Monday, 9 February 2015

And Why Disney Does NOT Work For Me.

Rather it makes me think someone up there in the high echelons of the world of Disney, has got it all wrong. Disney is all about glamour princesses, and I wonder why? That is the association we have in our minds about Disney. Its princesses are invariably sexy, and out there to find their Prince Charming. More often, than not, there is nothing, that is truly fit for children in their movies, besides being animation. Let me explain my view, taking the movie 'Frozen', as an example. I saw it with my 7 year old, and none of us were impressed. A couple of months down the line, it was a rage, selling merchandise and what not. How does that happen I wonder? Marketing, pure marketing, but marketing of what?

Often it is about creating a hype, or, a trend  and riding on its wave. I wonder when this trend began. My very Indian mother, has no longing for anything princess like, she never did. My greatest feminine obsession was possibly for a Barbie, which I got, played with about twice and was done. I did knit a purse for it though. Coming back to the point, however, I wonder when did the princess obsession begin, and why? Most countries in the world today are no longer ruled by monarchy. And where the royal families do exist, I wonder what makes the hard working common man (or woman for that matter), idolise them, do they indeed idolise their rulers? These people, referred to as royals, are rich, not because they work hard, or make things, or do anything truly productive, but just because they belong to a certain blood line. The money and wealth they posess, is gained from centuries of exploiting the hard working people of the world, or taken by force, or in plain words, stolen. Often plagued by affairs, immoral behaviour, bad behaviour, lack of ethics, these people don't exactly feel like the best role model for a child. If one looks at one of the most famous monarchies of the world today, the British Royals, we will find examples of all kinds of things that are wrong. Adultery, debauchery, cruelty, immoraity, dishonesty and what not. What then is to idolise about them? No parent in the world would seek their child to tread on that path, I am sure. I could probably identify with a princess who is kind, loving ,charitable(if that is even possible), but what we have are sexy women, acting out their parts, as glamour dolls.

Disney makes a huge deal about this entire princess business,and sells it, to make huge profits. And it does not need to try too hard either, because it has built up an entire industry around this princess-obsession over the years .Taking Frozen for example,I wonder if I missed out a memo, that stated the rule, that every princess has to be skinny and blonde? Or is that their narrow view of a very racist kind? There have been many princesses in the history of the world, who have been brave, strong and kind, but were neither white, nor blonde. And can a Disney Princess never be without a well exposed cleavage? And then ofcourse the kissing, and hankering for a true romantic attachment. So that is what should be role of a princess according to Disney, and moreover, every child in the world should want the same? In the movie, an older sister, and a princess, who is happy to abandon all her duties and responsibilities to not just her kingdom, but also her little sister, to run away, Let It Go,  and enjoy a life filled with her own whims and fantasies, is teh lead character.She is breathtakingly beautiful (with pretty unreal body proportions), but does not care about anyone, but herself. This is what the movie portrays, the children lap it up, and want to be a princess/prince, dress up, buy their merchandise and watch the movie umpteen number of times. And we wonder why the new generation is so self involved. It is not just that such movies are made, it is that parents let their children watch such movies and then encourage their obsession with these ideologies. Wonder why kids these days have relationships, have sex, so early on in life? The innocence is lost, because we parents allow it to be so.

Worst of all, the sexualisation of every character. For a movie, that is touted to be for children, that is just simply wrong. Sexual love will be discovered by children as they grow up, big clevages, heaving at the sight of beefed up men, does not need to be thrust into their faces at a tender age. I don't like princesses, I don't like sexualisation of children, or their movies, I don't like, 'being sexy' being projected as an ideal to little girls. Its long past the time, when we as parents just accept everything as a trend. We need to think about our parenting, and make strong choices, put our foot down, and let out children just be children, sweet and innocent, not waiting to pull up their hemlines and push down their necklines, waiting for a prince charming and riches. The ideals they need are of working hard and earning an honest living. Loving their family and friends, being ready to sacrifice for love. And considering Disney's exact opposite ideals, its a BIG NO, for my family.

1 comment:

Satej Golatkar said...

Agreed Srijanee. Nicely written by you.