De-Tangling Disney’s Stereotypes

The movie Tangled was born as a spin-off of Rapunzel, the movie was a way that Disney could transition into the future of Disney movies AKA no more damsels in distress sitting around waiting for a prince, I mean, I could sit around and wait to be saved by a prince IF the prince saving me brings a pizza… Or wings.  Anyway, Seriously I don’t think Disney hit the nail on the head with this one, From the start of the movie the opening shot of Flynn Ryder’s wanted poster and Flynn Ryder’s narration of “It’s a funny story and it isn’t even mine” yeah Flynn it isn’t yours, you masculine freak and kidnapping a child it also NOT FUNNY!

 

What about the fact that the main character Rapunzel, a woman, who has been locked away in a tower for 18 making her naive is saved by a man who has seen it all. . .

The movie has a lot of male characters, like a lot, a lot. Here’s a list:

  • Flynn Ryder
  • Pascal (The Chameleon)
  • Maximus (The Horse)
  • Pub thugs
  • King Fredric
  • The Stabbington Brothers (Flynn’s goons)

These are just the characters in the movie that have one of the main roles, Here’s a list of Female main Characters:

  • Rapunzel (“Blondie”)
  • Cassandra (Rapunzel after her hair is cut)
  • Mother Gothel

So for a movie that is about a PrincESS with magical hair being kidnapped, locked away for years, and having only one dream to see the magical lights, that sure is a lot of men! The best part aside from the testosterone-fueled male lead Flynn being a little bit too self-confident is the Chauvinistic name he calls Rapunzel, “Blondie”. Yes, another movie or really another man describing a woman by her looks! If this doesn’t hit home for every woman out there I’m not sure what would! Truthfully this is probably my biggest problem with the whole movie, Oh how I hate shallow people, especially in today’s world where we have entire apps based upon matching because of mutual physical attraction, which is fine, but people can  not be judged by their looks solely. It’s absurd that a nickname based on her hair was even thought to be appropriate! This nickname is also a problem because of it “Blondie” which is generally associated with being dumb or ditzy, saying’s like “Dumb Blonde” or “Blonde moment” are all ways of generalizing the intellectual abilities of a female in this case; she is also very clearly not a dumb blonde because she has charted stars which she taught HERSELF and many other talents. 

The movie also has a predominantly white cast, even the horse is a white horse which truthfully I would see as a coincidence but others probably disagree with this. I found this list of characters in the film. Out of the last hope I have and my true love of Disney I had to google “is Disney’s Tangled racist?”  The results are kind of spewed honestly, I am a little bit shocked at what I encountered, there is a lot of fighting over what is racist and what is not and really just a lot of information that I honestly didn’t even think of. I think if you have a chance you should read over the post “Racism And Sexism in Tangled – or, Okay WHAT Are These People Smoking?”  I think that could find things in it that you may not have seen before.

I’m having a really hard time putting aside my love for Disney here but when I read the above post I definitely found some things that I agreed with and some things I knew were probably true but I wanted to not believe. The Above article made me think. What do I actually think? so I found some charts about eye color and hair color

 This is showing the eye color of the princess’s.

 This shows the color of princess’s hair

These charts actually made me think about the fact that the hair color in Disney is pretty varied, they even have a princess with white hair. White hair! So maybe we don’t give enough credit to Disney. Also, let’s think a little bit about the original story’s that the movies are based on, For example:

  • Tangled is based on Rapunzel 
    • In the story Rapunzel she has long BLONDE flowing hair which is generally the hair type and color which is most appealing to the German people of which the story originated.
    • In the original story, the long beautiful hair was brought on by the mother eating a plant while she was pregnant to save her life, however, in this case, it was a rapunzel plant.
    • In Rapunzel, she was not kidnapped but rather given to the witch after the father was caught stealing, to spare his own life. The couple were desperate to have a child and then just gave her away, so kinda strange considering the circumstances.

