Feminist Disney
When people are defending Disney, they'll do backflips to prove that Mulan and Pocahontas are on the Disney Princess Official Team. but then when other people ask "So.... where's the merchandise?" suddenly it's "Well, they aren't REAL princesses!!!!!!!"

yeah… I mean, I don’t exactly blame people for coming to conclusions I don’t agree with because it’s sort of the first step to examining media, is thinking about the “why”

so I get it, I get why, for example, people reblogged the coloring book post being like “who gives a shit/ they’re just shown more because they’re the most popular princesses/ the other princesses aren’t ‘classic’.”

Like in the grand scheme of things: I agree, a coloring book isn’t a big deal. The reality is, though, that it’s a micro-aggression, and a super easy one to document and quantify at that. People will act like real evidence isn’t a big deal on the one hand, then they’ll look at big, big things, events, and deny that race is in any way still an issue in the U.S. And of course if you’ve ignored the thousand little things then yeah, it might just seem like “people arguing” rather than “sanctioned racial oppression” etc.

And the thing with the “most popular princesses” is, again, something that requires a deeper look. While I agree that Disney is usually simply looking out for what will make the most money, race isn’t somehow… removed from this equation. Like: who you think will be popular influences how you produce the merchandise (who is featured most prominently) which, in turn, influences actual, real popularity. 

A lot of people commenting on marketing just assume it’s some organic force when that’s like the inherent opposite of marketing, to an extent. In marketing you get to define who becomes the “classic princess” when the entire princess line isn’t that old itself, it’s a manufactured thing. Which is why it’s not just some random thing that Mulan gets constantly ignored in spite of the lasting popularity of the movie and character. But it requires looking a little deeper than “oh well they’re just printing more of the popular characters duh!” anyway I worded this all pretty badly because it’s late

so this is the first time im on your blog and i'm not finished reading yet but in your last post, the one about the coloring book, pocahontas and mulan aren't there because they might be classics but technically they're not princesses. This doesn't really matter, just thought you should know...

"has this been asked before" tbh

like technically Belle isn’t one either because she doesn’t get married in her movie… it’s completely beside the point for that anyway, it’s not like people at Disney sit down and say, “Mulan’s a super popular character, but she’s technically not a princess, so I guess we’ll take her out of the coloring book.” Which is the only way it would actually be relevant

Like… I mean you can make a point about how it’s commodifying anyways to make everyone princesses or w/e, but there’s sort of a weird and separate racial thing going on in how quick everyone is to say “this is why these ones are excluded” when Disney as a company has said multiple times that the princess line is not about “technical princess-ery” or w/e it is people refer to

nethilia:

So I bought this Crayola Mini coloring pages set, because hey, a bitch likes Disney Princesses even if I had to be damn near thirty to see one like me. 80 pages, 6 mini markers that I won’t use because I like to color in coloring books in colored pencils, for that coloring practice without having to do the linework feel, 5 bucks, not too bad. Ariel and Cinderella (and Belle) on the front, Tiana and Rapunzel on the back. So I get them out and we’ve got Belle, Ariel, Aurora, Cinderella, Jasmine, Snow White, Tiana, and Rapunzel. Okay, that’s eight of them so to be fair everyone should get 10 pages, right? So I sort them. I wouldn’t be bitching on Tumblr if it was fair. The distribution is as follows, with every design getting 2 pages: Ariel: 8 different designs, 16 pages 20% Belle: 6 different designs, 12 pages 15% Cinderella: 6 different designs, 12 pages 15%Aurora: 5 different designs, 10 pages 12.5%Rapunzel: 5 different designs, 10 pages 12.5%Snow White: 4 different designs, 8 pages 10%Jasmine: 4 different designs, 8 pages 10%Tiana: 2 different designs, 4 pages, 5% So out of 80 pages we got 15% of the whole thing to any princesses of color (and only two of them), and 5% to Tiana who came out right before Rapunzel, and 85% of pages to white princesses. But you know, representation don’t matter, everything is fair in Disney, they do their best, everyone does, historical accuracy, Frozen was such a good uplifting movie, why are you complaining, Disney is fair, take what is offered and quit whining, it is you who are the racisms, derailment white whine etc etc etc.

I love some math to get the point across. Also note: even though Mulan and Pocahontas are just as classic as any of these princesses (I’m assuming the book came out before Merida), they’re not included at all

nethilia:

So I bought this Crayola Mini coloring pages set, because hey, a bitch likes Disney Princesses even if I had to be damn near thirty to see one like me. 80 pages, 6 mini markers that I won’t use because I like to color in coloring books in colored pencils, for that coloring practice without having to do the linework feel, 5 bucks, not too bad. Ariel and Cinderella (and Belle) on the front, Tiana and Rapunzel on the back.

