Should Disney princesses be realistic?

David Page, A & E Columnist

Disney is well known for creating the “picture perfect” woman in animated media. Be it the very present innocence of Snow White, the bubbly quirkiness of Ariel, or even the intellectually independence of Belle, there is no denying that there are some similarities in appearance with them.

But there is talk online of a petition created to see if people want to see a new generation of princesses who aren’t in the stereotypical appearance of a Disney princess, and giving them a more realistic appearance.

Students and faculty at IVCC had many different responses to this idea.

Catie Calderon, a freshman at IVCC, feels that some of the problem has been fading out, yet as she states, “I feel like this was a problem for a while, but now with the more recent princesses, such as Tiana or Merida, I think the problem is slowly fading.”

Calderon did say she saw that the idea of an ordinary Disney princess is very slim, as “it takes the magic away to see some normal girl when we could see Ariel swimming through the ocean.”

Male students seemed to be a bit more neutral about the idea. One of these students, Sergio Almeraz, said, “Disney is magical and made up of imagination.”

He believes that the Disney films are more remembered because of the story, not because of the characters. Almeraz says that role models in media expand more from the princesses and can be anyone that is considered famous and have fans.

Adam Oldaker, an English instructor at IVCC and a film fan, emailed his response on the idea of a realistic woman in animation.

“It has taken Disney and other animation companies’ time, but we are starting to see fewer passive, excessively thin women who need men to rescue them from their problems,” he said. “More independent, ordinary-looking female characters are emerging, perhaps most notably Merida in BRAVE.”

Oldaker also said that if parents are worried about their daughter’s self-esteem, he recommends that they show more films like BRAVE, especially if they are concerned about the social cues that older films could make. With all of these different perspectives in mind, it is a wonder when the viewing public will see any new princesses who will break the mold like Merida of BRAVE or Elsa of “Frozen.”

Andrea Neff and Alex Danko also contributed to this report.

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