Oh Walt Disney. That lovable man who favored racism and sexism in most of his work. His birthday prompts one to mull over the legacy he has left in his absence and the generations of little girls he has influenced. Below are the top five things a girl can glean from some of the most classic Disney films. Though many of them were made after his death in 1966, each film maintains the credos and themes inherent in the Walt Disney canon and mind frame. And most of them were ripped off, bastardized versions of Brothers Grimm fairy tales.
5) Go to sleep until a strapping prince rescues you, because you might as well be dead without a man. Cases in point: Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.
4) It’s not how hard you think, it’s how hard you dress/put on makeup. Case in point: Cinderella.
3) Poverty is unacceptable—especially as a quality in a suitor. Case in point: Aladdin.
2) All non-youthful women are ugly, evil, wretched crones. Cases in point: The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Snow White.
1) Even though being a girl is often demeaning, being an animal is the most tragic possible existence. Cases in point: Dumbo, The Lion King, Lady and the Tramp, 101 Dalmatians, Beauty and the Beast.
So there it is, some tips from one of the foremost people/companies responsible for shaping female youth. Thankfully, signs of change are afoot in terms of what Disney has released in the past ten years, but there’s still a long way to go in terms of shedding the original Disney vision of women.