So I get them out and we’ve got Belle, Ariel, Aurora, Cinderella, Jasmine, Snow White, Tiana, and Rapunzel. Okay, that’s eight of them so to be fair everyone should get 10 pages, right? So I sort them.

I wouldn’t be bitching on Tumblr if it was fair.

The distribution is as follows, with every design getting 2 pages:

Ariel: 8 different designs, 16 pages 20%
Belle: 6 different designs, 12 pages 15%
Cinderella: 6 different designs, 12 pages 15%
Aurora: 5 different designs, 10 pages 12.5%
Rapunzel: 5 different designs, 10 pages 12.5%
Snow White: 4 different designs, 8 pages 10%
Jasmine: 4 different designs, 8 pages 10%
Tiana: 2 different designs, 4 pages, 5%

So out of 80 pages we got 15% of the whole thing to any princesses of color (and only two of them), and 5% to Tiana who came out right before Rapunzel, and 85% of pages to white princesses.

But you know, representation don’t matter, everything is fair in Disney, they do their best, everyone does, historical accuracy, Frozen was such a good uplifting movie, why are you complaining, Disney is fair, take what is offered and quit whining, it is you who are the racisms, derailment white whine etc etc etc.

I love some math to get the point across. Also note: even though Mulan and Pocahontas are just as classic as any of these princesses (I’m assuming the book came out before Merida), they’re not included at all

Hi! I discovered your great blog, congratulation and thank you. Disney should really sponsor you! (and I'm serious...) I see you did raise this issue already but very briefly, I believe it is worth looking into it, so perhaps you have seen this remarquable article "where are all the big-nosed disney princesses?" (first add www) .eatthedamncake. (here add com) /2011/09/12/where-are-all-the-big-nosed-disney-princesses/

they should give me a call ;)

Well this particular blog is 3ish years old, and it has come up many times in that overall period, but definitely I would recommend people giving this article you pointed out a look. 

this should (I hope) link to previous submissions and thoughts about noses and Disney etc. I don’t mean to curtail more commentary but I haven’t been on much lately so rather than get repeats I would recommend looking at what people had to say (this is to everyone not this particular asker, if this topic interests you!) There’s a few pages there.

Noses are an interesting topic because really, they sort of pinpoint a few converging issues. There’s race, in that the supposed “ideal nose” is, of course, quite straight but small and not flat, and not bumpy — all common (though not 100% universal, of course) traits among other races. But perceived white features tend to be prioritized, and so that’s what we see the most often whether it’s on magazine covers or animated characters.

The linkage to big/curved/etc noses and evil characters is always interesting to explore and how this links to above — it’s effectively “othering” racial features without being explicitly about race

There’s also the age thing and the perception of idealized femininity as something youthful, petite, and women are pushed to be more girlish and always seek “youth” — not to say small noses mean you aren’t old, but they’re certainly more common among young girls than among older women

Hey, just wondering if you consider yourselves liberal feminists or radical feminists? I've been getting down over confusion of the two recently :(

I’m not sure about the “yourselves,” since I’m a singular person, but I wouldn’t say I really identify as either per se, if we’re insisting on a label and choosing between the two, other people might choose “liberal feminist” for me

I have had issues with rad-fem philosophy or w/e in the past, if you look through “has this been asked before?” I think this question has honestly been asked before, and has info about the differences between the perspectives (which is sometimes vague, because I think in a lot of cases “lib fem” is labeled on people rather than a label they choose themselves?)

not really worth getting into it again when it’s all there…

feministdisney:

Disney Anti-Rape

some dude posting on Twitter that he “doesn’t take feminism seriously” because of things like my banner (just click on my main page to see it)

Here’s the thing. It’s meant to be funny, not a super serious critique of the movie, which I think is fairly obvious.

But people don’t like it because it’s a joke not at the expense of a victim.

If it was the other way around — if it was a joke about roofies or something and about how that’s “funny”? — this guy would probably just LOL all over it and accuse anyone who said "hey wait a minute" of being over-sensitive feminists or w/e. That is the way jokes about consent normally go. 

it’s only displeasing you now because it’s a joke not coming at the expense of the victim. It says nothing about feminism if you don’t like it, and says everything about how you choose to interpret conversations about consent

Are your choices really your own, or the result of successful marketing and corporate manipulation?

feministdisney:

I don’t often after for favors, BUT. Had to work on this for my job as part of a project — the people who get the most views etc. “win” or whatever. 

It may have some crossover appeal here. If you think it might be interesting, I’d appreciate it if you took a look, and would super appreciate if you share it on Facebook. No pressure though. ;)

Anyway, it’s basically about the basics of consumer psychology and how companies use data they have on preference to manipulate what people buy and so forth! You can check it out here. Thanks!! 

Fun fact from it: “Studies have shown that if slow music is playing, customers will stay 13.56 minutes longer, and spend 11% more on food.”

(also yeah some of the wording is a little awkward because I had to incorporate specific terms about psychology haha.)

I always doubt myself. Im afraid that I will fail in life. I am fucking scared I wont get accepted to my dream school. Im afraid that as an "aspiring feminist" I won't ever make a difference because I am nobody and who would listen to me anyway?

well, that is a lot of seriousness to answer with Disney.

I think it’s true that you might always doubt yourself a little, but in my experience, this is not a bad thing? One of my painting professors once told us that that was what makes artists who they are, why they keep creating piece after piece: they’re always chasing a perfection they haven’t achieved yet.

I mean, basically what I’m saying is, while it’s possible you one day get to a place where you have 100% faith in yourself, it’s also okay to just accept that you will doubt, because worrying about future doubt is a roadblock in itself. But actually it can help you push yourself in a way.

Anyway, this is reminding me of Toy Story. Woody has a lot of fears that seem to parallel yours. He’s afraid of being abandoned by Andy; he’s afraid of being replaced by Buzz (both as far as Andy, and the other toys are concerned). He worries that he’s going to stop have meaning as a toy.

Woody: This is a perfect time to panic! I’m lost, Andy is gone, they’re gonna move to their new house in two days, and it’s all your fault!

Buzz: My… My fault? If you hadn’t pushed me out of the window in the first place…

Woody: Oh, yeah? Well, if *you* hadn’t shown up with your stupid little cardboard spaceship and taken away everything that was important to me…

Buzz: Don’t talk to me about importance! Because of you, the future of this entire universe is in jeopardy!

In the movie, though, Woody’s fears are his own undoing. Andy has no plans to abandon him but Woody’s fears almost separate him from Andy and all his friends forever. If he had just shook off those fears and looked at what he had — the other toys trusted him as a leader, looked up to him, and Andy loved him — he perhaps wouldn’t have made the mistakes he did. And that’s basically what eventually happened — he’s able to save them and get back because he stops thinking about what he’s not doing and thinks forward to what they can do to escape Sid etc.

But it’s also worth noting that even when Woody failed — and he failed pretty bad at being a good sheriff for the new toy, and at being a good friend, etc — he was still able to bounce back. It wasn’t the end of everything. I would recommend not being so hard about yourself when it comes to “failing.” What does failing “in life” even mean??

image

Your dream school might not accept you, but that doesn’t mean you failed at life. Or even at school. My “dream school” at the time (UF) wait listed, then rejected me. I went to SUNY Geneseo instead feeling pretty “meh” about it… and it was the perfect school for me in the end. If you went back in time and offered me a million dollars not to go, I would say “go spend it on a worthy charity instead, my friend!” I worried about the feminism thing too, and who can really quantify “making a difference?” But so long as you live out the truth you know in your actions and words, and volunteer your time to help when you can, that seems like more than just “aspiration” — that’s doing.

When you’re too hard on yourself, you basically turn into Woody constantly trying to cut Buzz down — but you’re also Buzz. It doesn’t help you to do this to yourself, and you need to remind your Woody side that no one knows the future. Buzz can be the hero he aspires to be. Note: re-watch the ending of ToyStory.

Everyone fails, and not to be a giant slobbering cliche but people define themselves more through how they react to failure, than in how they react to success. 

Quick question, if you could speak with the executive team at Disney and tell and/or ask them anything, what would you say?

not an easy question

I suppose I’d first go for Bravado and say “I have a great idea — put me on your team” and BS that into an actual storyline idea and try and work it right from the inside out if this is like, I’m allowed to engage my fantasies in this question

More realistically I would probably push for whatever representation issue was most present on my mind at that moment, or whichever one I had the best offhand stats for, and try and make a compelling argument for why not every single female lead needs to have a head the size of her waist, etc. and how that could actually help their brand

so I guess my realistic answer was, explain why what I think is important, is good for them ;) which I do believe, could be the truth.

