I am trying to be objective and “isn’t this interesting?”, but really I’m just going “hahahahaha! I was RIGHT! I thought this thing was true and now here is a study that says it IS!”
Courtesy of People magazine, news about a new study on early childhood development related to Disney Princess culture. 300 pre-schoolers year olds were asked to fill out surveys about blah blah, and then the researchers compared between ones who did watch Disney and ones who didn’t.
Not only was watching Disney Princesses not a BAD thing, it is actually a GOOD thing!!!! For the same reasons I HAVE ALWAYS SAID. They are the protagonist of the story, the set everything in motion, it is all about their needs and desires. Does not matter if it is Cinderella where that need and desire is getting married, or Mulan where it is about going to war. All that matters is seeing a female character at the center of things.
Now, remember my epic genius blog post about Feminist Media Theory? Where I said basically THE EXACT SAME THING??? Ignore if she wears pink or not, or if her happy ending is being married. Look at agency, voice, control over the story of her life. THAT’s what matters. Same thing this study is showing.
From the Disney side of things, I am very happy with this FINALLY being recognized. Rich White Western Mothers have been very big for a long time on “oooo, bad Princesses! BAD!” and all about how it teaches a man coming to rescue you and blah blah blah. And my reaction has always been “what movie are you watching????” Disney princess don’t just wait to be rescued! Because that would be BORING!!! They are the hero of the story, they have to be DOING something so we have a movie to watch. It’s the princes who are the dull ones.
Remember SRK’s weird Davos interview where the woman kept trying to attack him and it was just confusing because she didn’t seem to have ever seen one of his movies? She mentioned the same kind of thing, the argument that heroines just stand there and get danced around. But, that’s not true. That’s a lie that people are taught to accept without ever ACTUALLY WATCHING A MOVIE. Most Indian film romances have extremely active heroines. “Active” meaning they do things, they make decisions, they talk back to the hero, lots of stuff happens. And yes, their plot revolves around marriage and traditional gender roles, but their BEHAVIOR does not.
If I am a little girl watching Cinderella passive aggressively fight back at the abuse from her family, and lie and run and be brave to escape, I am going to learn that it is okay to put my needs first, that it is okay to do whatever it takes to get out of a bad situation. And if I am a little girl watching DDLJ, I am going to learn that it is okay to lie to my parents when I think they are wrong, to decide what I want to do for my own life, to find a way to go my own way. And to find a partner who will listen to me and respect me for who I am.
In a bigger sense, I find this thing very irritating because it is LAZY. Either actually watch the media products and form an opinion for yourself and defend it, or don’t get into this fight. Get into another fight, like arguing with actual male chauvinists online, instead of beating up less Woke parents. Or go out on the streets, march for something, fight for something, run for office, join a political campaign. Anything besides sitting on the internet repeating other people’s opinions on media products without actually coming up with something new to say for yourself!!!!!!
(Everyone on DCIB is exempt from this. Because you are only here if you are interested in forming your own opinions and being challenged. For instance, you don’t have to fully agree with this post. And that’s GOOD!!! I want people to think for themselves on these issues, and ALL issues!)