Summary: Feminists warn that Disney Princesses encourage America’s girls to become thin, passive, and submissive — and make them psychologically disturbed. They teach this to young girls. It’s delusional, and illustrates a serious problem.
When researching the effects of feminism on society, I stumbled on this presentation by Jaden Maxwell and Cheyenne Taylor, seventh grade students at Mount Pleasant School: “Princesses as Role Models“. Its quality is far above anything I did at their age (they also won 2nd and 4th prize at the math fair). It illustrates one aspect of the education of modern American girls.
They say other ill effects of exposure to Disney princesses are “dependence and submissiveness”.
Impressively, the girls cite sources. The most significant is “Point: Fantasy Princess Role Models Teach Young Girls To Be Dependent And Submissive And Help To Foster An Unhealthy Body Image” by Micah Issitt (in Princesses As Role Models For Young Girls, 2014). Google revealed a large body of works exploring this theme. Sadly, dipping into this sea of feminist advocacy found little research supporting these claims.
That should not surprise anyone, for the concept appears quite daft. Snow White, the first Disney princess, hit the screens in 1937. The mass merchandising of the followed Andy Mooney’s (chairman of Disney’s Consumer Products division) genius invention of the “princess franchise” in January 2000. How has Disney changed America’s women during the past several generations?
American girls are often described as “princesses”, but not for those qualities. Rather, it describes the opposite: aggressive girls with high self-esteem (who are also privileged and materialistic). The earliest use I found of this was “Jewish American Princess“, which became popular after WWII — and was still popular when I was in college in the 1970s.
For the next generation: realistic Disney Princesses!
As for body image issues, Disney princesses are rail thin — but few US teenage girls attempt to emulate them. Roughly 1-2% are anorexic (about half of those become bulimic). The opposite problem gets little attention in these articles about princesses. A study in the January 2014 Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that 31% of US 15 year old girls are overweight (BMI >22.8) and 15% are obese (BMI > 25.4). The international averages were 15.3% and 5.5% (see the stunning table). Perhaps girls receive too little exposure to Disney princesses.
Also debunking the “princesses are guilty” theory: the rapidly rising numbers of overweight and obese teenage boys.
About modern girls’ “passiveness”. Anybody who believes the American girls and women have become more passive during the past few generations has not been paying attention.
What about psychological problems? Girls increased treatment with antidepressants and other such drugs suggests their psychological problems have grown worse. But we dose boys far more heavily, with a wider range of powerful behavior modification drugs. Our medicated children — with roughly 15% of teenagers taking some form of psychiatric drug at least once — is a phenomenon unique to America. It points to a problem more serious than over-exposure to Disney Princesses.
Looking at the education of American girls reveals some of the oddities that torque our society. The condemnation of Disney princesses (to which Disney responded with its new feminist-role-model-princesses) illustrates a more serious problem: our preference for discussing trivial or even imaginary problems instead of our more terrifying and serious problems.
Let’s hope we wise up. Otherwise the 21st century might be unkind to us.
For More Information
- The revolution in gender roles reshapes society in ways too disturbing to see.
- A look ahead at the New America, after the gender wars.
- Books to help us see the strange new world following the revolution in gender roles.
- Love in the new world, after the gender wars.
- Women are moving on top of men in America.
- Men are “going Galt”. Marriage is dying. Will society survive?
- Why men are avoiding work and marriage.