Arts, Culture, Current Events, Movies, Sexuality — October 10, 2012 2:39 pm

Disney Redefines Princess but Doesn’t Go Far Enough #sorryfeminists

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Disney has launched a campaign to re-brand what it means to be a princess. Check out their new “I Am a Princess” video below.

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The video has a great message, encouraging values of loyalty, trust and kindness, with a continual reminder that girls can be strong and brave, that these qualities are no longer only reserved for boys.

I can’t decide if I love the campaign, or if I’m disappointed by it. While I am happy these strong characteristics are being normalized for young girls, I’ve still got to ask: Why does the girl still have to be a princess? That is, when will the leading female role in Disney movies be a mechanic or a surfer (both of which are depicted by girls in this short film)? Maybe the issue isn’t the necessary redefinition of “princess”. Maybe we need to do away with the “princess” role altogether. Attempting to re-brand the prince/princess motif while keeping it as the main Disney plotline seems pretty useless. Maybe Disney should focus their attention on more modern plots that don’t require buffer short-films to counteract the the subconscious toxicity of the plot’s message.

The fact that there is not, nor will there be, an “I Am a Prince” campaign to re-brand what it means for a young boy to be a prince only serves to highlight that “I Am a Princess” is a sorry attempt to band-aid a much larger problem of inequality.

What do you think?

Related: #sorryfeminists has become a tumblr.

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3 Comments

  • It’s interesting that there are no men or young boys in this clip. Maybe they exist in another video of this campaign?

    Much of how Disney has defined “princess” in the past has been in relation to the “prince” character. If Disney is asking young girls (or anyone really) to re-imagine what a “princess” is, I’d love to see Disney guiding us as we imagine how that plays out with males. Images of young kids collaborating, shots of co-ed movies goers being inspired by leading, on-screen women, etc.

    Thanks for sharing, Janna.

  • I think it is a positive message.

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