What’s Wrong with this Picture?

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The past two weeks, the girls in the Diversity Club and I have been discussing Disney characters and how they portray women and minorities. Today we watched a portion of a video, Mickey Mouse Monopoly. It was amazing to see over and over how seductively female characters, even animals, are displayed. Batting eyelashes, disproportionate waists, revealing clothing are just the beginning.

Scene: Beauty’s family is ripped apart and she endures verbal abuse by the Beast until finally she uses her “sweetness” to draw out his softer side. They fall in love.

Message: Stay with the man even when he hurts you. Just keep being nice until he changes.

Scene: Jasmine uses her feminine wiles to overcome the villain and allow Aladdin to escape.

Message: Seduce a man to get what you want.

What are we teaching our children? They do not have the capacity to discern for themselves. The girls in my room today were appropriately appalled and eager to learn more. Is it too late for these twelve and thirteen year olds? They are years beyond the Disney phase, but Disney is everywhere. What do we do?

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7 responses to “What’s Wrong with this Picture?

  1. As the mother of a 3.5-year-old girl, this issue concerns me very much. I don’t have any idea how to protect her from the ubiquitous princess culture. It’s EVERYWHERE!

  2. The fact that you are all aware and sensitive to the issues means our society is better equipment to make changes. Fifty years ago when Disney began these shows we were in the midst of fighting for civil rights and not very far removed from womone’s right to vote and slavery. Progress may be slow and unsatisfactory to many, but it is happening. It is up to us to keep it moving.

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