Beat Our Guest: True Love Old As Time
In the original Disney Beauty and The Beast, there is a very clear issue: domestic abuse and stockholm syndrome. This story is held up as a romantic beacon of hope. However, there is nothing loving about locking someone in a castle and being extremely aggressive. The beast becomes kind later on and 'allows' Belle to leave... there is nothing generous or kind abou someone giving you a basic human right they originally took from you. This message to little children is that perhaps your perfect partner is mean and nasty, but that's romance, and hey, over time, they might change and become nice to you! This is abuse being romanticised.
In this painting the rose is symbolic of true love and the hand so desperate to be near it is beaten badly.
Obscene and Not Heard-maid
In The Little Mermaid, Ariel has her voice removed. Yet somehow the prince still falls desperately in love with her in a short space of time (as in all the classics). For me, your voice is one of the most important parts of you. You use it to communicate you and all about you. It's your personality and soul. This message, in my opinion, suggests what's important is your looks, not what's inside. A man will fall in love with your looks, not your truth, opinions or values.
Tangled in Her Worst Fate: Ageing
This piece is inspired by Tangled but also this message is given in a couple others, the main other one being Snow White where the Queen is devastated and jealous she is no longer the fairest of them all due to her age. In Tangled it highlights the trauma of the fake mother goes through trying to turn back ageing and creating her as an evil character.
This just sadly adds another message to an impressionable little girl (who's already heard this from so many influencers) ageing for a woman is terrifying and their downfall. Don't age.
A Whole New Happy Ending
In Aladdin, Disney chose to dress Jasmin in rather 'sexy clothes' some argue. They say it is completely incorrect for the culture and the time etc so they made a choice to give her skimpy clothing. Part of me agrees with this. The final nail in the coffin came when Jasmin attempts to seduce Jafar. I'd highly doubt we would see a male Disney character trying to 'seduce' anyone.
This picture is to challenge this objectification of Jasmin and the dramatic addition of the barcode can elude to the sex trade which always heavily links to the consistent objectification of women.
In Sleeping Beauty (and a couple of others, see if you can guess!) it is acceptable that the prince kisses the princess to wake her up. What a hero! This may seem pretty minor, but in a world where sexual consent is constantly disrespected, this is another stitch to that painful tapestry so many women have to come to terms with. The message is subtly suggesting an unconscious woman can be touched sexually, and thats ok.
True Love Old As Time
Another painting on the romanticising of abuse from Beauty and The Beast.
Mer-Maid to Measure: A Tail of What Matters
In The Little Mermaid, Ariel changes fundamental parts of herself in order to meet and be with the prince. Giving up her singing voice, swapping her tail for legs and even gives up her home for good. For me, it uncomfortably mirrors our plastic surgery world, in the name of beauty and often for the purpose of appearing attractive for a mate. Ouch.
The Perfect Fit
To the left, this painting is predominantly using the Cinderella story to highlight another societal problem. This constant need for perfection as a woman and the messages in the media, films, books, adverts etc that constantly tell women to be more perfect, which nearly always comes at a detriment to yourself!
In Cinderella you see an entire town of women desperately trying to fit into this one shoe in order to be the prince's future wife. It certainly can send a message to little girls of what is important, finding love and being the 'special' woman that can achieve this perfect man... every woman in the town was at it... pretty strong message for a little girl to see about what the priorities are for a woman.
This is another painting around the objectified Jasmin in Aladdin.
Snow Wait: Someday My Prince Will Come
This painting is all about Snow White (but also the message can be compared to a few other Disney classics - again, see if you can find which ones!) where the main purpose and focus for Snow White is to wait for a prince. There's no proactive nature, she just waits. There's no other ambition, drive or purpose other than wanting her love! Subtly (or not so subtly) sending a message that desires of women tend to be about love. There's no other aspirations. And not only that but the entire "hero's journey" in the story is by the prince. She just sits there: passive.
Thank goodness this has begun to change with some of the later Disney films. Either way, if this is what your little girl is watching, along with a few of the other classics.... and hell maybe even you are watching - many of the films aimed at women in the film industry are still focused on love. Just luckily, women aren't as passive anymore.