Free Essay on Feminism in Disney Movie Brave

Published: 2023-01-10
Free Essay on Feminism in Disney Movie Brave
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Women Feminism Movie Stereotypes
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 724 words
7 min read

Disney princesses have played an integral role in showcasing the role of women in the society since the 1937 inception of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Friedman). The princesses portrayed the reality of the social world at the time of production. In fact, the depictions of Disney pictures are more ingrained in modern culture and have attracted a wide audience, both children and adults across the world. As a result, Disney movies have given rise to a diverse populace of well-known and recognizable characters. In particular, Disney princesses have been influential since the 1937 debut to date. However, the movies were produced in line with culture and hence, the princesses were aligned to societal stereotypes.

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The majority of Disney princesses followed a similar plot in the sense that they revolved around romance, emotional or physical danger, and a prince charming who would rescue the princess. However, in the wake of growing feminism and feminist movements, Disney had to reorient their princesses to challenge traditional patterns of how women were portrayed in previous movies. The 2012 movie Brave showcases Princess Merida as a strong female character who breaks gender stereotypes to break from traditional norms to represent the third wave of feminism (Manwell 260). Traditionally, Disney princesses found lovers or their lovers were chosen implying that romantic relationships altered their destinies. However, Merida is a strong princess who refuses to get married to a chosen prince but in turn, focuses on rebuilding a mother-daughter relationship and forging her own destiny. Merida represents the modelization of Disney princesses to showcase how women have fought for their rights to fight the negative archetypes that traditionally defined women's roles in society.

The 1990s third wave of feminism focused on creating awareness about womanhood and inclusiveness. The Disney Princess Merida from Brave falls in the category of third wave feminism. Merida fights for her right to take full control over her life. She does not require a man to end her unhappiness. Instead, her Bravery breaks traditional stereotypes and even rebels against societal norms (Maity 30). Merida opts to fix her problems and narrate her own story by rejecting marriage. In fact, she teachers her mother that it is possible to break away from the traditions and make sacrifices to be your own hero. As a result, Brave is the first movies showcasing Disney princesses that do not end with love (Watson). In modern contemporary society, girls have been empowered academically and financially. They have the rights to pursue their dreams without family control or intervention. As such, modern girls can learn more from the feminist perspectives illustrated in Brave.

The third wave of feminism constructed the notion of self-determination. Allowing female characters to make decisions that impact their lives by breaking from the subservient and undervalued representation of women, girls in modern society are enlightened. Princess Merida embodies strong feminist values that enrich self-worth and determination ("Feminism"). The movie resists patriarchy because it creates a positive picture of women in children movies.

In conclusion, Brave is the ideal Disney movie that changes the representation of women. It creates a strong picture of modern women who are empowered from traditional norms. Modern women have the right to choose their own partners and can either choose to marry or pursue other things such as career or education. Princess Merida refuses to get married and pursues her dreams and even saves her family and ultimately bonding with her mother. The movie falls within the realms of third wave feminism and teaches children and women about strong womanhood values.

Works Cited

Friedman, Jaclyn. "From Snow White to Brave: the Evolution of the Action Princess | Jaclyn Friedman." The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 26 June 2012,"Feminism." Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2017. Opposing Viewpoints in

Context, Accessed 28 Apr. 2019.Maity, Nandini. "Damsels In Distress: A Textual Analysis Of Gender Roles In Disney Princess Films". IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science, vol 19, no. 10, 2014, pp. 28-31. IOSR Journals, doi:10.9790/0837-191032831.

Manwell, Elizabeth A. "Girls in Bears' Clothing in Greek Myth and Disney/Pixar's Brave." Classical Traditions in Modern Fantasy, 2017, pp. 250-268., doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190610050.003.0012.

Watson, Tom. "Brave Is Actually Quite Brave: Pixars Fantastic Feminist Document." Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 14 July 2012,

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