Disney’s Distortion of Awesome Princesses through Merchandise, Part 2

This is a continuation of this post here.

Mulan

Above you can see the distortion of Mulan through Disney’s revamp of its princesses. While I already dislike the marketing of Mulan in anything but soldier gear, I don’t want to hate on femininity too much, because femininity is awesome. And being feminine doesn’t mean you’re not a badass or tough or strong. But what I DO dislike about the marketing of Mulan is that Disney seems to forget that Mulan was a soldier and pretended to be a man for over half the film. She hated dressing up and being a puppet.

Disney whitened Mulan’s skin and redesigned her dress to be sparkly. Perhaps the most disgusting retouching they did of this princess is her eyes and hair. I don’t think the Mulan we know would be caught dead in something like this. So why does Disney market her like this? Because they socialize little girls to believe that being sparkly and unrealistically beautiful is what a princess should be.

 Cinderella

Cinderella is also dramatically reimagined for this newer marketing campaign. Take, for example, the difference in size of her ribcage, the enlargement of her eyes and mouth, and they narrowed her shoulders.  Cinderella has been all around shrunk to fit the current version of the beauty myth. With Cinderella already being a problematic story, there’s no reason to confuse girls even more about their place or what they’re supposed to be.

Now that I’ve shown you what to look for in the redesigns of our beloved characters, here are some more for comparison:


All in all, please do not be distracted by the sparkles and red carpet glam Disney painted these women with. Think about the images you’re surround by and how they are edited to fit a certain corporation’s agenda.

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Media Literacy 101

 

This is a video post I’m sharing of Melissa Fabello, an editor of Everyday Feminism, a website dedicated to activism and education. Here she shares the importance of critically thinking about the media we consume, and how we feel after we consume it.

She jokes about how we probably don’t want to be “that friend.” The one that is constantly criticizing media for its lack of diversity in all forms (women, people of color, fat people and thin people, etc). But the reality is, we should all be that friend. We should all work to maintain media literacy.

That’s what I’ve strived for in my criticism of Disney the past few months. I’ve wanted to work on my own media literacy while educating others.

What we consume as a culture and society shapes us as individuals. What we show our children shapes them as adults. We need to educate ourselves and want something better for ourselves.

As Melissa says in the video above, all media is owned by 6 corporations. And those 6 corporations are run by straight, white men. If all of our media and stories are coming from that slim demographic, we really need to think about the stereotypes and misinformation we are consuming when we watch television or read magazines.

What I want for my children, and what I’m sure a lot of people want for their children, is to lead happy and healthy lives. I want them to love themselves and the people around them. I want them to enjoy their world and the media. I don’t want them to grow up hating themselves. So, let’s all work on media literacy.

You can find a post on educating children on media literacy here.