Evolution of The Disney Princesses Through Feminism Pt.1

Modern Feminism is defined by giving women a choice, freedom and liberation. It is about equality for all, not just women but men also. It is not about which sex is better but that both sexes are equal, everyone deserves the same chance. Most of the Disney Princess movies are based on the Brothers Grimm stories published in 1812. However, not well known but the brothers actually didn’t create the stories. Only writing them down to retell them. In the 1930s when the new idea of starting a new kind of Disney franchise came along into the creative study. The brother's stories seemed to be universal in the fact that with a few details removed and some added, they would be brilliant stories. Although the main purpose of the stories originally was to scare children in 19th century Germany to stay out of the woods and forests that surrounded German towns. This would save the children being eaten by the predators out in them and the German population rose. Snow White was the beginning of the Princesses in 1937. Though “many of the female protagonists were bland and only defined by their exterior beauty”.

Snow White was “the fairest of them all” and her physical beauty was the primary reason for the story. Even the villain of this classic is considered bland and anti-feminist as her main goal is to kill Snow White and be the “fairest”. Looking deeper into this story, it was 1937 and women were still considered second class citizens, only achieving the right to vote two decades earlier. Snow White shows a clear example of the exception of a young woman at this time, be pretty, nice and quiet.

The two princesses that followed Snow White were considered to be the same as her but this time they were blonde. Cinderella (1950), who did have a tad bit more personality and Sleeping Beauty (1959). Cinderella’s problems of servitude are solved by a fairy godmother and she gets to go to the ball. Once there she simply attracts a husband by being pretty. “This creates the message that what a young woman should do is look good enough to attract a mate. Conversely, any boys watching may assume that is what woman ultimately are like and physical beauty is of the most value”.

Sleeping Beauty follows the same pattern as before. Aurora is considered “the blandest Disney Princess of them all”. She demonstrates no personality other than a pretty face and a singing voice. The Villain, Maleficent is much like the evil Queen. Her motivation is substandard: she wasn’t invited to a party. “This creates a very simplistic view od female behaviour and motivations”. Sleeping beauty was considered to be “failure” in all eyes. The lack of action and plot in the film led to a 30-year gap before another princess was created. Though this one would take the world by storm.