Presentation Title

Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who is the Most Oppressed of Them All: Female Beauty Prescriptions and Gender Roles in Disney Princess Films and Wedding Magazines

Presenter Information

Amber Knight

Location

IB 1015

Start Date

19-3-2016 10:30 AM

End Date

19-3-2016 10:45 AM

Abstract

From the time they are young girls, women receive messages from the media regarding beauty and gender expectations. These messages are deeply rooted in the history of North American society, and continue to be perpetuated in various forms regardless of the improvements that have been made (and continue to be made) in the name of equality among men and women. Disney princess movies, and especially the princesses themselves, are one form of message sharing that promotes unrealistic standards of beauty and behaviour for young girls. This research explores the ways that constructions of beauty and gender found in Disney princess films are appropriated by wedding magazines primarily targeted at young women. The “standards” found in Disney princess films are reproduced in the magazines, thereby reinforcing for women the idea that their sole purpose in life is to find a man and fulfill the stereotypical role of a happy wife through expectations of Western beauty, domesticity, and dependence on male partners, to name a few. This reproduction reinforces gender inequality by normalizing traditional beauty prescriptions and gender roles, despite the various liberation movements that have questioned it. Specific examples from the films and magazines that highlight the correlation of prescriptions in the different media forms aimed at different ages will be presented to demonstrate the need to critically consume and perhaps reinvent these messages.

Department

Interdisciplinary Studies

Faculty Advisor

Tracy Penny-Light

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Mar 19th, 10:30 AM Mar 19th, 10:45 AM

Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who is the Most Oppressed of Them All: Female Beauty Prescriptions and Gender Roles in Disney Princess Films and Wedding Magazines

IB 1015

From the time they are young girls, women receive messages from the media regarding beauty and gender expectations. These messages are deeply rooted in the history of North American society, and continue to be perpetuated in various forms regardless of the improvements that have been made (and continue to be made) in the name of equality among men and women. Disney princess movies, and especially the princesses themselves, are one form of message sharing that promotes unrealistic standards of beauty and behaviour for young girls. This research explores the ways that constructions of beauty and gender found in Disney princess films are appropriated by wedding magazines primarily targeted at young women. The “standards” found in Disney princess films are reproduced in the magazines, thereby reinforcing for women the idea that their sole purpose in life is to find a man and fulfill the stereotypical role of a happy wife through expectations of Western beauty, domesticity, and dependence on male partners, to name a few. This reproduction reinforces gender inequality by normalizing traditional beauty prescriptions and gender roles, despite the various liberation movements that have questioned it. Specific examples from the films and magazines that highlight the correlation of prescriptions in the different media forms aimed at different ages will be presented to demonstrate the need to critically consume and perhaps reinvent these messages.