Sleeping Beauty: I’m not really sure I get the message of this Disney movie. : One of a few my mother wouldn’t let me watch because she felt that being gifted beauty and song was something that a child shouldn’t feel was the most important thing for someone to be gifted with. “You could be gifted with intelligence, a good heart, honesty, the ability to listen or a giving heart.” The same rant every single time sleeping beauty is brought up. My mother does have a point. Beauty and the ability of song doesn’t seem like it would get you very far in life. But then again society sometimes prefers a pretty face and a good voice over actual intelligence or a caring heart, just look at Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears (I say good voice loosely).
There are many instances in this film where women are put into their gender roles based on society. Beauty and song are both big things that are portrayed. The film gives the idea that a woman must have a beautiful voice and a pretty face to be worth it to society. There is also a constraint that is put on age in the film. The curse that is put on Aurora, sleeping beauty, by the witch doesn’t go away until her 16th birthday, which coincidently is the age that she falls in love with Prince Phillip. Society is under this impression that the age of 16 is the age that girls become women and are then suppose to marry.
When viewing the evil witch Maleficent you find the other side of how women are viewed in this movie. They are either seen as beautiful and whimsical or completely unattractive and therefore because they are unattractive they must be evil. Even her name is male dominated with Maleficent. There is no rhyme or reason as to why she is evil, maybe because she is so less attractive then sleeping beauty or maybe because she wasn’t brought up into the same loving family that sleeping was brought into.
The way that sleeping beauty is poisoned is with a spindle on a spinning wheel. Which is where women of the time should have been I suppose, making thread and doing domesticated household duties. In the movie they get rid of every spinning wheel in the entire country but she still manages get herself poisoned. The witch manages to get sleeping beauty into a chamber and gets her to prick her finger. The idea being that because she is blond and beautiful she is easily distracted and easily taken advantage of.
Cleary Disney is trying to tell us that women need to be in the kitchen or in the chamber making some thread unless you are two beautiful to do so.