femmecomplexe

Someday my Prince will come

In Portrait of a Lady on December 5, 2010 at 4:20 am

In my popular culture class we’ve discussed the portrayal of women in the media, Disney princesses being a popular topic.  The Early Disney princesses started with Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.  These original (Walt Disney) princesses portrayed the way women were supposed to be at that time: quiet, dreamy looking (as in they often had a far away look in their eyes) and obedient (despite their circumstances).

Snow White let her stepmother turned her into a scullery maid even though she was a princess, and she happily went along – dreaming of a prince to save her. 

Start it at 1:53

Cinderella is a servant in her own home but kind despite everything (She’s even friends with mice) because she dreams of a better future.   

Sleeping beauty had to hide out from an evil fairy in the woods, spending her time berry picking and singing songs about someone finding her. 

Luckily for them they’re saved at the end of the film from their lives of drudgery by a prince who they met once and end up falling in love with and marrying.  And the evil older women, who are bitter about something (circumstances, not being beautiful, rejected by society…)  are destroyed.  Who knew that meeting someone once and kissing them constituted love – what kind of message is this anyways? How dangerous is it for girls to think they should fall for the 1st handsome rich guy who kisses them?  Not a very good message if you ask me. 

All these princesses have thick hair and soft thin bodies – they’re the stereotypical Gibson Girl (created by Charles Gibson through artwork to represent the perfect American Girl in the late 1800s).  This woman possessed an hour-glass figure, a dreamy (half awake stare that they often achieved through opium), perfectly coiffed hair, and a flowing gown.

Before the ball Cinderella has a dress made for her by the mice, but her evil step sisters rip this up.  She is then transformed by her fairy Godmother, wearing a diaphanous billowing gown and pulled up hair.  I guess she isn’t able to help herself, she needs the help of magic. 

collegefashion.net

Cinderella

Gibson Girl

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