The Walt Disney Company is raking in the dough again. “Beauty and the Beast” starring Emma Watson was a global runaway hit at the box office this weekend, and you can bet that very soon there will every kind of merchandise imaginable that young girls will demand, maybe even throw temper tantrums to get, and will soon be dreaming of growing up to be Belle.
Family counselor Lori Vann worries that this latest addition to the pantheon of Disney princesses, like those from movies including Frozen and Sleeping Beauty has a down side. “It’s this ‘princess culture,” she assesses. “It’s one of entitlement. Of ‘I’m a princess and therefore you should do what and I want and everything should just come to me’,” Van says. Vann says Disney is encouraging a generation of spoiled brats who expect life is going to treat them like a princess.
Disney’s cartoon princesses also offer unrealistic expectations of what their waists will look like in proportion to the rest of their bodies when they grow up. No child, you won’t have a 12’ waist. “The parent really does need to step in, set those boundaries. Have realistic role models for the girls to look at and say it’s not all about being pretty.” She doesn’t think Disney’s princes are ideal role models for little boys either. Boys, she says, can aspire to successful, happy lives even if they aren’t rich, rescuing, good-looking princes.
Vann suggests Disney makes tons of money, but at what cost to the psyche of little girls?