If the prince is seen as a hero — noble, wealthy, good at fighting, interested in girls — aren’t these the traits our dominant society idealizes for boys? Why, then, are boys not encouraged to emulate the prince role in fairy tales and by the Disney franchise? In my last post I wondered if any of the lack of Disney Prince costumes or marketing for boys relates to the underlying connection between Disney Princesses and sexual objectification.
Are we uncomfortable placing boys as the objects of sexual gaze in ways we find normal for girls every day? (Like the crotch-bearing Barbie doll mini-dress, or the come-hither Disney fairy images.) By happenstance I stumbled upon the work of David Kawena, who has created a whole series of Disney Heroes:
Others, like Peter Pan, aren’t graphic, but have a similar “come hither” feel to Disney’s female fairies.
Does it affect your reaction to princess and girl cartoon images to see these images of princes and heroes? It makes me wonder: what would healthily progressive and diverse versions of femininity, masculinity and sexuality look like?