Cinderella: Gender Role and Feminism Essay

Cinderella: Gender Role and Feminism Essay
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As humans grow and develop, there are various life attributes or events that play a significant role in shaping an individual’s way of thinking and perceiving multiple life aspects. Therefore, the growth and prevalence of gender and gender role differences among diverse individuals have continued raising concerns among many. Thus, it is essential to evaluate how Cinderella, a Disney movie character, has contributed to shaping the children’s perceptions through her role as a princess. The main purpose for undertaking this study is to analyze the various ways through which Cinderella influences children’s knowledge of gender and to what degree. This topic is chosen because of the different gender disparities, especially among the millennial generation, following that it is during this generation that the Disney movies have been grounded due to the increasing advancement in technology. Therefore, examining how Cinderella, like a Disney character, and one of the most influential besides other aspects, has played a major role in propelling various gender attributes like gender roles and feminism. This context is thereby tailored to indicate literature of the current knowledge concerning the influence on children’s perception of gender by the Disney movie character, Cinderella.

Literature Review

According to Sibelski (2019), Cinderella has played a critical role in protecting and promoting issues of feminism and female empowerment. As a result, children may develop a perception that the current society is consistently unfair to the feminine gender, and therefore there is a need for empowering them (Sibelski, 2019). Furthermore, through the fictional Cinderella, children may be made to think that males are always good without the need for their back being watched over by others or even the need to fight for their rights. Beail (2018) believes that Cinderella has extensively played a major role in ensuring that people or other children perceive females as a vulnerable gender that consistently requires someone to be fighting for their rights and equality issues. Golden and Jacoby (2017) have also agreed that Cinderella has greatly influenced children and corrupted their minds to some extent by making them believe that gender identities and roles are as impartial as they are presented in the Disney movies (Garabedian, 2014). Therefore, it is imperative that despite the Disney movies through the characters like Cinderella being of much entertainment and sources of the essential information necessary for children’s cognitive development, they have also greatly affected society.

Cinderella has presented in several movies as a feminist and is consistently seeking to empower females by fighting for gender (Sibelski, 2019). However, this attribute has contributed to a great change in what people understand about feminism and female empowerment issue following that Cinderella presents it as a competition between males and females (Garabedian, 2014). As a reason for the competing male and female interests presented by Cinderella, children may perceive gender as an issue that promotes injustices like discrimination and inequalities in various sectors, including job opportunities (El Shaban, 2017). Cinderella has also propelled different stereotypical concepts concerning gender roles and sexual orientations, which have seemingly affected most children’s thinking (Sibelski, 2019). This incidence has greatly fueled the current gender issues like the evolvement and promotion of the LGBT+ community. Furthermore, children have perceived the different genders, including male, female, and other distinct gender identities to be each possessing their affluence whereby they all yearn for power and superiority.

The concepts of stereotyping gender roles and gender disparities are profoundly expressed in the characterized Cinderella, who significantly depicts the female gender as constantly being violated (Garabedian, 2014). These stereotypes are correspondingly induced in the children’s minds leading to a negative conceptualization of the matter even within the community, which has extensively led to the overgrowing classification of some groups in society (El Shaban, 2017). Golden and Jacoby also found similar results where they established that preschool girls seemingly interpret the existing gender-role stereotypes, which are depicted in the Disney movies by characters like Cinderella (El Shaban, 2017). Reports have also indicated that most children in schools or even at home as they play gender-oriented games at schools or home tend to express most of the characteristics they see in the Disney movies and play the gender roles as presented (England et al., 2011). Therefore, it can be presumed that the prevalent gender-role issues mostly observed during adolescent and youth stages are, to some extent, induced during childhood by the various TV show like the Disney movies through the influential characters like Cinderella.

The gender-role concepts and other concepts like feminism are closely affiliated. They seem to share some objectivities and aims, following that they are depicted by similar characters with the same areas of focus (England et al., 2011). For instance, despite Cinderella, being described as one who constantly fights for the equality of gender besides other forms of inequalities (Bernkopf, 2019). Several researchers have agreed that the characters in the Disney movies like the princess, Cinderella have played a significant role in ensuring that they propel their intended objectivities like exposing the inferior nature of the females in the society (El Shaban, 2017). These traits and practices have been sandwiched in children’s minds, following that they are relatively influential and interesting to them, thereby difficult and probabilities of practicing are high.

However, most of the information in the various literature materials concerning the influence of Disney movies on the children’s perception of gender lacks the aspects of adverse and positive impacts of these influences (England et al., 2011). They do not expound on the various ways the consequences affect the lives of the children during their different interactions with others and how they respond to certain life facets (Bernkopf, 2019). There is a need to test the social learning theories on the subject topic and evaluate how the shows and characterization of the Disney movies can influence even the behaviors that children express within the context of gender.


Conclusively, researchers have offered adequate information to support the notion that the princess characters in Disney movies like Cinderella profoundly influence the children’s perception of gender. However, there is a notable gap in the literature, whereby most scholarships have not identified the significance of the clustered data and outcomes of the study. Moreover, most scholars have not suggested some of the critical areas within the review’s scope that must be addressed promptly and broadly. The research problem should be thereby investigated further following that some of the effects caused by the induced perceptions concerning gender on children can be prevalent that they are presumed. Henceforth, undertaking further research on the literature will increase the existing literature over the matter and create new insights within the scope of gender perspectives as presented by the media platforms.