Date of Award
Joseph O' Brien
The Disney Princess franchise is arguably the largest and most popular franchise in the world, earning billions of dollars globally each year. Due to the prevalence and ease of access, the Disney princesses have a tremendous impact on today’s youth, namely young girls. This qualitative study investigated just how much of an impact the Disney Princess franchise has on American girls ages 6-12 through the production of a documentary film, entitled The Shattered Slipper Project. The research team selected girls from private schools in Lakeland, Florida and Sharpsburg, Georgia. The researcher conducted two interviews—one a roundtable-style group interview focusing on body image and a personal interview focusing on gender roles and race. With regards to body image, the girls communicated that Disney princesses have body types different than those of real women, and that, by animating the characters in such a way, the Walt Disney Company sends certain messages about what body types are ideal. The girls expressed progressive values with regards to gender roles and race, looking beyond traditional masculine and feminine roles and the prejudices that continue to characterize America’s cultural landscape.
Cordwell, Caila Leigh, "The Shattered Slipper Project: The Impact of the Disney Princess Franchise on Girls Ages 6-12" (2016). Selected Honors Theses. 57.