Have you ever heard people say that Disney princess movies like “The Little Mermaid” or “Sleeping Beauty” negatively influence young girls’ sense of self-worth due to the whole “damsel in distress” cliché?
Well, a study was done to see if that held up. A group of pre-school aged children were surveyed in 2012 and 2013, about half boys and half girls. Then five years later, the same kids were surveyed again.
The results showed that Disney princesses didn’t enforce female gender stereotypes. In fact, it actually resulted in kids believing in a society where everyone is equal, even down to wanting boys to show more emotion, and also a higher body esteem.
An author of the study said it doesn’t matter which princess is viewed for these outcomes. “You’d expect a girl who said her favorite princess was Mulan to be less gender-stereotyped than one whose favorite was Cinderella, but we didn’t find that.”
They added, “Princess culture gives women key story lines where they’re the protagonist.”