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Fairy Tales: Impact Of Disney Princesses On Young Girls

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Young girls and women in this decade see Disney princesses as role models and believe that prince charming is the man who is going to save the day, that princesses are these perfect and beautiful women that just stands by and that cannot make a decision for themselves, this is what most girls lookup to instead of realizing the true side of fairy tales. When society thinks of a princess, they think long blonde hair, skinny waist, white skin, and damsel in distress that needs saving from a handsome strong man. The idea of a perfect princess has wrongly influenced the society that a princess isn’t brave, has insecurities or any flaws at all. In most princesses’ stories, there’s a pattern of the same blonde pale skin girl that needs saving, for example, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella and the list goes on. There wasn’t a true intelligent princess that saved herself until “Brave” came out, and society did not really look up to this princess because she wasn’t the typical damsel in distress. These themes are flawed because princesses should show women that they don’t need a man to save their day, and that there’s a variety of women with different skin color, hair type, body type, and that not everything is about beauty but also intelligence, that princesses are not just there to look pretty but that they can also be the hero of the story.

The first fairy tale that started the idea of a damsel in distress was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, she also showed how for her to stay in the house of the dwarfs, she has to cook and clean the house for them, this is a stereotypical representation that women do the chores in the house while men work (Gupta 2017). Years ago women used to have the set of mind that their job is cleaning the house and cooking, snow-white gives the example of that, and as time went by women realized that they wanted to be more independent and that working should be seen as not something that the men aren’t the only one that does it in the house but also women. Snow White starts her story by singing and wishing about the day that a man comes and saves her from her miserable life (Disney evolution N.D), then at the end of the story, the prince ends up saving her by a true loves kiss, when she could have not been so naïve about a poison apple and saved herself, this story from the start till the end basically shows Snow White and her idea of prince charming coming to save her. Snow white is an example of the basic stereotypes of women and damsel in distress, she does not do anything in her story that can inspire society and young girls, she basically gave the message that women are meant to be saved by a handsome prince, and that woman should enjoy cleaning and cooking (Abbadessa and Jenkins 2019).

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Other fairy tales that young girls see as role models are sleeping beauty and cinderella, they are both the examples that princesses are shown as beautiful blonde white pale women with no imperfections. In Cinderella’s story it shows how beauty plays a significant role by making her stepsisters with a dark hair, dark skin tones, and ugly features while Cinderella has fair skin, blonde hair, and is known as having beautiful features (Gupta 2017). Basically, Cinderella story gives the message that if you are pretty enough a rich prince will come and save you. In sleeping beauty, princess Aurora is also an example of the standards of beauty in a princess, by a prince that completely doesn’t know her but just because she is beautiful, he decides to kiss her and wake her from her spell (Abbadessa and Jenkins 2019). Society is used to accepting that all the action is left with the prince while in this case in sleeping beauty, Aurora just sits and waits for him (Zahra 2017). Aurora just like Snow white also has a very similar story of a damsel in distress and that the only way to save herself was by a charming prince once again, and giving the message to the society that women are just meant to sit there and look pretty when they can be the hero of the story.

Girls and most of society have the belief and idea that a princess should be beautiful but dumb, and when this belief changes, society seems to not really look at it because they are so used to this type of perfect princess. An example is in the movie brave which includes a princess call Merida who is completely different from all the other Disney princesses, she is more independent, saves herself, and has more of a tomboy look than girly look, she breaks all the other princess stereotypes (Hains 2012). It seems as the movie did not really catch people’s attention because society has grown up with the fact that a princess cannot be independent and be the hero of the story. In the movie brave, princess Merida does not fall in love as every typical princess does, and she ends up saving her mom from the mistake she learned (Munkittrick 2012). This gives a great message to young girls that princesses are more than just a pretty face and a nice voice, that they can also be the hero of the story. In brave it shows more of a mother-daughter relationship while most Disney princesses usually don’t have a mother or really care about family as a big deal, they are more worried about finding their true love (Flynn 2015). Merida has completely given a twist from Disney princesses.

Fairy tales for a long time have given the wrong message to young girls and most of society, the damsel in distress theme features in most of the Disney princess movies and most princesses are usually white, thin, and blonde (Abbadessa and Jenkins N.D.). Princesses as Aurora and Cinderella were more like accessories through their movies because the movie made the prince the hero of the story by saving them instead of the princesses being naïve and not able to save themselves, this shows how men in these movies are shown as the dominant gender while women are more dependent (Gupta 2017), however, all of this is something society is so used to look at a princess. When people see this idea of perfect princess change, people do not really pay attention to it, just like in the movie brave. Society is so influenced by a dependent, beautiful, maidens’ type of princess that singing is their only talent, ignoring all the main factors that a princess shouldn’t be perfect (Peters 2018). Beauty, marriage, and true love isn’t everything but princesses portray this as the main ideas in life, which young girls and women look up to this and a perfect ending with a perfect prince charming that’s going to save the day, and is not right because women do not need a man, women can be independent and save their own day, be the hero and still be a princess of their own story no matter the flaws or imperfections.

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Fairy Tales: Impact Of Disney Princesses On Young Girls. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 10, 2023, from
“Fairy Tales: Impact Of Disney Princesses On Young Girls.” Edubirdie, 17 Mar. 2022,
Fairy Tales: Impact Of Disney Princesses On Young Girls. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 10 Jun. 2023].
Fairy Tales: Impact Of Disney Princesses On Young Girls [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Mar 17 [cited 2023 Jun 10]. Available from:
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