Consequences of the representation

by danhiggs

There are may consequences in result of the representations Disney fairy tales created as women continuously being nothing but “the damsel in distress”. This idea reflects upon women to make them think that they are vulnerable to men and need to be rescued in order to have their “happy ever after.” This conveys the message to women in todays society that a young female is incapable of looking after herself and instead needs a man to care and tend for her.

What is the difference between the Damsels in Distress and reality today?

One of these consequences is the way young girls are being taught to be a women. Instead of a girl learning to grow up on her own and learn from her own mistakes she is instead taught by the Disney representations that she should just be patient and wait for her man to rescue her from her troublesome life. This is an unrealistic consequence that the representation has on society as the females are not taught independence and freedom instead they are taught about romance and love. A young girl no longer has aspirations of jobs or careers instead she dreams of being a princess and getting married. This is an unrealistic message. Although the young women will eventually grow out of the princess phase, why should it take place at all? Disney teach young girls the wrong morals and values. They teach the women to obey male instructions and long of finding the perfect prince instead of longing to find a career or become successful on her own. Its no wonder the statistic of female leaders is below 5%! The young girls aren’t taught about leadership nor possible jobs outside the house not even to look after themself instead they are taught to define themselves through appearance.

Another consequence is the stereotypes that the representation has created. The audience is quick to pick up that all the Princess’ are pretty and skinny, and it is these princess’ that find their Prince Charming to sweep them off their feet and go to exteme lengths to rescue them. This conveys the message to young women that if you want this to happen to you then you need to look like how the princess’ do. Which is skinny, tiny waist, long hair, luscious eyes and perky lips. And if the young women fails to meet this criteria then it means they do not receive a Prince nor be release from the ‘Damsel in distress.’ This leads to many self esteem issues as the actual perception of beauty that Disney created is only a very small proportion of women in todays society. So that leaves the rest of the women doubting themselves which increases numbers of self harm and eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia due to women trying to achieve the unrealistic idea of beauty so they no longer have to be a Damsel in Distress.

Another consequence is on the Disney Corporation. Obviously the Fairy Tales are made for the target audience of children. So of course the longer Disney are producing movies the longer the continuation of the representation continues. As they are not going to change the stereotypes that they have been building up since the early 1900’s. This puts the younger generation under the lime light as they are next to be effected that’s if they haven’t been already. That’s the problem. When will this ever stop? Many see Disney as a legacy of the childhood. Fairy Tales are a ‘highlight’ of the childhood however it is not until the teenage years where we start to recognise the effects Disney has really given society.

As you can see above there are many consequences regarding the Disney fairy tales representing women as continuously being nothing but “the damsel in distress”. None of these consequences being positive. This reflects on society today as the younger generation get caught between the Disney world and reality, which confuses them as they start to use the morals and values they have learnt from the Damsels in Distress they were forced to look up to.