The Disney Princesses: Progress over Preservation in Disney’s Female Protagonist Evolution
For several years, feminists have criticized Disney Corporations for their preservation of stereotypical characteristics in their female protagonists. Through careful observations and analysis, we see that Disney has steadily progressed the way these beloved princesses are presented with only slight preservation of stereotypical female characteristics. Many of the opinions that viewers have today in regards to the princesses are based on feminist viewpoints that Disney has not evolved the princesses enough. However, princesses have begun to show courage and individuality. We see that early princesses, such as Snow White and Cinderella, were of noble blood although forced to subdue it in order to serve the villains who “captured” them. They break away from this hostage situation to live their own lives. This progress in the portrayal of these princesses gives a new perspective on the role models that these princesses are for children, especially young girls. The Golden Age Princesses are portrayed with individuality and the desire to learn and explore the world outside their comfort zone. For many of these princesses, love is not the ultimate goal. In the end, the ultimate goal is finding their place in the world and doing what they believe is right for themselves.
Semester/Year of Award
Mentor Department Affiliation
English and Theatre
Restricted Access Thesis
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Bingham, Stephanie L., "The Disney Princesses: Progress over Preservation in Disney’s Female Protagonist Evolution" (2015). Honors Theses. 229.