Tonight my family and I are going to enjoy some wholesome entertainment. No, we aren't going to break out Monopoly or play an exciting game of badminton, or even have a discussion on political ethics. No, sir. We are going to watch Disney films.
The first Disney film I saw was "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." How I loved that movie. When I was young, Snow White seemed beautiful, fearless, daring and even a little bossy as she whipped the house into shape and took charge of the dwarves' lives. I wanted to be Snow White. I wanted her "hair of ebony" and "skin as white as snow." To me she seemed like the perfect heroine: mentally strong, determined and capable. Now when I look back, I see how wrong I was. Quite clearly, Snow White had no chest.
As I have learned from later Disney movies, a REAL heroine has a chest. From Ariel to Esmerelda, the size of the ideal heroine's chest kept expanding. I soon realized I had fallen victim to the Snow White Syndrome: a woman should be judged by her actions and her work ethic.
The average female in a Disney film is young, tall, elegant, and very curvy. She is semi-intelligent and always ends up with the man of her dreams. And of course, we must not forget her legs ... gorgeous, long, Cindy Crawford, don't-hate-me-because-I'm-beautiful legs. From Disney I've learned all about a woman's legs. Not only do heroines have big chests, but they also have legs.
The ideal heroine (obviously not Snow White) should spend her time thinking about a variety of topics, including clothing, body-fat content, appearance, and, of course, Love. Love is definitely a biggie. According to Disney films, the ideal woman should be constantly looking for Love. And once she thinks that she's found it, she should pursue it until she captures it. The minute Ariel sees Erik in "The Little Mermaid," she falls in Love with him. Then she runs away and changes her appearance to be with him. There is no waiting. Just like real life, the women in Disney films can't afford to wait. Before they know it, they'll be past their prime, their bodies sagging, cellulite coagulating on their thighs, and they won't be attractive anymore. So to "snag that special someone" and be married happily ever after, they need to act quickly.
Disney movies also show the young woman of today how to dress to get a man. Is Ariel ever wearing jogging pants? Does Belle dress in slippers and a housecoat? Is Esmerelda attired in Birkenstocks, a tie-dyed tee shirt and ratty jeans? No, the Disney girl of today should dress in something that accentuates her figure, not distorts it. Comfortable clothing is out of the picture, especially pants, which cut down on the viewing of legs.
Sadly, most girls have their cards stacked against them. Why? In one word: genetics. But they shouldn't worry. Today's society has created many practical solutions. What can the girl who is overweight do? The answer is simple: starve herself until she gets that "Twiggy" look. If her chest could use a little help, go the silicone route and get implants!
Disney helps young girls realize their potential by providing positive, beautiful, and feminine role models. The alternative is terrifying. Imagine Grouchy Gretchen, the leader of a party of femi-nazis, invading the town of Sleepyville with her radical opinions and views. Would you rather have your little girl grow up to be a beautiful demure homemaker with beautiful children or a radical shouting the evils of patriarchy? Do you want her to go to college, become a doctor, lawyer and have no time in her life for men, let alone children? Through Disney, I have realized that feminism is not the way to go.
Now that I have grown up, I see how Disney has helped to make America what it is today. Without Disney's influence, we might have a country where intelligence was revered, not physique. We might have had fewer teenage girls agonizing over their appearance, starving themselves to be thin. We might even have more women in positions of power. But hey, what we have is wonderful. You might even say that America is Beautiful. ?
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.