We can talk for hours about princess culture and how sexualized the outfits of Disney’s female characters are, and we probably already have. But Sanjay Newton (a student I think?) made this really cool video about Disney’s treatment of men (via Sociological Images). From Mulan to Beauty and the Beast, Disney teaches boys that “being a man” requires constant aggression, big muscles, occasional violence, and suavity with the ladies.
And lest we think objectification goes one direction, here’s a vaguely disturbing, NSFWish gallery of pin-up style illustrations of Disney’s male heroes. As far as fan fiction goes, these are pretty harmless. After all, who hasn’t had the occasional Aladdin fantasy? The thing is, these image are clearly exaggerated in a sexualized manner (ahem bulges), but their bodies really aren’t a far cry from the original illustrations. It’s all washboard abs, gigantic biceps, and brawny pecs. Talk about narrow beauty constraints, there’s not even a curly-headed prince among them!
I still believe the beauty standards that we hold women to are more pervasive and ultimately more damaging, but this shit is no good either. There’s a reason we are seeing a rise in eating disorders and plastic surgery among men. We can’t pin it all on Disney, by any means, but I’ve spent so much time thinking about the princess crap that I never really stopped to wonder what the male characters taught boys. It’s not pretty.
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