Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

I’m more than your Modern Princess.

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Is there any form of media where women are dominant? The internet, video games, and even Hollywood films have predominately male leads. So where are the women? Children’s princess animated films. Many people could view this as a good thing and argue that young girls are taught morals and standards by strong women in these Disney movies. I do not agree. Sleeping Beauty had to be rescued by a prince (a man) before she could be awakened. The same holds true for snow white, who not only had to be woken up by a man, but had to be cared for by 7 of them. Ariel needed a man to kiss her before she could speak. Even Cinderella was a house maid until a prince ‘rescued’ her. Further, take a look at our more modern princesses. Fiona was saved from the dragon by a male Ogre. Tiana had to marry and kiss the frog to gain princess status. And the newest rendition of Rapunzel (Tangled) shows how dumb blondes are truly made out to be. Out of all these princess films there are two that pass the Bechdel test and portray females in a light that is positive for young viewers. Brave shows the story of how a teenage princess fought for her right to inherit the kingdom without having to marry. During this process she also managed to save her mother from a spell that had turned her into a bear. However, in the end, Frozen has the best portrayal of women. Firstly, Elsa becomes Queen of the Kingdom as a young, beautiful, and single woman. She has no love interest throughout the entire movie which is refreshing. She is also the only person with powers (her ability to create and manipulate water, snow, and ice). Second, although Anna is a naïve teenager with two different love interests, she can be seen as a dominant woman. Hans only wants to marry her in order to work his way up to the throne because he knows he cannot achieve it on his own. Kristoff is young, cute, and nice. He is kind of like a trophy wife in reverse. Anna buys him all the essentials for navigating through the snow as well as a new sled when his old one is destroyed. Ultimately I would like to see a film where males and females are portrayed as equals. Until then I hope females will be more critical of how the media portrays them, how they are perceived by audiences, and how to change their submissive mindsets.

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