Every little girl wants to be a Disney Princess; every little boy is in love with Buzz Lightyear and “Cars”.
I remember being Cinderella for three consecutive Halloweens as a child, in fact.
Disney has always been with me. You can imagine how excited I was watching Toy Story 3 in 2010 and Andy was going to college just like I was. It was so realistic. The creators really thought that one out; Andy had actually grown up with me.
Of course, as a child growing up in the 90’s, I was never forced to pay attention to gender roles and ethnicity because in fact, Disney only portrayed them as they were in the real world.
For reasons similar to that, I have always been a fan of Disney and to this very day, I still am a fan.
Here’s a little bit of old news for you: Women and gender roles have never been portrayed accurately through media. And yet Disney is criticized because of the impact they have on young children’s lives and future. What about the parents of these children!?
Disney is not all to blame! Parents should be criticized for not differentiating the realistic from the unrealistic.
It is the job of the parent to serve as the buffer between their child and any Disney film the child may watch. When children see these movies ideas and values, both good and bad, becomes instilled in them. Such influences can give young girls wrong ideas about love and relationships, for example, which could lead to self esteem issues.
A parent, better yet the society as a whole, can not expect Disney productions to be the leader of their child’s life.
For anything we should be thanking Disney. It helped construct a world where children can find a place to situate themselves and get in touch with their emotional lives. Unlike the reality of life, their films provide that place. Hence, we are introduced to children’s culture, which has been largely ignored, especially when looking at the world of children entertainment, such as Disney.
Increasingly as I watch Disney films, I become aware of how necessary it is to move beyond treating Disney as the root of all problems and stop questioning there presentations and messages. Instead, we need to view it as a machine for the youth to analyze exactly what the real world has to offer.
Let’s not eliminate such factors that also contribute to a child’s life such as their relationship with their parents, the household they are raised in, the neighborhood they are raised in, etc.
If such accountability is to be put upon Disney, then parents and many other people have a lot of work to do if they want change.