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0px}span.s1 {font-kerning: none}Selling the dream, according to my understanding, is profiting by making people live their dream through books, movies, or any other form of fiction that is normally far from reality. One can call cinema as the definition of selling the dream as it transports the viewer into a new world where life does not adhere to reality, and fiction is the place to be. Walt Disney capitalized this idea and combined it to the best and ideal escapism of the time, which were fairy tales. Fairy tales in those times were for children but had dark and grim undertones, which somehow reflected the reality of the hardships of the new industrial age. It was a type of escapism, but it did not take the reader much far away from the reality.

Walt Disney took this concept and made it into movies, in which characters, story, world, were farthest to the reality it could be. He took out the dark, grim nature of the fairy tales and added fluff and idealism. This formula started from Snow White and continued to this day, where the popularity of the Disney princesses has still not waned.  He formulated a way to sell this ideal dream, that would not only take people away from their hard life but also blinded them with an unachievable way of life. Selling the dream of Disney princesses was a genius idea to help people escape the reality, but also gave them unachievable standards to imitate.

 Disney has played a major role in making a stereotypical role model for girls for the past eighty years or so (Maity, 2014). Disney princesses have been a very important and influential figure in the minds of young children since it started. The lives of these Disney princesses, although very absurd without the context, were the ideal dreams of young children. The princesses were young, pure, thin, very beautiful, nice voice, and their only goal in life is generally to marry a prince charming. This became a dream of ideal life for the girls.

No princesses wanted to be a doctor or had any other ambition. Either they were subjected to intolerable cruelty, or they were showered with the most blessed life. The two extremes were far away from reality, but still, the life was successful in manipulating the lives of young girls. On deep examination of the characters, it is easy to say that these are not the ideal role models for girls.

Their representation is borderline sexist, and their life is almost impossible to replicate. But, it still was an ideal dream for young girls, and hence it was sold to them in spades. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Anne Sexton is not just a story about a young princess, who is ill-treated by her stepmother and finds a way to escape and marry a prince to become a queen herself (Sexton, 2000). It is an exposition of the frailty in women at the beginning of the twentieth century, and it was meant to be an irony that was demonstrated by Sexton.

It reflected the miserable state of women in those times. The relation between dumbness and beautiful is the biggest form of sexism there could be. The story showed that being fair and beautiful was the biggest achievement for women of all (Bettleheim, 2010).

It is more important than royalty or kingdom for the queen. Snow White was no more than a lowly servant in the palace, but she gained importance only because she was beautiful. Being more beautiful than the queen was the only quality in Snow White. This signified that the only value for girls is beautiful and without beauty, they are nothing but a dust mouse in the basement.

 The story of Snow White is not supposed to be motivating or personifying a perfect dream of a little girl. But, that is what was done by Walt Disney. All the harsh realities of the world and all the gender stereotypes of women were shown as virtues. This unrealistic expectation was used to manipulate the young minds and keep them coming to the cinema halls to watch another iteration of a Disney Princess, but with same motivation and need in the movie (England, 2011). Angela Carter’s The Werewolf depicts the nature of women as jealous and heartless towards their gender (Carter, 2006).

The heroine of the story tells the people about the secret of her grandmother being a werewolf. She then also helps the people to stone her grandmother to death as she was pronounced a witch. She then lives in her house and prospers.

The inner meaning of the story was that this was all designed and concocted by the heroine and the grandmother was killed so that the young girl could live in her home. It was a story of a werewolf, and a young girl and the werewolf came out to be more sympathetic than the girl. This wrong and stereotypical presentation of women, which was perceived in that time and period were not just harming the culture but limiting the girls from thinking that they are more than schemers and haters (Carter, 2006).

 The depiction of girls is abhorrent in The Werewolf, but the nature of the presentation of gender is very similar to the Disney Princesses. Gender equality and gender discrimination are one of the most discussed topics in today’s society. Gender stereotypes represent and reproduce certain attributes and expectations which are associated with male and female.

Movies are the most important resource through which people develop their identities and girls learn to dream about their upcoming role in the society. The dangerous gender stereotype in The Werewolf is comparatively less harming than the stereotypes in Disney Movies. Disney movies can prove unhealthy for children, especially young girls, who are manipulated by its physical, social, and behavioral attributes that confirm the value of supporting the world of male dominance. The characters of women are unrealistically portrayed, and hence they make the viewer feel insufficient and not enough for the world. Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, etc. are the famous Disney Princesses of the past half century and are favorite to young girls of each of their period. The themes of all these movies had some things in common: all the female protagonists are princesses, and their main traits are being submissive and longing for a hero to save them. All the princesses in the movies possess divine beauty, and they still have to suffer through hardship and cruelty and that too in silence, and it is because of this, they are rewarded: salvation through the handsome prince who rides on a prancing horse and saves them from all their troubles (Maity, 2014).

This negative portrayal of women by Disney movies are seen as the ideal life and the perception gains force through which similar message is consistently circulated and reproduced not by just another Disney Princess movie but by other forms of media. The view of the world has changed from the beginning of the century fairly tales times. Along with the times, the Disney princesses have also changed. They are seen as more assertive and active in their roles. Still, the character has seen less change in their gender portrayals, and that is because that Disney knows that the formula they formulated eighty years ago is still capable of manipulating people’s minds into buying of what they are selling.

Disney Princesses are the ultimate examples of selling the dream. A dream, that is far from ideal but is capable of manipulating the human nature.


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