, “two 6-year-old boys, Daniel and Anthony, frequently pretended to be Disney Princesses such as Snow White and Cinderella. This sometimes required additional work to convince other children to play along” (Wohlwend 595). The research she did was to show how boy’s do not react well to other boy’s playing princess. As well as those boys’ whom pretend to be a princess are frowned upon by their peers. Young males are stuck in a gender role that they must be strong and not feminine. Not only does it effect males, but females are also significantly trapped in these roles. It is acknowledged in the book, Everything’s an Argument, under the “How Does Popular Culture Stereotype You?” chapter, “The Women’s Sports Foundation found that 6 girls drop out of sports for every 1 boy by the end of high school, and a recent Girl Scout study found that 23 percent of girls between the ages of 11 and 17 do not play sports because they do not think their bodies look good doing so” (Hanes 484). This proves that young girls are viewing these films and seeing very pristine women and feeling as

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