Disney Princesses Self Esteem

2145 Words 9 Pages
Once upon a time, Andy Mooney, former Nike executive, attended a Disney on Ice show. While at the show, Mooney observed groups of young girls dressed as their favorite characters in the show. He designed products to make young girls look and feel like their favorite Disney characters, anything from dresses to lunch boxes. The Disney Princess Empire’s story of creation and expansion is comparable to the fairytale stories themselves, with Andy Mooney as Prince Charming and the consumer-products division of Disney as the princess in need of rescue. Prince Mooney rescued the consumer-products division of Disney, whose sales were dropping by thirty percent each year (Orenstein). According to Penny Orenstein of the New York Times, “The first Princess …show more content…
The Princesses possess and exhibit impossible and unrealistic physical and character traits. Young women are impressionable, and often model their own lives based on the lives of these fictional characters. When young girls are taught that they should look and act the same way Cinderella and Snow White do, they often feel inadequate, often leading to depression. Orenstein explains: “There is evidence that young women who hold the most conventionally feminine beliefs — who avoid conflict and think they should be perpetually nice and pretty — are more likely to be depressed than others and less likely to use contraception” (Orenstein). These values and traits of submissiveness and low body confidence often stay with women as they get older, and the effects are clear when they are adults. According to Kirsten Salyer of Time, “an obsession with beauty can increase girls' vulnerability to issues including eating disorders, depression and risky sexual behavior” (Salyer). Additionally, young women in the Disney princess films are depicted as gorgeous, kind, and nurturing. Orenstein states that “A young girls' obsession with body image and beauty, which is largely encouraged and standardized by media and toys, can hurt a girl's physical and mental health” (Orenstein). When a female is attempting to look and behave the same as the characters she has modeled her life and values after, it could harm her body image, …show more content…
The princesses teach young women that they must be submissive, through princesses that wait for their prince and are obviously secondary to the males in the movies. This translates in the workplace. When a man is assertive in the workplace, he is respected and often admired for his vigor. On the other hand, a woman is viewed as aggressive when she is assertive. She is not respected, and is often criticized for being bossy. According to Sonya Rhodes, a physcotherapist, "Whatever women do at work, they have to do it nicely. But the more you back off, the more they don't take you seriously” (Goudreau). Women’s inability to be assertive, even with people of a lower job title, come from the characters and princesses that teach her submissiveness when she is young. The Disney princesses teach women that they are inferior, and often cause women to judge similar women harshly and unfairly. This relates to the workplace when men and women with identical credentials are judged differently by males and females alike. When a man is successful in his career and has made multiple accomplishments, he is respected and well-liked. When a woman has the same credentials, she is viewed as less likable. A study was conducted in 2003, where two identical resumes had two different names, one female and one male. The males were seen as “terrifically competent”, while the female with parallel credentials was viewed as less likable

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