One of society's most riveting idols: the Disney princesses. From where they once started, they instilled the ideals of beauty and material wealth in the young, developing minds of girls, which obviously had quite the positive influence on them. Beauty was put in higher regard over one's character, creating this wonderful pre-set assumption that prettier people are often the better or good ones that you'll come across in life. And with this, let the prejudiced, judging, and one-sided mentalities of older generations be happily passed on to the fresh, ready-to-be-cultivated thoughts of younger children.
Now, take Sleeping Beauty for example. She needed to be woken up from her deep sleep by "true love's first kiss." And it isn't only Sleeping Beauty. Maybe another six or seven other Disney princesses reiterate this.The repeated idea of true love gives off extremely correct views on the endless, beautiful wait for one of life's most valued treasures. Forget education, forget family, forget all the most realistic goals and expectations of life. True love will happen to you, any day, any moment, so you must be ready, and put all else behind you except for this mission to find "the one" for you.
Let's talk about another beauty: Snow White. It has never been so emphasized before that a mirror can dictate how beautiful someone is, or rather, how beauty causes jealousy and can even lead to death. Little girls should always value such a thing as beauty over brains, because beauty always succeeds.
Disney's minorities are often my favorites because they show that these minority women need to work to get to the status of their fair-skinned counterparts. Mulan, Pocahontas, Jasmine (Aladdin) and Tiana (Princess and the Frog) all display the struggles of working hard to get to where they want to be, which certainly makes perfect sense in American culture, where minorities are expected to work to achieve a higher status. And hey, if a Disney production can be racist, that means its perfectly acceptable for our amazing little kids to be so as well.
However, society might not respond well to some of Disney's new approaches. Tangled, a rather interesting take on the eccentric tale of Rapunzel, shows how a girl stolen away from her kingdom without her knowledge has been locked up in a tower, and desires to see the outside world. This is different from the traditional waiting for some dashing young prince to come and save her, but of course, there is one. Furthermore, Frozen, with a story about two sisters, states that an act of true love does not necessarily mean a kiss from some handsome man, but rather, an endearing hug from one sister to another. Society may feel very uncomfortable with this change from straight-off boy-crazy to now a more general desire to experience and want different things. These both may come across as extremely outlandish and absurd ideas, as society has always been about true love and beauty. But maybe it's time for something new.