Now that I have started my Popular Culture class I have began to question my own ideologies as well as the ideas I had and have regarding popular culture itself. Prior to this course I had not question my ideologies where they came from, who influenced them, or why I chose to think a certain way. I had never taken the time to analyze what I thought popular culture is and what influence it has in my life. Now I have become more aware of the types of things that influence my life from day to day whether I consciously or unconsciously notice them. I have come to realize that there are a ton of things that shape the way I think, dress, act and the things that belief. These things have been around my entire life and have made me who I am today. There is one thing in particular that has had a great influence in my belief something that I had not been aware and analyzed ever before. Children’s movies and the message they share. Particularly to little girls with regards to men and their life. These movies always have the same message with different characters and plots. They teach us that in order for a woman to be happy and complete her life she must find her “prince charming.” One that she will cater to in order to be a good and proper woman if she fails to make him happy she will have failed and have an unhappy life.
There is one movie in particular that I will analyze one that most people are aware of “Cinderella.” Most young girls have either watch this movie or heard the story. A girl is forced to live with her evil stepmothers and stepsisters where is forced to clean, cook and cater to them because she is looked down on. They are all invited to a ball where Cinderella is not allowed to attend. With the help of a fairly godmother she is given the opportunity to go in her beautiful gown and magical slippers. The agreement is she must return home before the clock strikes midnight. She attends the ball and dances all night with the prince who is intrigued with her beauty and glamour. As the clock is about to strike midnight Cinderella runs home leaving her slipper behind. The prince uses this to find her and marry her. Once she is married her life is complete they live “happily ever after.” The message given to girls it that they better be beautiful, glamorous, and graceful if they pretend to find someone who will fall in love with them so that they be happy.
The movie represents women as helpless human being without a man. The only way the can be strong is if they have a man supporting and helping them. To repay them for their “help” women must cater to them and insure their happiness. This brings all sorts of negative effect to a girl’s belief. They are more likely to believe they have to shape themselves in order to be these perfect human being without any flaws because if they are not they will be failures and unhappy for the rest of their lives. This is because no man wants and ugly girl with flaws and insecurities. This also gives boys the idea that they are the strong ones who are in charge. This creates a gender difference placing one lower than the other. Which has been seen to create different problems such as violence within different kinds gender relationships. I was not aware of the role that these types of movies have played in my life. It was not until recently that I have analyzed my beliefs regarding marriage, love, and happiness. It was shocking to realize that children’s movies have such a message in them one that you may not be consciously aware of but is still there. These have affected my life and me in a negative way because they have taught me to be extremely critical of my appearance and to base my own happiness on how happy I can make another human being. Teaching me that my life is only as valuable as my “prince charming” will believe it is. All horrible things to be teaching our little girls and boys!
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