Aw, Disney. Almost every kid experiences a Disney phase. I remember mine as clear as if it was yesterday, and that’s the beautiful part about it: all we need is a cheesy kid’s show to bring back our childhood memories. Today, Walt’s dream is ever thriving, with his company forever remembered for the classic princess movies and the famous family sitcoms. Whether you love them or hate them, Disney’s messages to kids in these movies and shows were–and still are–very influential. Let’s take a look at some truths and lies Disney probably fed you as a kid.
LIE: Kisses fix everything.
Disney has a small (HUGE) habit of teaching young girls and boys that happily-ever-after comes in the form of a kiss. After our princess gets her liplock, boom! Show’s over. We leave the theater or turn off the TV feeling satisfied. We’re not taught to question what’s been ingrained inside Disney culture since 1938. We assume the characters are happy, everything’s fixed, dreams come true. All because of that one kiss. That’s sadly unrealistic today, but we all totally ate up the idea that kisses and true love had that kind of power when we were younger and deep in that Disney phase.
TRUTH: Happily-Ever-After’s are possible in real life.
So maybe that special kiss won’t make the happy ending eternally happy in real life, but that doesn’t mean happily-ever-afters don’t exist in today’s world. Disney does a marvelous job showing us that they do exist, even in simple forms. Maybe it’s found in the people we love, the places we go, or in our own hearts. Whatever it is, happiness is out there. That doesn’t mean life is without hard times or days when we feel lost or hopeless, but that doesn’t mean we can’t work through it to find our own happy ending.
LIE: The Disney Channel mean humor works in real conversations.
Most of the characters in Disney shows are terribly sarcastic and rude to everyone. Except, while those kids get a laugh track to back up the rudeness, the rest of us usually just get grounded. All of the meanest and snide remarks littered throughout Disney scripts never seem to go over well in the real world.
TRUTH: It’s good to be passionate about something and pursue your dreams.
When you wish upon a star….Disney is all about telling kids to follow their dreams. Every character in the classic movies has an aspiration for something, and that’s what makes following their journey so important: we love to see the moment when the character reaches their dreams. Disney as a brand is generally empowering kids to be passionate and to find something to believe in.
LIE: Beauty is being skinny.
The common body type of a Disney princess is super, super, skinny. They have tiny waist-lines. There has yet to be a princess who is not stick-skinny, and that truly doesn’t represent real human bodies. However, it’s understandable because most of the original works of Disney were not penned by the company today. The body standards could be a representation of the times when the princesses were created, but modern Disney hasn’t made any changes to the unrealistic body standards presented in the past, and thus, they’ve stuck around for the present.
And the final truth is that….
None of us will ever probably be too old for a Disney movie…Except maybe Miley Cyrus.
I think I’m gonna sign-off Disney style, except without the wand.