The article “Little Girls or Little Women, The Disney Princess Effect” focuses on the impact that the “Disney Princess Culture” has had on the emotional and psychological development of young girls. Its line of reasoning focuses on the princess culture creating an adverse mindset in little girls wherein they become more concerned about their looks, adopt a more subservient attitude when it comes to men (i.e. the Disney Prince effect) and as a result mature far earlier than they should, especially when it comes to their sexual awakening.
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It is the opinion of this paper that childhood development is intrinsically connected with parental influence and, as such, despite the apparent influence of “Disney Culture”, this does not replace genuine parental guidance.
In the article, the apparently adverse effects of popular culture media is showcased wherein the author utilized data from the Associated Press, University of Central Florida and various marketing groups to show that there has been an increasing trend in early sexual identification by children when it comes to their physical appearance, proclivity towards engaging in highly sexualized acts (i.e. taking naked pictures) and wearing sexually oriented clothing.
This particular argument in favor of the negative aspects of the Disney Princess effect is logos in nature since it utilizes hard facts and statistics to showcase the impact that popular culture media has had on children, especially when it comes to their early maturation that is supposedly brought about by their exposure to such depictions.
Early on in the paper, Mary Finucane was featured in which she related her experience with her daughter and the apparent influence that the Disney Princess effect had in warping the perception of her child regarding appropriate types of behavior. This particular instance can be described as being distinctly Pathos in nature since it utilizes an emotional appeal based on a mother’s experience with the influence that Disney culture had on her child.
However, the inherent problem with this particular perspective is it neglects to take into consideration the fact that children are more influenced by what they are taught by their parents rather than what they experience from media. This particular assertion is supported by Lassonde who states that parental influence has a longer lasting impact on children as compared to television and social media (Lassonde 1017).
In order to mitigate the apparently negative effects of exposure to pop culture media such as Disney, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents limit the amount of exposure that kids have to television, movies and the internet in order to ensure proper development. This particular argument is ethos in nature since it projects a level of credibility in the form of the American Academy of Pediatrics which is supposedly a very prestigious organization that knows that it is saying about children.
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The inherent problem with this apparent appeal to authority is that it neglects to take into consideration the fact that parental guidance is most likely the best means of properly influencing the development of children. Even the exposure of children to pop culture media is limited; if there is a lack of parental guidance then it is still likely that the child would not develop properly.
After going over the various details that have been brought up, this paper states that childhood development is intrinsically connected with parental influence and, as such, despite the apparent influence of “Disney Culture”, this does not replace genuine parental guidance.
While it is true that pop culture media can influence children, the fact remains that such influence can be “blunted” if not outright removed through proper parental guidance. As such, the assumption that the Disney Princess effect is at the root cause of the early development issues surrounding young children is actually fallacious since it is more likely that such children are suffering from a lack of proper parental guidance.
Lassonde, Stephen. “Childhood In World History/The Greatest Generation Grows Up: American Childhood In The 1930S/Babes In Tomorrowland: Walt Disney And The Making Of The American Child, 1930-1960.” Journal Of Social History 40.4 (2007): 1017. Print