New study slams Disney princesses for promoting “damaging stereotypes”
New study slams Disney princesses for promoting “damaging stereotypes”
Social justice warriors and modern feminists will stop at nothing to destroy every last vestige of common sense and rational thought from society. And there is nothing that these self-styled “feminists” hate more than femininity. The worst thing that could possibly happen is that a little girl grow up liking dresses, dolls, and the color pink. Boy, meanwhile, should never grow up liking things like cars and action figures. This, somehow, shatters “gender stereotypes”, because people are evidently made up of the things they liked as a child and nothing more. And one of the constant targets of social justice warrior ire is Disney — or, more specifically, Disney princesses. In a study for Brigham Young University, professor Sarah Coyne found that children should limit their exposure to Disney princesses, because it promotes “gender stereotypical behavior”.
“I think parents think that the Disney Princess culture is safe. That’s the word I hear time and time again–it’s ‘safe,'” Coyne said. “But if we’re fully jumping in here and really embracing it, parents should really consider the long-term impact of the princess culture.”
The study, published in Child Development, involved 198 preschoolers and assessed how much they interacted with Disney Princess culture (watching movies, playing with toys, etc.). The assessments of princess engagement and gender-stereotypical behavior were based on reports from parents and teachers and an interactive task where the children would sort and rank their favorite toys from a varied collection of “girl” toys (dolls, tea sets), “boy” toys (action figures, tool sets) and gender-neutral options (puzzles, paint).
The researchers found that 96 percent of girls and 87 percent of boys had viewed Disney Princess media. And while more than 61 percent of girls played with princess toys at least once a week, only four percent of boys did the same.
For both boys and girls, more interactions with the princesses predicted more female gender-stereotypical behavior a year later.
Gendered behavior can become problematic if girls avoid important learning experiences that aren’t perceived as feminine or believe their opportunities in life are different as women.
“We know that girls who strongly adhere to female gender stereotypes feel like they can’t do some things,” Coyne said. “They’re not as confident that they can do well in math and science. They don’t like getting dirty, so they’re less likely to try and experiment with things.”
… Children don’t have to completely disengage with princess culture–it’s not realistic to avoid the abundant princess movies, toys and branded merchandise. Instead, parents should foster a wide variety of interests and talk to their kids about media influences.
“I’d say, have moderation in all things,” Coyne said. “Have your kids involved in all sorts of activities, and just have princesses be one of many, many things that they like to do and engage with.”
For both genders, the study discovered that parents who discuss princess media with their children have a significant effect on their children’s behavior. Coyne adds that it’s important to be careful about the way in which parents talk to their kids about princesses.
“It’s frustrating when the dentist sees my daughter and says, ‘Look at the little princess!’ because she’s so much more than that,” Coyne said. “When we talk to little girls, we hear less of ‘You’re so smart, you worked so hard, your body can do great things!’ but that is the more important message we should be sending.”
Ah, yes — thank goodness we have a social justice warrior-approved study to let us rubes know it’s not a good idea to let our children be 100% immersed in Disney princess culture. Because without this groundbreaking research, parents would never know that their children should have well-rounded interests!
Of course, the real issue here is the supposed “problem” of princesses leading to gender stereotyping. The results of the study weren’t surprising on that front, because of course, a researcher likely wanted to prove that Disney princesses were harmful, and lo and behold! Her study proved it! Eureka, indeed. But what, exactly, created gendered behavior? Well, first, girls did. Girls have typically been drawn to pink toys and dolls. Somewhere along the line, someone decided that this kind of behavior was girly… and then complain because it’s behavior that girls engage in! It’s also interesting that the author of the study complains that, a year later, girls still engage in stereotypically feminine behavior… as if that proves anything! Talk to me in 20 years. What are these girls, who are so damaged by the supposedly terrible gendered stereotypes, up to when they’re 30? Are we to assume that none of them are able to enter STEM fields because they’re so damaged by Disney princesses? None of them can join the military because they once danced around in a Cinderella dress? Please.
It’s also interesting to note that it’s liberals who are the ones pushing the idea of pink = girl, and yet are also the ones pushing the idea of transgender activism. We inundate people with the idea that pink toys and dolls are girly, while dirt and trucks are manly… and then wonder why girls who are more interested in sports and playing outside think that they’re supposed to be boys. It’s because that’s exactly what we’re telling them. “Disney princess culture” has nothing to do with it.
But the princesses have always come under fire from today’s feminists, largely because they’re too, well, feminine. Women aren’t supposed to want to be beautiful and graceful and charming; kindness and generosity are looked down upon in favor of today’s more feisty princesses. It’s especially irritating because, believe it or not, the princesses absolutely can be considered good role models for children. They aren’t all passive doormats who lay around and wait for princes to rescue them. Snow White was kind and thoughtful. Cinderella was generous and optimistic, despite all she had to endure — and arguably, saved herself. Aurora was cheerful and willing to give up being a princess to be with the man she loved (and likewise, Phillip was willing to abdicate the throne to marry a peasant — and risked his life to save hers). Ariel fought to get what she wanted. Belle was intelligent, kind, and saved the Beast from losing what little humanity he had left. Pocahontas was wise and adventurous. Jasmine was independent and fought having an arranged marriage. Mulan became a warrior to save her father’s life. Tiana believed in working hard to achieve her dreams. Rapunzel was industrious, talented, and friendly to everyone she met, regardless of their status. Merida learned the virtue of humility, and showed that it was OK to learn from the mistakes we make. Anna and Elsa turned the “true love” trope on its head.
But, you know. Disney princesses are horrible for girls to grow up with, right? They might turn out to be kind, loving, generous people who fight for what they want and love books. The horror!
What does Disney itself encourage girls to do? Well, their latest ad campaign is titled “Dream Big, Princess”. And while yes, these are advertisements intended to promote the Disney Princess brand first and foremost, it’s clear that the intention is not to turn girls into obedient, pink-loving, dirt-hating robot girls who can’t stand getting dirty and are afraid of STEM fields. No, the idea is to show that girls can be anything they want to be.
Girls don’t have to choose between loving a princess and also being interested in science. A girl wanting a pretty pink princess dress doesn’t mean she won’t also like putting on a karate uniform and kicking some butt, too. Liberal feminists can’t understand because, like all good liberals, they are obsessed with forcing people into boxes. Gay, black, Hispanic, liberal, transgender… people have to find one thing that identifies them, and then they have to wrap up their entire identity in just that one thing. It’s ludicrous, but it’s how liberals operate. People aren’t allowed to be complex beings. So of course, girls who love Disney princesses are cursed to grow up to be 1950s-esque Betty Draper overly feminine women, trapped into being stay-at-home moms in fancy dresses who can’t understand math and are afraid of getting dirty. That’s obviously how life works, because girls can’t love Sleeping Beauty and Tangled, and also love playing baseball, and be really into math all at the same time. That’s just crazy talk!
Maybe, just maybe, liberals can stop over-analyzing our children and stop using them as a social experiment. How about we just let our kids play with whatever toys they want to play with, whether they’re “boy” toys or “girl” toys, and leave it alone? It really isn’t the end of the world if a little girl loves Disney princesses and playing with feminine things. It really only is an issue because it gets in the way of liberals’ ultimate goal, which is to fundamentally change our culture. The question is, how much longer are we going to let them?