Do Disney Princesses Send The Wrong Message To Little Girls?

Do Disney Princesses Send The Wrong Message To Little Girls?
April 29, 2011 Leslie Juvin-Acker

With all the hubub of the “Royal Wedding” in England, the media is getting on the princess bandwagon to discuss whether or not disney princesses send the wrong message to little girls. What do you think?


The news report above features little girls at Disney’s princess salon where parents can pay around $189 dollars to have their little girls dressed up and photographed as their favorite disney princesses.

There is a debate between feminist critics and child development experts on whether or not it’s healthy for young children to focus so much on beauty. Some psychologists have found no link between exposure to these princesses and body issues for children between the ages of three and six.

LiveLoveLeslie did post an article last week about the life size dimensions of America’s favorite doll, Barbie, and how a college sophomore was affected by the imagery and other magazine images which led to her own eating disorder as a teenager. However, Disney princesses are beautiful, but they aren’t unrealistic in proportions.

I’m on the fence, because I grew up at the time when Disney went from a dwindling cartoon studio to a animation powerhouse with hits like Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and Pocahontas. Sure, I felt the desire to be pretty (what little girl isn’t attracted to beautiful things?) but I mostly focused on the fact that these girls wanted independence, mutual love and to find someone who was charming and kind (and just so happened to be a prince). To me, Disney princesses always had good hearts, they focused on the needs of others, they followed their dreams and were ladies – curtsies and all – who acknowledged their social duty and familial responsibilities.

Sure, little girls and young women can confuse a charming, handsome guy with money as a means to an end in the search of financial and emotional security. For me, I felt Disney princesses always took risks to do the right thing and the Prince Charming’s identified with that quality, hence the reason they always fall in love. That’s just me, though.

The concept of paying upwards and beyond $/€200 to “princessify” a little girl is mind blowing, considering that most parents work anywhere from a full day or full week for that money. I mean, that’s half of my food budget for the month. Teaching little girls that money can buy a title or sophistication is more of the concern rather than the idea of pretending to be a princess riddles little girls with eating disorders. What do you think?

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