Have We Made Progress? Disney Films through the Decades Essay

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Is there a difference between a Carl’s Jr. Hamburger commercial featuring a scantily clad Paris Hilton and a Disney movie? Many would argue “Well, of course there is a difference!” Those looking through the lenses of feminism would see that both are highly sexualized and send a negative message to children. They teach young girls that they are only valued for what their beauty sells. In this age of technology, children are spending more and more time in front of their television. Whether it is an episode of an edgy situation comedy like Two and a Half Men or a serious, heart-to-heart episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, there is a very high chance that a child is learning about their gender role and what that entails. The trend of …show more content…
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs embodies the “damsel in distress” plot to a “T”. At no point in this movie does Snow White provide any action to save herself from impending trouble. There are four instances in which Snow White is in trouble and rescued by men. First, the Queen is seeking to be the “fairest of them all”. To determine “fairest”, the Queen relies on an external source, her talking mirror as opposed to looking within herself for validation. Realizing that her physical appearance did not equate to the “fairest”, the envious Queen orders her huntsman to kill the “fairest of them all”, her step-daughter, Snow White. Second, then the huntsman finds Snow White, he cannot bear to kill her because he finds her so beautiful. She does not have to think of a witty escape or physically defend herself to dodge death because the huntsman found her to be so beautiful. Third, at the climax of the movie, the dwarfs save Snow White by chasing the Queen off the mountain where she plunges to her death. Yet again, Snow White is not involved in the process of saving her own life. The dwarfs, little men who work in the nearby mine, are much more capable than Snow White in terms of “saving the day” simply because they are men. Finally, as Snow White is under the Evil Queen’s “Sleeping Death” spell, the prince kisses her and breaks the spell. Once more a

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