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The Evolution of the Disney Princesses: Our Once-Flawed Role Models

Maddie is a 12th grade student from South Salem, New York.
High School
John Jay High School
Graduation Year
Student review
Project description

This paper dives into Disney's problematic approach towards portrayal of women's role in society, lack of realistic body representation, and the trivialization of merchandising. The research and analysis elaborated upon in this paper is based off of three old and three new Disney princess films, which highlighted the differences in the portrayal of the characters across all categories depending on the time period their film was released. The sociopolitical contexts of each of the periods surrounding the film releases of the six films were relevant to the content of the film and the woman's role in society. Besides the overuse of the belittling Damsel in Distress archetype, there are still hints of misogyny and fake "wokeness" that are sewed into the fabric of these films, which impacts audiences of impressionable children around the world who are more susceptible to these stereotypes.

disney princess crown
Project outcome

Maddie wrote a research paper for her project, read it below!

MFA Master of Fine Arts
Literature and Languages, Arts
Creative Writing, Journalism, Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction, Memoir, Screenwriting, Playwriting, Composition, Literary Analysis, Pop Culture / Media / Art Commentary and Criticism
Mentor review

My mentor, Brooke, was extremely resourceful, always thinking of creative ways to explore the sociopolitical and pop culture contexts of each of the periods of release for the princess films. I had a very positive experience with Polygence because the platform was accessible and made it both easy to find the proper mentor for me and communicate with that mentor.

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