When Cinderella Will Go To University?
I'd never been a big fan of Disney cartoons, since my childhood. Now I know why. It was not possible for me feel attachment to the role models proposed for this entertainment industry. Even when the primary desire cultivated in the mind of every girl is the expectation to find a Charming Prince, This involves stimulating a search for personal identity in terms of a relationship with another, specifically, it means encourage others to define defining what they expect from us and the value we have as individuals.
This dream seems like an innocent fantasy, but in fact, what really does is reinforce stereotypes about beauty and passivity as a virtue and the pursuit of marriage and "forever together" as the only motivation. A cold analysis of messages offered by these Disney princesses, show the absurd, aggressive and demeaning roles that the stories, despite putting women as heroines, give to female gender. Even in an ironic sense of humor, is revealing:
Snow White: "At first, could be a problem to be beautiful, as the other women envy you. But don’t worry, when with your beauty you attract a man, he will protect you."
Sleeping Beauty : “You don’t even need be alive to catch a man. You shouldn’t take charge of your own life. Let others decide for you, and then, let your man shows you what life is about”.
Princess Yasmin: “Your value lies in your ability to find a husband. Everything else is incidental.”
Belle: “Appearances don’t matter ... unless you're the girl!.”
Cinderella: “If you're pretty enough, you'll be able to leave behind your financial problems and catch a rich man.”
The Little Mermaid: “It's all right to leave the family, dramatically change your body and give up your talents to catch your man. When he sees your beauty, nothing else matter.”
As if it weren’t enough to encourage passivity and progress in life through using physical attraction, these stereotyped heroines go hard to claim victimization for a life they can’t release on their own but hold in the arms of Charming Prince.
This Charming Prince, in the other hand, is really nothing glamorous or smart, if he only spends his life searching a beautiful woman, with all the qualities to delight the senses but not the intellect. Herein lies a conception of women as sex object that doesn’t appear easily since the messages and products are intended for children audiences: The woman takes value only when a man falls in love with her and this love, to generate that value must be gained from sexual attraction generated by the physical beauty. Deserves reflection the fact those princes never work. Also, analyzing the contexts in which Disney stories operate, there are components of violence, psychological abuse, discrimination, low self-esteem going unnoticed under the romantic glow which these stories are told.
But it’s not just Disney. The stereotype is something rooted in the cultural industry, multiplied and repeated in media formats for mass consumption. And this is not a subliminal message. The stereotype is publicly promoted. What happens is, since is everywhere and incorporated in daily life, we see it but not so many time we think of. Society still considers independent,intellectual or powerful but not married women, as an exception, a phenomenon that, since cannot be explained from the stereotype, is unreliable.
As women, mothers, educators, we must take the, still, few opportunities to offer more realistic and comprehensive models about the options a woman have in the real world. This doesn’t mean to demonize entertainment industry or giving love or marriage a less value. There is love and marriage and happy ending for empowered women. We don’t need to go so far to shows there is different princess with different abilities. Let’s think less like Cinderella and more like our authentic beautiful selves.