Disney Princess Brand’s

free essayGirls have always enjoyed playing princess-themed games, dreaming about princesses and imagining themselves to be princesses. The main creator of princess characters for kids is, without a doubt, the Walt Disney Company. Their famous Disney Princess line consists of eleven Disney Princesses, from Snow White to Merida and encourages young girls all over the world to identify themselves with these heroines and to follow their behavioral patterns. However, it is not clear whether these patterns are positive or destructive for self-definition of vulnerable young girls. There are two opposite views on the question represented by two different women: writer and film critique Monika Bartyzel and Crystal Liechty, a mom from Utah. They both analyze Disney Princess brand’s presentation of femininity to young girls. Monika appeals to the logos, an audience’s sense of intellect, and ethos by providing various valid and relevant evidence to support her negative attitude towards Disney Princesses. Her article, though, while brilliant in argumentation, is overloaded with facts and loses to Crystal’s strong positive emotional appeal to audience’s needs, values, and emotional sensibilities.

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In her article “Girls on Film: The Real Problem with the Disney Princess Brand,” Monika Bartyzel presents formal professional review with strong argumentative support. One of her main concerns is that the Disney Princesses represents an overly restricted version of femininity. She describes the complete history of Disney Princesses Empire, from the very beginning through its complete revolution to the present state, providing numerous facts: “Let’s rewind. Disney began its empire with three princesses, Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora, the Sleeping Beauty” (Bartyzel 468). She thoroughly details the process of designing earlier films’ Disney Princesses to be more feminine and also more similar to each other as the message projected was that “these characters have found happiness in this restrictive femininity” (Bartyzel 469). She describes Disney’s policy of “testing the limits of its consumers” (Bartyzel 470). Monika also gives the readers examples of the influence of the “reductive feminine stereotypes of the past” (Bartyzel, 468). She tells the stories about small girls, like Peggy Orenstein’s daughter, significantly affected by the constant usage of princess products from early years. Bartyzel also mentions psychotherapist Mary Finucane’s daughter, refusing to do or wear something not appropriate for young princesses. Monika Bartyzel defines and criticizes the princess cult causing girls to use special “princess” dentist chair or desire not to run and jump as it is not “royal”). She is a master of comparisons. For example, she compares Princesses before and after the redesign and Princesses’ narrow femininity with Barbie’s broad line “from a military officer to a race car driver to a computer engineer” (Bartyzel 470). She establishes the common ground with her female experts and many readers in their “growing struggle for mothers to create worlds of diverse opportunity for their daughters” (Bartyzel 468). The other reason for Monika Bartyzel’s worry is that Disney films emphasize a princess’s longing for a prince to rescue her and make her happy. She defines “the hunt for a prince” (Bartyzel 468), which requirs such sacrifices as Ariel’s beautiful voice, as something offensive and disturbing. That is why she claims that Disney’s film division should concentrate on “depicting young women who are interested in more than princes and pretty dresses” (Bartyzel 470). She is very credible, logical and tiring.

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Crystal Liechty in her “In Defense of Princess Culture” defenses Disney Princesses’ image in a casual and simple manner. First, she tells a story about somebody’s daughter’s love of Princess Culture and her mother’s terror about it. Then she compares this experience to her own positive attitude to her daughter’s affection to Disney Princesses. She describes her small daughter’s love of the “Princess Culture” (Liechty 471) and the young girl “wearing princess dresses and crowns and jewels” (Liechty 472) with affection and pride. Crystal describes her own childhood: “I grew up with hand-me-downs and once-a-year trips to Walmart,” when she had no opportunity to feel like a princess herself (Liechty 471). If imagining herself a princess makes her little girl feel special, confident, and happy, Crystal sees no reasons to forbid her princess films and fairy tales. She uses colloquial language and poses rhetorical questions. She defines the messages, presented by the Disney princesses in the films as positive. It is Snow White’s courage in the danger and Cinderella’s hard work and honesty that brought about their happy endings. She makes sure the readers understand that Princesses teach young girls nothing but politeness, hard work and inner strength to stay sweet and positive even in difficult circumstances. They are convincing enough to make young child stay away from bad people, which is a very important lesson. Crystal Liechty does not consider Disney princesses to be the worst example to follow. Moreover, she poses a reasonable question about a possible alternative. She compares Disney Princesses to Bratz dolls and finds it less strange for young girls to dreams about Princess dresses than to admire Bratz dolls or popular culture idols, which often make teenagers look ridiculous and do not provide them with any stable or positive values. She presents some examples of other cultures for her young daughter to choose from: pirates, animals, or ninja spies. Crystal Liechty considers a woman’s need for a man to love and take care of her quite natural. She defines a scenario from grown-up life in which a woman finds a loving man to share her life with as essential and normal. She offers to use these Disney films to create a portrait of a right partner for girls, to emphasize the positive qualities the parents consider important in future partners of their daughters. This way, they will contribute to their daughters’ happy future and shield them from possible mistakes. Crystal is more vivid and memorable in her argumentation than Monika. She appeals directly to emotions using simple words, not analyzing too much and without bulky scientific terms or statistics.

In conclusion, Monika Bartyzel and Crystal Liechty both discuss the same issue – the impact of Disney’s princesses culture on young girls’ version of femininity, their role models and expectations for their future romantic relationship. Monika Bartyzel provides excellent argumentation based on the intellect. She bombards readers with facts, reliable evidence, and sequences. She is very convincing in her opinion that Disney’s princesses represent a narrow version of femininity, limited to pretty dresses and male dependency. However, somewhere in the middle of her article, an average reader is lost in the avalanche of data and just wants to escape. Crystal Liechty, on the other hand, is very easy to understand. She uses simple phrases and colloquial expressions and appeals directly to readers’ emotions. She is convinced that the impact of Disney princesses on her daughter is positive. They teach her to be honest, sweet, overcome difficulties, be classy and beautiful. She approves of any woman’s desire to be loved and find her soul mate. Crystal uses her personal story to create a moving picture of reality. Both arguments have a grain of truth, but the emotional attitude of Crystal Liechty is more catchy and, thus, more convincing than the dry factual material of Monika Bartyzel. Consequently, after reading these two articles, an average reader feels more inclined to support Crystal’s point of view and let their own daughter watch Disney movies and imagine herself as a princess.

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