Disney has been setting gender stereotypes since the beginning making the perspective of young children completely changed. Disney has always portrayed females as young, beautiful, fragile and feeble victims of cruelty while their male counterparts are shown to be courageous, daring, handsome and intelligent who would fight for their princess’ rights.
The early years of a child are the formative years. This means whatever the child watches, hears and learns stays in the mind for a lifetime. Such learning creates a perspective the child has to carry. Almost all the 90s kids, including me, grew up watching Disney and developed a very unethical perspective without even realizing. Young boys started believing that a woman’s opinion does not matter as they are dependent on a man’s intelligence and decision-making power.
They started believing that they will have to use their huge body and strong muscles to fight the evil to rescue their lover. On the other hand, young girls started believing that one day their Prince Charming would fall in love with them at the first sight would come on a horse and take them away to live a happy life. They start relying on boys and consider themselves completely dependent.
Disney has categorized things like colors, habits, likes and dislikes based on gender, which gives birth to a very wrong thinking. Disney has also set limitations for both the genders, which make them very restricted.
Little mermaid, one of the very famous Disney movies, sets up a gender stereotype too. The main character in the movie, Ariel, is a mermaid who falls in love with a prince and just to be with him she has to make many sacrifices. Ariel decides to give up her beautiful voice for human legs. She believes that there is no such need of a voice when she has a pretty face and an attractive body. This gives the message that women need to be beautiful because physical beauty is what all women can offer and other qualities does not mean a lot.
While in Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, Snow White gets to clean the whole house, washes all the dishes and cooks for seven people and never gets any help. This shows that men simply do not belong to the kitchen and have nothing to do with chores as women are made for such things. The movie also shows Snow White to be restricted to the house only while the seven dwarfs go out, work and have fun even.
In Cinderella, it is shown that a poor maid can change her life completely and forget all the financial problems not by working hard or following her passion but by simply using her beauty to attract a wealthy prince and marrying him.
It is now that the 90s kids realize the unethical messages Disney used to give through its movies. Disney has always showed men to be the dominant part of the society who lure in attractive and beautiful women with their decent personality and attractive manly voice.