Disney princess movies have always had a weak spot in our hearts. Having grown up with them as children, we were influenced by Cinderella’s dream to go to the ball, or felt for Snow White’s dilemma and rooted for Sleeping Beauty to be rescued by Prince Philip. Recent Disney movies like Frozen and even Mulan have been challenging the stereotypical view of women in Disney movies, changing the narrative from the damsel in distress in need of saving, to the saviour. There’s still a long way to go, especially when the classic Disney movies still hold much influence. 


Small waist and pretty dresses 

Disney movies continuously told girls that life would be much better if they were beautiful. And to be beautiful, you needed to wear pretty dresses, have a tiny waist and a flawless face.


Women need men 

A girl’s happiness depends on finding a man to protect and save her. And the worst part is, to be a man’s object of affection, you need to be a pretty princess.

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You are how you look 

Although we know by now that you are much more than how you look, many Disney princess movies have made it to be that the most important part of a girl is how she looks.



In order to be a girl accepted by society, you need to be obedient and domestic. Most Disney movies also make the differentiation between the masculine and the feminine in terms of physical appearances by making the princess much smaller than the male characters.


Looks > hard work

Your countless skills and talents matter not, for it is how you look that matters the most. At the end of the day, it is how you’ll score a wealthy man and make him fall for you. Your worth and value all depend on your ability to be loved by a man.


Rebel against your parents 

Just like The Little Mermaid, it’s okay to rebel against your parents and not listen to them. If all else fails, pack up your bags and leave.

Appearances only matter if you’re a girl 

It’s only important for you to be beautiful and attractive if you’re a girl, but men aren’t held to the same standards.


If you’re in a bad relationship, don’t leave 

Another lesson learnt from Beauty and the Beast is that even if you’re faced with domestic abuse and a partner who treats you badly, you should persist and stay in that relationship… and hope for the best.


Someone can make your decisions for you 

Forget independent thinking, and forget individuality and strength. Disney princess movies taught little girls that it’s absolutely fine to let someone else take over and make all your decisions for you.


Change yourself for a man

Since your main goal in life is to find a man, and your value depends on it, it’s okay to change yourself (and your appearance) for the approval of a man.


Wanting to find love and wanting to wear pretty dresses and makeup is one thing, and making it a life goal is another. Instead of teaching us strength and empowerment, and instead of condoning self-love, Disney movies have set us decades back in terms of gender equality. Our hope lies in the new generation where the movies are starting to give female characters more equitable roles. They are more racially diverse and signify women’s hard work rather than their appearance.