Snow White is a story I am certain almost everyone is familiar with, having read it as a child or watching the Disney-made movie. As I watched this film clip again with a newly matured mindset and an analytical eye, I discovered that the fairytale I loved as a child is laden with gender stereotypes and prejudices of this so-called happily-ever-after-world.
As the movie first unfolds, we see the first female protagonist, The Evil Queen, questioning her mirror on “who is the fairest of them all”. Hence, it is immediately apparent that women are portrayed to be insecure, having to find assurance in their beauty within material objects such as the mirror.
On the same note, Snow White, by character, is obedient gentle sweet-natured virginal and animal loving. Indeed, she is depicted as an ideal western-beauty with curly ebony black hair, luscious red lips and soft white skin. Thus, it is clearly seen through the main character, society’s conventional form and idea of “beautiful”.
Furthermore, the women in the film are portrayed to be either queens or homemakers. For example, Snow White is only happy to be doing housework until a man comes along to give her life. This is especially evident in the scene Snow White is collecting water from the well. Once the supposedly-dashing Prince appears, Snow White dissolves into peals of giggles and girlishly retreats back to her cottage in what seems to be nervousness and even, fear. Hence, it is again stereotypically suggested that courtship is always initiated and followed up by men.
... queen and told her that he had killed Snow White. Snow White wandered in the forest all night, crying. When ... so fair that she was named Snow White. Her mother died when Snow White was a baby and her ... very angry and jealous of Snow White. She ordered her huntsman to take Snow White to the forest and kill ... seven dwarfs were very happy. Prince Charming married Snow White and took her to his palace and ...
On the other hand, if there is a powerful female figure in the movie, she is almost always evil, as is evidenced by The Evil Queen.
One can draw parallels between Snow White and The Little Mermaid. Ariel, like earlier Disney heroines, is portrayed to be “sexy” as she wears a bikini made of seashells. Also, similarly to Snow White, Ariel was willing to do anything to make the Prince fall in love with her even to the extent of giving up her voice for legs.