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Should Disney Make Flawed Princesses?

Noor Raza, Staff

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When someone mentions the word “princess” what comes to your mind? Probably a perfect, skinny, beautiful, young character.  

Over the past 75 years, Disney’s influence on children has spread worldwide. They’ve built an empire through animated movies, specifically Disney princess movies. Children watch the movie and become obsessed with it. They play with the princesses’ dolls, dress in their clothes, sing their songs, and in effect mimic Disney princesses themselves.  

The identity of the Disney princess is essentially unflawed, and Disney universalizes that identity through their movies. Recently, though, this has been questioned by parents and children. Why doesn’t Disney draw attention to flawed princesses? Should they even consider adding them?  

“I don’t think it’s a bad thing to have a perfect individual to look up to. Flawed princesses wouldn’t be a bad thing; it would actually make an interesting character development. But then again there is nothing wrong with a perfect individual,” sophomore Ian Sterling explained.  

Sterling feels that there is nothing wrong with Disney presenting perfection to its audience. It gives children a fictional character to look up to and dream about.  

Other students, however, feel that flawed princesses should be a norm by now.  

Senior Kainat Rehman pointed out that “A flawed princess would be perfect for showcasing our differences. This would help everyone, especially young girls, embrace and live to be different.  That’s what makes us beautiful. I’d love to see a variety of princesses instead of the normal perfect princess.” 

Rehman thinks that Disney needs to have flawed princesses. Imperfection is what makes us beautiful and that’s why Rehman would love to see Disney focus on animated movies with imperfect princesses.  

Michelle Resene, a researcher for the field of disabilities, talks about the portrayal of disabilities in her article Evil Queen to Disabled Teen: Frozen Introduces Disney’s First Disabled Princess. 

“Up to this point, Disney’s forays into disability had been mostly fictitious—a silly dwarf, an elephant with overly large ears, a pirate in a children’s fairy land, a prince transformed into a monster by a fairy’s spell,” she explained. 

This is exactly what some people are uncomfortable with. Why does Disney give the side characters or the characters that aren’t in princess movies an imperfection to overcome?  

“I think imperfection in today’s Disney princess movies should definitely be shown. Disney has a good influence on kids and they’ve been doing an amazing job, but imperfect princesses would be an awesome topic for them to cover” said freshman Fatimah Al-Hedari.  

To this generation of kids, Disney is more than a source of entertainment, it’s a source of reference. Disney is as real to children as the news channel is to adults. Some feel Disney is fine the way it is and others might not be comfortable with perfection. Everyone has their own opinion. Where do you stand? 

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Should Disney Make Flawed Princesses?