Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ah, Disney.

Yesterday I found this head-spinning blog, which I've also linked on my sidebar.

I pretty much read the entire thing yesterday.  I can't help it.  If a blog catches my interest, I want to know the whole story, so I have to read all of the older entries to catch up and feel like I know what's going on.

The blog is about a mom who noticed changes happening in her three year old daughter that she could relate directly to her viewing of Disney movies (most prominently, Disney princesses).

First off, her daughter was afraid that her mother might die at any moment.  You can't really blame the child.  How many Disney princesses have a mom?  How about by the end of the story?  Heck, even Nemo loses his mom in the first five minutes of the film.  And Bambi?  I can't even watch it.

Second - she started to refuse to wear anything other than dresses.  Princesses ONLY wear dresses.

Third - she started displaying some way too sexualized behavior for a toddler.  The batting of the eyelashes, the cock of the shoulder, the:

Yeah, that's the one - the one on the cake!

"Oh, I'm a sweet innocent little girl who just happens to be wearing nothing but seashells to cover my boobs and a thrusting fin line.  It's okay, my hair covers my unrealistically thin waist."  ::bats eyelashes at handsome prince::

As this little girl's mom began to delve into research about the effects of the Disney Princesses on little girls she found really shocking things.  She also realized that there is a sexualization of our culture that trickles down to youngsters everywhere - not just in Disney.

Can you blame Disney?  What sells?

That blog about that mom and her three year old daughter got me REALLY thinking.

I'm not all that interested in Disney movies for my kids.  My son made it easy with his hyper emotional sensitivity - he can't take the stressful situations in which the characters in many of the Disney movies find themselves:

But what about you?  What do you think about the Disney Princesses?  About the sexualization of our youngsters?  About the fact that the handsome prince has to rescue the princess in order for her to have any kind of power?  About their waistlines?  How about the idea that the message of Beauty and Beast might just be - if you stick it out with this abuser, you'll find the handsome prince inside...  (chew on THAT).


Pete Ramsey said...

I've had some great discussions on the Disney is amoral topic. I do have to say it's fun to share a common mythology with others my age, particularly with those who like to belt out Disney Princess songs at full volume on road trips.

However, lots of research on early childhood learning shows that people develop their world views/ethical foundations much younger than previously thought. And visual cues have a MASSIVE impact on what they learn.

On the other hand, don't feel like I turned out all that bad, and I watched a whole lot of Disney crap as a kid. Perhaps there's something else that makes the difference: something like an external influence that isn't as prevalent as Disney...say, Church, for example?

One last comment: that show about the "perfect bride" is complete crap. I hope it flops miserably before even being aired.

Missy said...

I think that Church and parents and education and a TON of things contribute to all of the stereotypes that surround America's kids. The thing about Disney for me is, as a parent, I've noticed that it's nigh unto impossible to get away from it. When we were kids I don't think this was the case (of course I was a kid so I could be totally wrong here). There were dolls and clothes and movies and such, but now there are Spaghettios and shower curtain rods and sprinkler systems and band-aids and the list goes on and on. It's one thing to have a hoodie and a lunch box - it's another to not be able to take my kids to the grocery store without being inundated by Disney. My son has never seen half the Disney movies, but somehow he knows most of the characters - we don't even have TV service! It's kinda crazy. It reminds me of McDonalds (though I dare say their advertising is even more ingenious than Disney's) - Maeryn had NEVER been to McDonalds, and could say about ten words at the time, and yet, one evening we drove past the golden arches and she pointed and smiled and said, clear as a bell, "McDonalds!"

And the perfect bride show is TERRIFYING. I can't believe someone even PITCHED that show.

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