Saturday, February 20, 2016

Unlearning The Myths that Bind Us- Christensen

Unlearning the Myths that Bind Us
Linda Christensen

Growing up as a kid I watched Disney movies everyday.  Growing up, your parents don't tell you that this movie is about racism and this movie is about sexism- obviously you watch the movie for entertainment.  Being 5, 6, 7 years old, all you want to do be like Cinderella or be like Barbie, but that never happens.  Children shoot for the stars to be like Disney princesses; they buy dresses to look like them and there are tiara's and heels that come in a package that the little girls buy.

But, have you ever noticed there has never been a Black princess before?  Has there ever been a person with cancer? No.  The Disney producers didn't make a Black princess until 2009  (The Princess and the Frog).  The first Princesses were all white, then came an Indian princess, Native American Princess, and then an Asian Princess.  Once people started to make a big deal out of the race of the princesses, the producers of Disney needed to come up with new princesses.

Looney Tones- one of my favorite shows when I was a child.
 But after reading what Christensen piece said:
"Indians in 'Looney Tunes' are also depicted as inferior human beings.  These characters are stereotypical to the greatest degree, carrying tomahawks, painting their faces, and sending smoke signals as their only means of communication." 
People don't realize what the directors mean behind their characters.  Why did they make it this way?  All of the characters in pretty much every cartoon/ Disney movie is stereotyped.  All of the princesses are gorgeous and have a happy ending, the men in the Disney movies have huge muscles, the Spanish people are servants.  After realizing the stereotyped cartoons and movies I am disappointed of my childhood.  I grew up thinking that there was nothing wrong with non white princesses. [SCWAAMP- Whiteness & American-ness]

Points to Share in Class:
Did Disney producers do this on purpose or was it simply because of the way they portrayed all aspects of SCWAAMP?  Do you think there will ever be a princess with cancer?  Why are all the movies or cartoons stereotypical?


  1. Great Post. I agree with you and I believe that these things are not done on purpose. I think that we are now picking up on the racism and sexism in these movies because those issues are being more verbal in our lives now. The producers I think valued the aspects of SCWAAMP a lot and they made the story lines the way they are just because that is how things are in life.

  2. I agree with you that it is disappointing that our childhood favorites were all stereotyped. You don't realize it until you grow up because as a child, you watch it for entertainment and because it involves princesses. I also wonder if the producers knew they were making the cartoons and movies so stereotypical or if people now a days are making a big deal out of it?

  3. I had never really thought about whether or not the producers included stereotypes on purpose. I do think that it is more the way they portrayed all aspects of SCWAAMP because that's what society tells them to do. The fact that The Princess and the Frog having a black princess was such a big deal just shows how the aspects of SCWAAMP are favored in society.

  4. Reflection on this article was a great idea Kamryn. I did the same because I thought kids our age could relate well to cartoons and Disney because at our time as children I felt that those were the years were cartoons were at their peek. I thought you reflected upon how little girls always wanted to be princesses and then introducing the idea that their were never any princesses of color was important. It brings to the surface the main points presented in Christensen's article about inequality among race. Cartoons and Disney were doing this all along it just took us to go through life a little to figure out what was going on and finally realize and questions why there aren't different princesses regarding race. Great points.

  5. It is crazy to think that as young children a couple of years ago, we really were subjected to Christensen's claim that media portrays a "secret education." Looking at the different aspects through the eyes of an adult now, I feel like most of my childhood entertainment was a big lie that has now been uncovered. Stereotypical characters and issues of race really do dominate cartoons and popular movies that I thought I completely already understood, but through deeper analysis I guess this perspective is false.