Have you ever watched the Disney films and noticed just how similar they are in comparison? There is a reason for that. While watching Mickey Mouse Monopoly I found it very interesting how many hidden messages there are in Disney films. More specifically, I noticed all the messages being shown to little girls.
The messages being shown to these young children were definitely not positive. They were messages about how a girl should look, how they should act, and what they should accept as the norm. It was rather disturbing just how degrading these messages were to women as a whole.
One specific message was how young girls should strive to look like an image that just isn’t realistic. Disney characters portray women who are usually thin, have long legs, have long hair, have big beautiful eyes, and are unrealistically proportioned. Any one of the Disney princesses will have these physical features as shown to the right. This teaches young girls to worry about their weight and physical features at an extremely young age. They learn to sexualize themselves way too early. If you really think about it Disney is saying be skinny or be a size “0.” If zero is what media portrays as right they might as well say try to take up as little space in society as possible.
Another message is for young girls to use their sexuality to get what they want. An example the movie used was of Ariel from The Little Mermaid. It described how she used her body to win the man of her dreams. This movie also shows young girls they can get what they want without being heard. In The Little Mermaid Ariel gets her voice taken away in exchange for long legs in order to walk on land. Long legs are something seen in the public as sexual. These messages tell little girls it’s okay not to have a voice and to fight for what they want the way they should. It also says showing body parts are the only way to get a man’s attention.
The last example and most appalling of all is the message that young girl’s should accept violence and teach themselves to become desensitized to it. In Beauty and the Beast Belle is treated violently by the beast and is constantly yelled at. What’s even worse is that she forgives him for his beastly and violent behaviors. Here is a video to prove my point. This teaches young girls that it is okay to be treated in a violent manner. It also teaches girls that if they stick around with a violent person that they can ultimately bring out the good in them. We all know this is unrealistic and in a sense it is teaching children to put themselves in harmful relationships.