Disney Princesses have become favorites of many little girls around the world ever since Disney launched its multibillion-dollar “Disney Princess” brand. In fact, these Disney Princesses are known to influence females of all ages through their shimmering golden ballroom gowns, ice-blue dresses, and sparkly aqua mermaid sheaths.
According to Us Magazine, Blake Lively was inspired by Belle’s costume in Beauty and the Beast and decided to dress up like the Disney heroine.
One of her recent photos on her Instagram account showed the Gossip Girl actress wearing a sunshine yellow outfit that was compared to the character from the Disney Princesses franchise.
Her appearance at the Cannes Film Festival saw the Gossip Girl actress dressing as Cinderella, while this time Isabelle Adriani’s dress resembled Beauty and the Beast‘s Belle.
Cannes is a Fairytale! Isabelle Adriani on the red carpet as Belle and Blake Lively as Cinderella pic.twitter.com/u3zNmWdcyS
— ThePrincessMagazine (@ThePrincessMag) May 15, 2016
Additionally, the heroines from the Disney Princess collection have also inspired makeup artists to figure out how to transform ordinary girls into Disney Princesses through “Disney Princess cosplay,” the creative art of dressing up as one of the Disney Princesses. According to the Huffington Post, this type of cosplay can be a fulfilling experience for girls who get to see themselves as the heroine they have always wanted to be.
However, other sources state that Disney Princesses can have a severely negative impact on little girls. SBS reports that a new research study throws light on the negative impact of princess culture on girls.
The study conducted by Brigham Young University’s Sarah Coyne and her team proved that there is a strong correlation between feminine behavior and an affinity towards Disney princesses. Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Peggy Orenstein’s 2011 bestseller, motivated Sarah to conduct the research to understand the influence of the princess-driven marketing on today’s little girls.
According to social scientists like Sarah Coyne, dolls and dresses that are inspired by popular Disney Princesses encourage little girls to develop the notion that it is of the utmost importance to have a feminine physical appearance that closely resembles that of the Disney heroines. In addition, the majority of the sweet Disney Princesses portray a personality that is delicate and submissive; and in most of the Disney tales, the heroine expects a man to come to her rescue and sweep her off her feet.
— Business Yell (@Business_Yell) June 25, 2016
The fairy tales centered on the Disney Princesses suggest that a girl’s beauty is her most valuable asset, and it is thought that this belief is responsible for developing an unhealthy mindset amongst girls. Sarah Coyne’s research establishes the fact that the princess culture encourages impressionable young girls to behave in stereotypically feminine ways. Additionally, girls who held negative impression about their own body tend to gravitate towards the Disney Princess culture.
Disney Princesses might have been accused of hurting young girls, but not everyone agrees. According to the New York Post, many parents find the Brigham Young University’s academic study to be laughable as the cute Disney heroines are bound to attract any little girl.
In the minds of those who disagree with the study, the enchanting dolls inspired by Disney princesses provide little girls with positive emotions like joy, inspiring laughter along with the stimulation to be creative and imaginative. The argument is that the Disney princess culture is much more than body images, pretty dresses, and magical kingdoms and that the dolls, coloring books, stickers, and puzzles from the Disney franchise are fun to play with.
One Disney Princess culture aficionado was quick to point to the story of Snow White which shows how the Disney heroine used her wisdom to survive in the forest and secure employment by connecting with the right people. Today, modern Disney heroines have been shown to be confident, assertive and independent by attacking villains, dealing with intruders and building beautiful ice penthouses.
— Lauren Farr (@elwestalin) April 21, 2016
Additionally, the popularity of the characters from the Disney franchise can be used to deliver powerful social messages. For example, Ariel can convince people to avoid water pollution and Jasmine can urge global citizens to protect wildlife. According to the Huffington Post, Cinderella can be a good champion against unfair labor laws and Mulan can motivate girls to defend themselves against misogynists.
Differing opinions on the Disney Princesses culture will most likely never be resolved, so it is up to each individual parent to decide whether Disney Princesses are appropriate for their child to play with. There is nothing to say that parents can’t allow their children to indulge in princess culture while also keeping the lines of communication open and using any potential negative messages contained within the movies and books as teachable moments.
[Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP]