Upon who takes care of their husband, the children,

Upon getting married, women were expected to stay at home and perform household chores. Some viewers are able to draw parallels within the film. There is an expectation of Cinderella to constantly perform similar tasks, like sweeping and sewing. When she doesn’t do these things, there are consequences, suggesting that it is in a woman’s best interest to do the housework expected of them. Although society has a long way to go, it is easier to notice the gender roles and stereotypes that have been brought to light in Cinderella especially when considering how society has progressed in equalizing women and men. For instance, it is worth pointing out that the idea that a woman’s value is determined based on how they look. This is seen in specific instances in the film, such as when Cinderella encounters her Fairy Godmother. Initially, Cinderella is dressed quite plainly in her house clothes. Her transformation into a glamorous and impeccably dressed young bachelorette reinforces the beauty ideal. If Cinderella were to attend the Prince’s ball in her maiden attire, then her chances of making a good and lasting impression on the Prince would be slim to none. Another instance where viewers observe the value of being beautiful is at the ball. When the Prince first sees Cinderella, he immediately falls in love with her based on physical appearance. Other traits of Cinderella, such as personality, were ignored by the prince. In princess stories, the princess gets everything done for her; her servants come to aid her in any situation. Many girls grow up thinking the same way until they’ve faced a hard reality, but if privileged enough are still able to think this way until the day they get married, and in marriage then realize it’s not what the princess stories had advertised. Women are told to “deal” with what their husband gives them in life. They’re supposed to take whatever comes at them but still manage to keep the image of a “good woman.” They have to be someone who takes care of their husband, the children, someone who never seems sad, cooks, cleans, and all while maintaining a good body. These are unrealistic qualities that a woman should have to uphold. Princess stories further argue that. For example, we take Beauty and the Beast, a tale that is taken very lightly and is seen as a beautiful romance in the eyes of many, but in fact is in a way a promoter of abuse and is useful for illustrating how pop cultural messages in children’s media socialize girls (and boys) to accept and overlook intimate partner violence. The film teaches girls that a woman should be patient and supportive of her abusive partner in order to help him change his behavior and turn into a beautiful prince. Such messages are harmful when, in reality, women and girls should be encouraged to leave abusive relationships and seek help if their partner is mean, violent, and coercive. The beast is manipulative and a horrible entity. In the story, Belle is held captive in place to save her father and is locked away by the hostile beast. He’s unpleasant, angry, and controlling. As the story progresses, Belle learns to love her captor despite his unapologetic and abusive treatment. Belle gradually sees a softer side of him she thinks is worth being loved. In real life, this would not work out. In this story, Belle believes she can change the monster from his abusive and threatening nature to someone prince-like and chivalrous. In fact you can not really change someone that easily. This gives people the impression that if you try hard enough you are able to change someone into a better person in a relationship. This way of thought leads to not even realizing you are being abused in a relationship. Abuse is so normalized in relationships that many do not even realize they are going through it themselves. By being the Belle in any relationship, it is more likely that someone would experience domestic abuse. The abuser will not change themselves into the prince simply because someone have a sweet nurturing nature. Chances are that if people were to extend the story of Beauty and the Beast, the beast would probably go back to old habits and try to emotionally abuse Belle. Also, to add another point to this princess story, the prince was supposed to find true love by the time he turned twenty-one. Although there’s nothing wrong with being in love at twenty-one, it’s the fact that he has to find love at twenty-one or else there will be consequences.


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