Pizza rolls are way better than gender roles.
In a new video for MTV's web series "Braless," YouTube star Laci Green explains how Disney's portrayals of women and men create absurd expectations for everyone. While the harmful effects of of the stereotypical female Disney characters may be more obvious, the gender norms for men in these films are just as troublesome.
"While women in Disney films have often been told that they need a man to save them," Green says in the video. "There's a man that's expected to be the knight and shining armor." That's a lot of pressure for both sides.
In the video Green defines gender roles as the "set of social expectations assigned based on your sex," which are enforced through activities we're assigned to do, clothes we're told wear and the behaviors we're awarded or punished for. Guys are told to be tough, confident and fearless, while women are taught to be nurturing and passive. And what better place to see these stark gender roles than in Disney movies?
As Green notes, the most obvious issue with Disney's portrayal of masculinity is body type. From Hercules to Tarzan and Gaston, almost all of the leading men in Disney movies are big, tall, muscular, straight, able-bodied and (usually) white. "These are some of the subtle indicators that in the perfect Disney fantasy domination is central to being a real man," she says.
"It tells men that they should not only be physically strong but brave, emotionally unwavering, unquestioning in the face of danger, knowing exactly what to do and when to do it or risk looking like a fool."
Watch the full video above.