How Messed Up Lessons From Disney Films Affect Us - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog

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How Messed Up Lessons From Disney Films Affect Us

A startling look into the lessons embedded in Disney films.


This study didn’t just focus on how many words the characters said, but what was said as well. They analyzed compliments, and here we see a positive trend. During the Classics stage, the female characters received 55% of compliments based on their appearances and 11% based on their skills. In the New Age era, female characters are complimented on their appearance 22% of the time and on their skills 40% of the time.

With the most recent batch of Disney Princess movies, the dialogue trend has been reversed. Frozen, Brave, and Tangled have been more judicious about the speaking roles between the genders. This newest cycle features Princesses who are independent, talented, and are often the drivers of their own narratives. In fact, in a dramatic change of events from the earliest Princesses, these modern ones often save the men. In Frozen, the traditional love story is turned on its head when true love is revealed to be the love between sisters.

How Messed Up Lessons From Disney Films Affect Us

But Disney could still very well be f*cking us up. A major motif in the feminism of today is unrealistic body image, and Disney does very little to address this. Impossible body proportions in Disney Princesses, and this study found that the ratios of women’s bodies to men’s in modern Disney movies reinforce the sexist notion that women are beautiful only when they are impossibly thin, with delicate caucasian facial features.

Look, I don’t think we should lose our heads over Disney Princess films. After all, these films are meant to entertain and little more. That being said, children aren’t capable of understanding the potential effects it may have on their self-image and, clearly, internalize these sexist messages. So what’s the answer? As it often boils down to, being aware and educated, and voting with our dollars is really the best we can do.

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A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she spends most of her time in France, NYC, London and Switzerland, and travels extensively around the world. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 76 Comments

  1. Lucinda Hanslow

    The only two Disney princess movies I sort of disliked was sleeping beauty, and Snow White, but that’s about it. Originally my favorite princess movie was Aladdin, but I honestly don’t see jasmine as the main princess anymore.

  2. Lynda Diaz

    I forgot how much I love Disney princess movies after reading this.

  3. Joyce Gonzalez

    It’s like the people who think old Disney Princess movies are “classics”. HAVE YOU REWATCHED THEM THEY’RE SO CLICHE. LMAO

  4. Debra Perry

    When I was little, the only two Disney princess movies I watched were Pocahontas and Little Mermaid. Why? Because Pocahontas was brown, and Ursula in Little Mermaid turned into a cute brown girl. lmao.

  5. Melissa Richardson

    blame those Disney princess movies for girls being obsessed with being in a relationship, and feeling like they need someone to complete them.

  6. Annie Wright

    One time I watched all the Disney princess movies in order with my brother, and his girlfriend. We rated all the guys on 5 separate attributes to decide which one was best. Hercules and Shang were tied.

  7. Kathy Rogers

    I don’t care, I will still watch Disney Princess movies. I still love Ariel!!!!! ?

  8. Alice Torres

    I knew it since I was in high school. I love them all, but when I started to realize that it is wrong, that I should not fantasize them because it is wrong, that I should not copy what there are doing. I love them, but I don’t love the story.

  9. Denise Murphy

    Because the generation changes. Before, during the classic times, women are not that strong. They are depending on their partners, but look at how Disney changed the story? from being a dependent bitch, into a strong, and powerful woman.

  10. Julia Gray

    WTH. I used to love Ariel, but after reading this, and realizing that she’s worst than the others, I hate her now.

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