What message is Disney sending to women?

Tinkerbell, Disney, women, film, image, Gemma Hirst, Kettle Mag
Written by GemmHirst

Disney is known for putting magic in the hearts of children all around the world. Never mind magic, I worry what other messages they are giving out.

Disney seems to suggest that there is only one right way to be a woman, whether that is being the prettiest maiden in all the land, falling in love or getting married. With films such as Cinderella, where she is working away for her step mother but longs to marry a prince so she doesn’t have to lift a finger again.

Take Sleeping Beauty, a beautiful blonde princess who is to marry a prince chosen by her father, is cursed and falls into a deep sleep and only true love can awaken her, or Snow White, who is the fairest maiden in the land and the evil queen, is jealous of her beauty.

A change in view

But this is harmful to little and impressionable girls, dreaming to be the next Cinderella and taking from it that it is bad to do house work. It is sending out a message that to be happy you need to be beautiful and marry a handsome prince, which is certainly not the case. Some of the princesses wear beautiful clothes and have such an easy lifestyle that they hardly have to lift a finger. Living in beautiful castles and being served by servants, it is every girls dream to be a princess but if it consists of having to marry a man to be happy, if I was a little girl I would not want to be a princess.

As a child when I watched Disney films, I wanted be Belle from Beauty and The Beast, I wanted to be with a prince and sing all day and live in a beautiful castle. As a small girl, was it right I thought that I had to be a princess, to wear a lovely dress to have the happiest life? Shouldn’t Disney be concentrating on the independent Merida princesses, instead of the Cinderella need to be with a prince Princess?

Now being a 20 year old woman, watching Cinderella does not make me want to live happily ever after with a prince. In fact if anything, it makes me want to tell the future younger generations who are stuck watching this brain washing material to tell them that you don’t need to princess to live happily ever after and feel special.

Adapt to the times

Only a few selections of Disney films such as Brave and Frozen shows little girls those princesses can be independent. Brave is about princess Merida who goes against the conformity of the norms of a princess, not wanting to marry a prince so she can be a queen, she proves that she can rule without a man by her side. Though the cold does bother me, Frozen is about a princess who can make it snow anywhere and she hides that power but then learns that it is ok to be different. 

If we look at Merida from Brave, she is not the typically pretty Disney princes. She is a strong girl who wants to make her way in life on her own and not have to rely on a prince of her parents choosing to get by. These sorts of films we like to hope have a positive impression on young females. Showing that you if you are strong and passionate about what you believe in then you can make it happen.  


I appreciate that Disney is pro women and shows that they do not always need a prince to have a happy ending. The recent Frozen film shows little girls that it is ok to be different and that you should be happy with who you are and not worry about what other people think, and with such a positive vibe from Frozen I hope Disney will create more films like this.

We need more messages in the world that tell little girls that they don’t need a prince in their lives to be happy. And if it that message can be conveyed through Disney, then why not?

What do you think? Do you agree? Have your say in the comments section below.