These things shouldn’t take away from the fact that Disney generally, follows that same type of woman but they do take some things from the original story too. let us not forget that some things aren’t meant to be harmful, in fact, lots of things aren’t meant to insult people it just happens.

Now again let’s move away from defending Disney and let us move on to some more things I don’t like. like how Mother Gothel is a genuinely two-faced character who only is nice when she needs something and when her body is no longer persuasive enough to get her what she wants.

The following video shows us an antagonist analysis of Mother Gothel

This video does a good job of talking about some the character traits of Mother Gothel as well as the general traits of antagonist. the CriticalHit  guys have some pretty good video’s on other aspects of movies so check them out. I also found another video by the title: everything there is wrong about tangles in 14 minutes or less by CinemaSins , but this video is a little long so feel free to check it and have your eyes opened by things that seem meaningless but are kind of funny!

Okay this long post is over and it is kind of boring but I hope you learnt something beneficial. I also hope that your love for Disney has be destryoyed because that wasn’t my intention and I know that mine is still there!

Privileged People

There are many forms of privilege

  • Racial privilege
    • Racial privilege is usually equated with white privilege since power, money, and influence tends to be concentrated among Caucasians in Western Europe and North America
  • Gender Privilege
    • Male-identified, masculine individuals still hold a level of privilege over people of other genders.
  • Passing
    • Passing is the ability to appear to belong to another group. The ability to pass is itself a privilege because it allows an individual to claim the advantages of a more privileged group.

The initial idea of privilege is something that seems like a plus in life. However, there is down sides to being one of the “privileged” people. Guilt. Being guilted by privilege could be compared to be guilted by being a survivor of an accident or being guilty for being born into a family below the poverty line.

Having a privileged life is something that was granted to you generally at birth when it comes to the three types if privileges listed above. Each privilege give a different form of benefits, for example racial privilege generally is connected to money, power and/or influence, similar to gender privilege which is associated with white males and masculinity. And finally passing, that means you can belong to one group and get the benefits of the other, an example of this comes from my favourite TV show, Daphne on Switched at Birth,  is white but both her parents are Puerto Rican meaning she is a minority. Daphne was raised in a low income neighbourhood and went to a school that was less then average, however, because of Daphne’s skin colour she can pass for being white meaning she isn’t subject to discrimination she might have otherwise been subjected too.

The problems with privilege is that some people aren’t okay with accepting they have privilege. It’s understandable because such an emphasis is put on hard work and earning you keep that people become uncomfortable with the idea of being handed something. However, these privileges are given to you at birth and whether you feel like you are given advantages or not you probably are without these privileges being acknowledged. The following video has some good points in it with respect to Macklemore White Privilege II Song  .

So this video has some really good points and it you don’t feel like watching it here are some of the highlights.

  • White people alive today are not responsible for slavery but white people still reap the benefits like black people wear the scars.
  • Just because you don’t acknowledge racism or police brutality doesn’t mean it doesn’t still exists.
  • You can never put too much effort in to issues of justice and equality.

The video has good points up until about the 3:20 mark, then she goes off on a bit of a tangent.  Her point is that you can’t ignore the problem and expect it to disappear because it is still going to be there, but  I fully agree with the points I listed above.

PROBLEMS LIKE THIS DO NOT GO AWAY ON THEIR OWN!

As hard as it may be we have to address the fact that some things really are just handed to us, these privileges have to be acknowledged. This should not make us feel guilty or responsible for past wrong doings but make us realize that we need to change sometimes.

 Whether or not you are believe in God or not, I think everyone can appreciate the Serenity Prayer. If you break it down to connect with this topic:

  • You can’t change your gender, race, or appearance
  • You can change the fact that you feel guilty and responsible
  • you can even help people who are stuck in out dated and ignorant ways of racism see that everyone deserves the same amount of justice as you.

Nobody should feel guilty for their race and above that nobody should ever be punished for their race or gender or sexuality! You can not change the past but everyone plays a helping hand in how equality works in our future! The best way to make sure you are doing your part is to educated your self on the topics, we have every resource available to us we should use them properly! Not sure where to start? Start here! Or here!

