A quick look at how Disney perfection affects guy’s body image too
It’s pretty common knowledge that Disney princesses have given us a whole lot of unrealistic expectations when it comes to body image (most of them involving perfect hair, especially underwater, also waistlines, and oh yeah eye size). But we women are not the only people affected by these cartoon portrayals of “beautiful” bodies and gender norms. Ever think about what the guys must think when we’re all comparing them to the cartoon perfection of Prince Charming, Aladdin, and Hercules?
I’ll be honest, I hadn’t thought much about the guy side of the equation until I watched this video from MTV’s Braless (hosted by the b.a. Laci Green). In this highly-entertaining video Laci breaks it all down for us (just FYI, it’s got some human anatomy diagrams that might not be safe for work) analyzing this whole Disney gender norms thing from the dude’s POV. It’s honestly mega interesting!
Among other things, she spotlights the fact that all Disney princes are “big, tall, muscular and almost always white.” That’s a pretty narrow view of what makes an attractive man. Along with the beautiful element, there’s the whole thought process that the movie’s men need to “save” someone. Which is a terrible precedent to set for both men and women. The climax of almost all Disney movies is a fight between the two main dudes in the film, with the winner of said prize gaining “pride, respect and usually a woman.”
The thing is, since we watch these movies as little kids they become a part of how we see the world. If we hear that women should be passive and wait around to be saved, somewhere in our brains that idea will nest. Ditto, if little boys hear that they need to go out and be all fight-y and testosterone-y; that nests somewhere too.
I definitely was a little kid who wanted Belle-sized eyes, and that’s honestly not a thing that really exists in the world. It’s easy to imagine that guys looking at Prince Charming’s perfect hair or Gaston’s bulging biceps feel similarly.
Laci’s other very strong points include the fact that basically every single Disney movie is strictly heterosexual. As someone who has seen every single Disney movie, I can confirm that that’s true.
BUT, Disney is getting better and we can still love the movies while simultaneously pointing out their flaws. (We’re like family that way.)
Still, there is a lot of work to be done! And it’s really interesting to flip the script and see not just how unrealistic body standards can affect girls, but how they can affect guys too.
Check out Laci’s video below for some epic truth bombs.
Image via here.