I saw an episode of Sofia that struck me as pretty well done. It had a semi-recurring villain and she was using a disguise to get close to the family. Sofia had a bad feeling about her, but everyone told her not to worry. The overall message of the episode was people need trust trust their instincts no matter what others say. That, to me, seems to be a very important message for young kids, who will often be invalidated if they sense that someone is dangerous and try to voice their concerns.
Is it bad that even though I'm turning fourteen in a few months I still want to be Cinderella or vanellope von schweets for Halloween? I've always adored Cinderella (1950 ver) and I really love wreck it Ralph. But I don't know if I should move on.

Halloween is literally the occasion in which you can dress up as Cinderella or Vanellope Von Schweets for the rest of your life! I’m not sure I understand where this question is coming from haha

cosplaying is literally people with an average age of 25 dressing up as characters like this all the time, too. It’s all good. What’s there to move on from? Move on from fun??

hildahuffle:

dion-thesocialist:

I’ll always be mad about Disney fans saying X white princess is the first princess to X, because I guarantee a POC princess did it first.

this is literally just bitching about frozen and brave and I think the marketing teams are more to blame 

I wouldn’t agree with that… I know they’ve played it up but I’ve seen countless posts like that, posted by fans, about Rapunzel, Merida, Anna and Elsa. Several have even come up on here before.

And if the marketing team is to blame for something, that implies people are “guilty,” so… does seem to elevate it about the level of “bitching” ? 

dion-thesocialist:

I’ll always be mad about Disney fans saying X white princess is the first princess to X, because I guarantee a POC princess did it first.

Hello! So, I'm rather at a crossroads in my life. I'm coming upon my last year of college, and I find that I'm not sure at all what I want to do. The only thing I'm sure about is that I want to travel the world, but that's kind of impossible without a steady job. I've been studying something I've been interested in since I was 14, and now I'm 22 and just unsure if I want to do it anymore. I'm at the point where I need to decide if I want to pursue this into grad school, but I'm not sure I want t

to. This might be the result of my anxiety over the gre and the stress of my life right now, but I’m just at this point where I’m wondering if I wasted the last four years of my life and whether I should head in a completely different direction. The uncertainty is really killing me, and I’m feeling as if I’m prepared to give up on life before I’ve really gotten going. (end task)

———

Hmmm… quite the conundrum. Or is it?

I think you need to take a break from sitting at a crossroads. You keep looking down each road, not knowing where it leads, expecting something to suddenly change and beckon you the right way, but in all likelihood that isn’t going to happen.

"I’ve been waiting for this my whole life! I’m gonna be a scarer!" -Mike Wazowski

For this one, Monsters University is coming to mind. (spoilers) From the time he’s a kid, Mike dreams of being a student at Monsters University. He wants it so bad! He gets into University, works hard, gets good grades. But by the end he’s a bit torn because he realizes that he loves scaring, but isn’t scary. Not a perfect metaphor for your situation, but you get what I mean.

I don’t think anyone should think of four years of college, and graduating, as a “waste.” It’s an incredibly lucky thing to have under your belt. I’m not sure what you majored in so it’s tough to give specific advice, but pretty much any undergraduate degree can allow you to pursue a large variety of careers and interests that may or may not have anything to do with what you studied. Among my colleagues who do the same job I do (I graduated in writing/english), there is a history major, a graphic design major, and some sort of ancient languages/etc major. 

There is no reason to start graduate school now, and I would honestly advise you against it if you’re this unsure. It’s not like flipping a coin on going to a concert — the debt and the direction of graduate school will have some impact on the rest of your life. It’s a lot more about “honing in” than undergrad was. I can’t think of any degree where you really and truly HAVE to start grad school right now instead of taking a year off.

Depending on your student debt, it is totally possible to travel (if you don’t have a lot… if you have a lot, it’s harder, though not impossible)… maybe not to 100 far flung countries as once, but there are a lot of opportunities out there. For anyone familiar with my own path, I graduated undergrad, wasn’t sure what to do, so I got a job in Germany. I was able to travel to a lot of countries. I made a lot of friends. I never ended up going to grad school, though maybe I will one day if I feel absolutely sure about it (still don’t). I know a lot of people who traveled a lot while having a “steady job.” And there are ways to travel without the steady, though yeah, it’s not always easy.

I was surprised while watching Monsters University that Mike and Sully didn’t get what they wanted. They didn’t graduate from the best school for monsters like they wanted to — they were kicked out. Expelled! It’s not what I expected from a Disney movie. But they took that as a cue to follow a different path, which ultimately led to the same place. It’s not usually that easy to move on up from a janitorial position, but it works as a comparison. Everything might seem doom and gloom now — if you don’t go to grad school, everything will be over! — but there are likely opportunities out there, that you just haven’t been exposed to yet.

"Good luck." -Dean Hardscrabble