By Deepti Sikka
MELBOURNE, 31 July 2020: Gone are the days when a woman required a man to uplift her social stature or give her rightful due.
Women have come a long way. This is evident the way Disney portrays their princess, no longer does a
Princess requires a Prince to wake her up, she’s moved away from being a damsel in distress to the new
Disney princess who knows her mind, someone who is fiercely independent and is free-thinking. Clearly
female gender roles in Disney princess movies respond to the change in society.
Every decade has seen an evolution in the female characters, in the 1950s we saw the emergence of the
likes of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty who have no real personality beyond a pretty face, they are
confined to the house and do menial chores they required a Prince to come to their life to rescue them.
The female leads were depicted in a conservative manner, the women were conditioned in gender
For a long time, the Disney princess had one goal: to find their Prince Charming. There were gowns and
slippers and tiaras, but the main aim was finding their knight in shining armor.
Reading these fairy tales to the kids would make you wonder- is that what you want your child to grow
up reading, are they really timeless?
Movies/characters depict the way society evolves, in the 1970s the society witnessed the feminist wave
at its height. Gradually we saw a shift in the depiction of female characters in the late 1980s who saw the
emergence of Ariel and Belle who were rebellious and confident, made active decisions, and knew what
they wanted in life. Little by little the Disney princess was changing, the women were projected as
more progressive, they were standing on an equal pedestal as men.
Talking on women empowerment, Nancy Arora, an IT professional says, “I strongly believe that women
today are equal at every level, sphere and scale. Empowering women is the key to development”.
Aptly its said media is the mirror of society, with time, now we see the Female leads as individuals who
are in control of their destiny, their voice their opinions, celebrate their success and are not afraid of
failures. The characters are no longer the submissive beings as they were projected to be. They make
their decisions and are no less than anyone.
Movies have the power to change perceptions and the way things are seen. For decades cinema has
been influencing the young minds in a major way, it becomes the moral duty of the makers to project
the characters in a way that it brings in a progressive change in the mindsets.