Well since I officially decided what I want to do my research paper on I’m feeling more confident each day. I think the more research I do and get my sources and ideas together the better I’ll feel about this paper. I believe I chose a good topic and questions to answer because I have already found a lot of information on it. I’m excited to start this paper and get my thoughts all organized. I plan on using the ideas people gave me during my presentation to make my paper even better. The feedback i received was very helpful since what was talked about were things I never thought about on my own. It is finally all falling into place!
Many parents have concerns on the idea of introducing fairy tales to their young boys. Many people agree with opening up the world of fairy tales to boys because they can seem somewhat “girly” and feminist but in the end exhibit some valuable lessons and have important morals. Others are just afraid that once they begin reading the story or telling the boys in the audience the title that they will become uninterested and pay no attention. According to some people, it is all about how you approach it and tell the story. If you make it seem interesting and grab their attention in the beginning they will not focus on the fact that it is directed to a more female crowd. I thought this article and some of the other research I found on this was interesting because I think it is important for boys to be aware of fairy tales as well. Most of them are classics and part of our culture that shouldn’t be forgotten.
My research paper is going to include how we as a society use the word ‘princess’ and how it is portrayed in many fairy tales. What I’ve thought about and done some research on is now when we refer to wanting to be treated like a princess we mean we want someone treating us like royalty, doing our work for us, and be waited on. This meaning for princess also goes along with the thought that all women will find their prince charming and that they’ll live happily ever after. The older meaning for princess is someone who has a specific title in society who will eventually be responsible for running a country. Has fairy tales and especially the Disney princesses ruined the true meaning of being a princess?
When I was looking for articles on feminism in Disney fairy tales I found one that ranked ten Disney movies from least feminist to most feminist. I was shocked when I saw how a few of them ranked higher or lower than the others because it wasn’t where I would place them. I do agree that Sleeping Beauty is on the lower feminist side because she falls asleep for most of the movie and prince charming comes to rescue her. She is still beautiful like every princess is depicted but she has more of an average story than the others. I do believe Mulan is one of the most feminist characters because she shows that even though she is a woman she can take on a male role and protect her family and endure hard battle. I thought this article was interesting because I never really thought about what Disney characters/movies were more feminist than others.
I decided to write my research paper on sexism and feminism shown in fairy tales. Mainly, I want to focus on how Disney portrays females and as I was searching for articles I found one comparing the Grimm Brother’s versions to Disney’s. The article talks about how the Grimm Brother’s original versions of the fairy tales we all know so well have more “violent sexism” than Disney’s. Although, Disney fairy tales show a “heroine” as they call it who is typically a young teenaged girl. The princesses are wearing clothes that show skin and belong on an adult women’s body and not their own. These types of versions of fairy tales begins to raise questions about the true age range meant for these tales. Were they originally intended for adults eyes/ears only? I’m beginning to agree with this and based on Disney’s princess fairy tale movies I believe they are reaching out to a younger audience but still adding in some adult related content to appeal to them as well.
As I was searching for interesting articles on fairy tales, I stumbled on one talking about how many well-known fairy tales started as dark, gruesome tales. I found this to be different because not many people would think these happy-ending fairy tales could be adapted from such dark ones that underlie different messages and meanings. When you think of a fairy tale you usually think of a man and woman that fall in love and life happily ever after. I believe Disney has made this an assumption over the many years that they’ve produced movies. In the article I found, they talk about five fairy tale’s origins; Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White, and Cinderella. Little Red Riding Hood started off as a sexual tale as we talked about in class. Snow White’s original version exhibits cannibalism and as the article stated, “prince pedophile.” In the old version of Snow White, her evil step-mother is forced to wear hot iron shoes and dance until she dies, whereas the newer version states she fell off a cliff. It exhibits cannibalism because her step-mother asks to eat Snow White’s lungs, liver, etc. Rumpelstiltskin’s old version shows toddler death because he gets his stilt stuck in a crack, tries to get it out, and instead rips his body in half. Sleeping Beauty was originally written as she was a beautiful woman and the prince couldn’t resist her so he had sex with her while she was in a coma. Lastly, Cinderella was based off of mutilation and sex. Who knew such innocent stories once started off as such gruesome tales?