Friday, June 1, 2007

Too Small>Too Big

Ever since we were little children, certain ideas have been taught to us. These ideas may not have been as direct as a parent explicitly telling us what is right and/or wrong, but more often on the backs of movies, television shows, video games, and magazines. Since we were little, we have been taught a few things that still stick with a majority of society today:

Women are to be constantly searching for their man, and once he is found, life is worth living.
Yeah, this idea, while sounding ridiculous, is one that is being taught in pretty much every single Disney princess film ever. Cinderella, for example, ties into both points I feel like making. In this respect, she helps to further that idea because her life was simply miserable and full of chores until she met the rich and handsome prince, with whom she later lived happily ever after (or so they claim...) And, the other point?

It is better to be too small as opposed to too big. Also, ugly people are evil.
Cinderella is a prime example of this. Why? The Stepsisters of course! In fact, they were even called the ugly stepsisters! They were the ones whose gigantic feet made them realize that it was Cinderella's dainty feet the prince was after. These were the two that made Cinderella's life a living hell. What sense does it make that the ugly ones would be the evil ones? You would think that "adorably dainty" Cinderella would have the immediate upper-hand... But then again, when was the last time you saw someone who was ugly and made fun of in a children's movie? Oh yeah, uhm, maybe once or twice? Ever? Let alone someone who is fat in a movie! Example using Disney again: URSULA. You know, the evil woman beneath the sea in the Little Mermaid (and does that name not imply everything you need to know about small>big?) who tried her best to screw her over? Yeah, she was definitely quite big, and there she was, being the bully while the little mermaid struggled to get to her man. Honestly, it's this society in a nutshell, and I don't think that's because of society forming what our entertainment is, but rather, shaping what society is to/did become. Movies such as Surf's Up, about a small penguin trying to make it in a world for bigger penguins, television shows such as Hey Arnold! where the only fat kid is stupid, overeats, and is a bully, and even the character Piglet, whose mere existence as a tiny piglet implies someone who is caught behind where they are supposed to be, all only add to the idea that it's better to be too small and helpless than be big and helpless because, hey, if you're big or ugly you're just plain mean. Maybe we should just start issuing warnings to children instead of using subliminal messages in films/etc: WARNING TO CHILDREN- If someone is fat or ugly, they will be mean to you, so beat them to it! Also, if someone is dainty and helpless, be nice to them because no one else will be nice to them unless you are!

By the way, today was my last day of high school. EVAR. I'm t3h excited :)


Yummy Rum said...

Ursula wasn't so bad. I like a take-charge kind of woman. Plus, she had nice boobs. And tentacles? Rawr, how kinky!

But yeah, Hey Arnold! wasn't exactly the epitome of acceptance, though every kid kind of had their pitfalls. Though Arnold was smart and well-liked, he was also pretty loserly.

And don't forget Piglet's best friend, the hugable and gluttonous Pooh Bear, who everybody loves! =D

Kunoichi said...

In Little Mermaid II, they had Ursula's twin sister - who was extremely tall and rail thin.

I liked Ursula, actually - she had style! *L* I thought she was the best character of the movie.

Emerald said...

Disney has a lot to answer for.
Those 'ugly' sisters were, in earlier versions, 'beautiful but wicked of heart'. As people can be.

To be fair, a lot of Disney villainesses have been skinny...Snow White's stepmother, Cruella de Vil...and Disney gives Cinders those three godmothers, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather, who, despite being tiny in scale, are also comfortably plump.

When I think back to childhood characters, one stands out amongst the general run of fat adults who were mean bullies, and fat kids who were mean bullies and/or ate and whined all the time. Anyone familiar with that doyenne of traditional British kids' books, Enid Blyton? Her Famous Five were popular over here, as were her Secret Seven, but she also wrote books starring another kids' gang called the Five Find-Outers, who were forever solving crimes that the adults couldn't crack. They were led by a boy known only as Fatty. He was indeed fat. And he was also incredibly brainy, a fantastic amateur sleuth, a master of disguise - able to pass himself off as a variety of adult characters, even fooling the local police - and definitely the star of the books. I don't recall ever finding another character that positive, unfortunately. (And I'd like him to have been a girl, natch.)

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