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"Royal" Disney Princesses into "Desperate" Disney housewives?

This cartoon depicts a post- "happily" ever after a conversation among the five leading Disney princesses, as each frustratingly shares her marital struggles. Beauty's husband- the Beast- is (unsurprisingly) aggressive, Cinderella's husband, Prince Charming, is shiftless, and Snow White's husband produces many kids. Still, he does not help raise them, Little Mermaid's husband treats her like a sex object, and Sleeping Beauty 'sleeps' through all the rubbish she has to deal with. For all the princesses, this happily-ever-after was marriage but what escaped widespread scrutiny was whether they could have had happier endings; this can be attributed to the hetero-patriarchal system, which forces people into believing that marriage 'is' the ultimate route to happiness for women. Therefore growing up, most girls, upon reading Disney princess story tales, fantasize about marriage because, cleverly enough, the stories never show what happens after the so-called happily ever after. In using fairy tales such as these, the capitalist heteropatriarchal system ensures that girls continue being deceived into the façade of a happy union so that the unpaid labor that they will provide afterward, through housework, unconsented sex, reproduction, and childcare, can be sugarcoated as being their "love" for their partner which is making them "embrace" marital & domestic duties willingly. Indeed according to Manalansan IV, the heterosexual woman's equation with the family is purely explained through her "natural" love and care. This leads one to ask, how happy was the ever after if the next cycle of domestic drudgery, devaluation & violence could transform "royal" Disney princesses into "desperate" Disney housewives?



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Abdul Rehman Mirza
Abdul Rehman Mirza
07 aug. 2022

Hey Areej! A great blog indeed. Just wanted to add a point that there are several fantastic films that defied conventional stereotypes, such as Mulan, which eliminated the concept of the male hero always rescuing the heroine. Then why, given that the more recent heroines exhibit both feminine and masculine traits, does the belief that Disney princesses only reflect sexist standards for women continue to exist? In my opinion, like news media with female athletes, scientists, and politicians, entertainment media reinforces traditional gender stereotypes for the princesses. Furthermore, by distorting the characters that kids frequently aspire to and try to copy, unflattering depictions of Disney princesses in movie reviews have the potential to hinder the development of positive role models…

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Thank you, Abdul Rehman. Yes, I do agree with you. We must change how we have visualized the Disney princess and their expectations. They are shown as more feminine and fragile because that was what the public liked. A woman is always crying and asking for help, but as time has changed, I think now different kinds of things will be created instead of the content that only shoes glamour and beauty.

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Rafay Abdul Razzaq
Rafay Abdul Razzaq
07 aug. 2022

Areej, this was one of the best blogs I've ever read! I've always thought and felt the same that Disney princesses show little girls a dream that is very misleading. I think most people have captured my thoughts on the blog already but just wanted to appreciate how amazing it was to read :)

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Thank you so much Rafay. Yes, I think the media needs to stop showing such expectations from their "prince charming" . Because this is only promoting a toxic culture in the society.

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Iman Aamir
Iman Aamir
06 aug. 2022

Hi areej I never thought about dushey princess from this perspective and your article has lead me to ponder over it. You are right to question happily ever after…. One always wants a happily ever after but never understands if Their exists such a thing…this leads to a question that if their was a sequel to these what would disney potray after marriage life as

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Thank you for your comment! It does make us ponder about a sequel in the 21st century to provide a new, much need perspective to our youngsters. For someone who grew up watching these, it would be a good closure!

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I think a comparison of modern Disney princesses versus the traditional Disney princesses is necessary here before we reach the ultimate conclusion on how royal Disney princesses have become "desperate housewives". Most traditional princesses represented women as traditionally feminine as well as "not too able, too powerful, or too confident". Animated movie media tended to focus on their sex appeal, their fashion, their family. They were given the stereotypical 'damsel in distress' narrative: Cinderella was persecuted by her stepmothers and step sisters until the prince saved her by marrying her, and Sleeping Beauty actually was in deep slumber and was only woken up when her prince charming kissed her and became her ultimate saviour. Princes were portrayed as their saviours…


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I completely agree with you! There needs to be a comparison between the traditional Disney princesses versus the modern princesses. Undeniably, they have come a long way. A major reason for this might media literacy in the west has progressed, along with feminist ideals. However, one must not forget to critique the journey of previous princesses, along with praising the modern princesses. The fact is that those stories still exist out there, and there is an entire generation of children who grew up on those ideals. So, while it is important to praise the current princesses, it is also necessary to continue critiquing the traditional ones.

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This was such an interesting read!

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Thank you for taking out time to read it!


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