As we were sitting there watching Once Upon A Time, my friends and I were talking about the changing role of the princess over the years. One person was upset about how Snow White in this show was saving the prince and being a dominating force in the story. To me, it reflects a societal shift.

Take a look back at the first Disney cartoon Snow White. A damsel in distress who waits for a prince to save here day. Flash forward to one of the newest Disney princess stories, Rapunzel. There is nothing about this girl that screams damsel in distress. This reflects how women’s role in society has changed because no longer are women seen as someone who can’t live on their own without the support of a man, women are seen as self sufficient.

When I pointed this out, no one seemed to really listen. It made me realize how the shifts in our expectations of norms shows up in the media and even in cartoons. Children grow up watching cartoons and how they see a princess being treated on screen will definitely have an affect on the way they expect women to act. Rapunzel is running around, swinging on her hair and even smacks her hero across the head with a frying pan. Did you ever see Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty do that? I think not.


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