It starts with education and ends with equality

What are Magazines Really Doing to Us?

Magazines begin to target people as soon as they are old enough to read, maybe even before that magazines begin to target kids with bright pictures of toys. Magazines may seem like a dying art with new forms of media being introduced but even if you aren’t buying them they are still on the shelfs being seen by consumers.

magazines

 

Magazines such as Seventeen and Teen Vogue are targeted toward young girls, the pages of these magazines are plastered with beautiful models with expensive things promoting the idea that to be cool you need these things! These magazines use product placement with popular celebrities in order to sell the products AND the celebrities; here’s the problem: THE PRODUCTS THEY ARE PROMOTING ARE UNREALISTIC TO THE AVERAGE PERSON, so are the body types, life styles, and fashion these celebrities have, this however, is not common knowledge to the young girls reading the magazine which for them means something to strive for no matter the cost. The pages and pages of supermodels takes a toll on the minds of young girls, society has an unspoken definition of perfect that really doesn’t need words to describe it at all, it sprawled out everywhere….

beyonce

Both these pictures show things that without the help of a computer you could not achieve:

  • Her skin is flawless. Like everywhere, no where is there a mark or un-smooth spot on her body and her skin is also clearly white washed.
  • Her hair is perfect and definitely created by multiple hair stylist and touch ups
  • Oh yeah and she is Beyonce.

These magazines portray an unrealistic message to teens that is not accurate to how teens behave or dress. The clothing in magazines can cost $100 of dollars for outfits that teens wouldn’t wear anyways.

ariana-grande-seventeen-september-2014-cover__opt

Exhibit A 

This is from 2 years ago and in 2014 Ariana Grande was 21. So at 21 she was modelling for a back to school advertisement that was targeted at girls ages 12-14. On the front page of this article you can  read lines like “For your prettiest fist day” and “Clear up your skin now” titles that focus on superficial self improvement rather than positive titles with goals to make girls feel better about themselves right now and not in the future. At 12 these girls may not have even had acne yet, and you are showing this “teen” who has been through these thing already and no longer has to worry about them sure makes it easy for girls to think that they are not good enough.


Magazines don’t only have beauty standards for girls there are definitely beauty standards for guys too:

jeremy-rennerIn this magazine for men you see first off an actor famous for his roles in Marvel films, he is in good shape and obviously looking posed in a way that would make him more attractive looking and more fit. The magazine is covered in  headlines all appealing to men ” HI-DEF ABS”, “STRIP AWAY BELLY FAT!”. All headlines that have one goal truthfully in mind:

TO BE SEXUALLY ATTRACTIVE .

 

womens-healthLet’s take a look at this magazine, a women health issue that at first glance looks nothing like the mens health magazine. However, the magazine once the titles have been read could almost be interchangeable to the mens “Flat Stomach Finally” very similar to the “HI-DEF ABS” in the guys magazine. With closer analyzation you could pretty much swap the male and female rolls an still have the same magazines, but why is this? The male and female bodies are basically different planets and they certainly look different so why could the magazines be so much alike?

Because just like I stated earlier, the common goal of magazines is to be sexually attractive!

So do teenagers try to reach these standards? Of course they do! People often underestimate the power the media plays in the mind of a teenager. Teenagers see power, beauty and success as that gates of happiness and the key to everything. This is almost like a yin yang scenario, it’s good to have goal and something to strive for however, it can be challenging to strive for something that can be achieved or is going to take more then some early mornings in the gym. Teens fixate, a teenager with strong will power can be very dangerous, especially when motivated by the power of the media and the pressure of feeling not enough mostly because teens lack the ability to see in to the future ‘if it hurts right now it’s going to hurt forever’.

Magazines are a place where we see our dreams come true on other people, we see all these amazing things but we don’t see, the cost monetary and mentally and we also don’t see that everything in this magazine is probably funded by the brands you see advertised and they are probably not funding you.

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