As we all know, I am a huge Disney fan, as I believe most of us are. Today in my womens class, there was an online discussion going on about how Disney "corrupted" many of us, especially women in giving the wrong impression on how women should be princesses and stay at home, cleaning and cooking. Um...WRONG. The following is my response to all of the Disney hate going on out there. To those who dislike Disney: I don't hate you. I am sure you are a good person. However, I feel sorry for you.
Here we go....
It was very difficult for me to read this section of the chapter, since I completely disagree with the majority of what Douglas said pertaining to Disney. Now, I must begin this by stating that Walt Disney is my hero. His encouragement to individuals to never lose the imagination within one’s soul is something I will always and forever cherish. My view is partially biased, especially since I aspire to become a cast member for the Disney Corporation, but I hold steadfast to my beliefs. You all are about to see the preachy Princess side of me come out, and everything I am about to say is my opinion and my opinion only.
The media’s general portrayal of women and Disney’s message are two extremely different things. While women were viewed as being Donna Reeds who should put on aprons and bake apple pies all day, Disney’s encouragement came from a completely different view. I do admit that they were lightly influenced by the current time of that period since that was all they knew of, they were striving to make people happy during very dark times. They wanted women to know that they are ALL princesses, no matter who they were.
And yes, they did not have an Asian or black princess until Mulan and Tiana were released to the public. This is simply because times have changed. I do wish these princesses were known back in the 1950s because those cultures that were not appreciated could have really used that hope for the future.
Walt Disney’s imagination and his personal/political beliefs were two extremely different things. His private life had nothing to do with the lives he created through his films and television shows. All he wanted was to turn heads from the dark news of the times to lighter shows to bring happiness to people.
Not all Disney songs were supposed to be taken literally either. The most well-known song from 1940’s Pinocchio is “When You Wish upon a Star.” One of the lines is “anything your heart desires will come to you.” Mr. Disney knew very well that not EVERYTHING will come true. But in a time of desperation when not all situations were hunky dory that was all we had at the time. We wanted to believe that wishing upon a star will encourage these times to get better. The same applies to 1950’s Cinderella where “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” was sung. One of the lyrics was “no matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.” The grieving represents the wars we were fighting and tribulations at the time, not whether Revlon was going to release an appropriate lipstick for women! Individuals analyze Disney wayyyyy too much.
Mr. Disney (or Uncle Walt, as his devoted fans call him) only wished to bring happiness and imagination to those who were losing hope. Yes, he had his faults, but so does everyone else.
What do you all think of what I said? Please leave me feedback either here, or you can reach me on Twitter...I'm @BufferflyBrie -- hopefully my post has encouraged some of you to speak up for Uncle Walt! Let's teach anti-Disney individuals how important Disney is to us.
Thank you all for reading and have a magical day!