Saturday, June 25, 2011

The downs of Disney

Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful young girl, barely out of her single digit years it seems. Singing like a morning breeze in the face of a livid storm.  Her world is perfect... except for her stuck up, ugly sisters and her overbearing father.  If only it wasn't for him, she could go off on her own and have the time of her life, because he is dumb and she is smart (Hmmm... well).  So when she innocently (as in deliberately disobeying him) tries to have fun, he gets angry and refuses to listen to her, no matter how loud she gets.  Then one day she finds a handsome prince in trouble.  It appears she is the good neighbor when saving him, yet when she delivers him to safety, she kisses him in his unconsciousness (talk about gross!).  She goes to the evil Ursula and trades, apparently, her most valuable possession, her voice, and risks all to go to this prince, with whom she has fallen in love with. (I'm glad the most valuable thing about me isn't my voice, even if it was as good as hers). You see, she meets this man once whom she will risk everything to run away to, hiding in a place so far away her family will never find her. (Yikes!) Their first night together, they almost kiss, but then are separated by evil forces (What a shame... I think).  But ol' Daddi-O comes to the rescue, risking the lives of all his subjects, and then apologizes for his harshness and lets her do whatever her heart desires, because its all about what your heart wants anyway, isn't it?  Ariel marries Eric and they live happily ever after because nothing ever goes wrong when your married and in love.  End of story - honest and true.

This is a typical Disney story.  Beautiful, wouldn't you agree?  Can you detect my oozing sarcasm seeping through your computer screen from mine?

Pink gowns, flowing hair in elegant masses piled to perfection.  Dainty hands and synched waists accentuating huge, perfected eyes fringed in curling lashes.  Tiny 'kini's and fins, or ball skirts with a low bodice, perhaps Jasmin's bubble pants over her itty bitty booty with an off-the-shoulder belly top.  Even at a wee-tiny age, I would look at Ariel's waist and think, "Hmmm, now I don't look like that."  For a very long time, their bodies were a standard of perfection... until the sickness affected me to the stage when I thought even they were fat.

The Disney princess movies - and it doesn't matter if they are VHS or DVD now - encourage instant gratification, lust portrayed in a good and "pure" way, aggressive dating, always happy endings, love-at-first-sight and kiss-at-first-chance, the philosophy that your heart is always right, and rebelling against higher and wiser authority.

A little deep for the children,
don't ya think?!

Am I saying that Disney is a sick, twisted process, and today's sex-drenched media and teen attitudes are to be blamed on them?  No.  I'm just saying that something so seemingly innocent can portray something so wrong.  How can you ask your children to listen when you explain that it's best to not have boyfriends and flirt at a young age, and then later say sex before marriage and go-with-your-very-first-crush aren't good when you put Cinderella, Snow White, Bell, and Jasmine in the safe-for-all ages category, and gush over the cute princess shirt with Ariel on the front, and dress them in a shiny purple shell bra and fins for Halloween?

I recently watched "The sorcerers Apprentice" on Netflix.  It was pretty good compared to most PG movies I've seen.  Here we see the main character falling for Becky in 2nd grade.  (Just so you know, that's normal for kids. It happens, though it shouldn't be applauded and encouraged.)  "Friend or Girlfriend?" the note reads.  He doesn't find out the answer until 10 years later, after some major dating a kisses.  That's typical.  That is so typical its lame now.  We get that high from our first kiss, but then we want more, we get more, and then its normal, and then its lame.  Then we move on to the next step...
These movies, along with millions of others, introduce this "first step" very young.  Some of you may have seen the controversial news on Yahoo about a 6-year-old's mom broadcasting her 6-year-old son's kiss with his girlfriend on YouTube... at 6 years old.   Sadly, that's very typical.  I could name a hundred more shows, movies, and video games where this is plentiful.  Beethoven's 1st through 3rd, Karate Kid, etc.

At that age, we are very vulnerable.  I know I was.  Remember Snow White?  When that kiss was the only thing that would save her from the sleeping death? 

We are giving these images to
very young children, along with
their (warped) standard of
romance and "purity".

The single years we all have is very valuable to prepare for the rest of our lives!  To be a better servant, spouse, parent, relative, friend, Christian, thinker/processor, and contributor to the world around us.  The kiss, or one of the very first steps in sensual involvement, is not what saves us from our miserable little missing-out time.  It is a reward and a prize kept for one you have been saving yourself for, and oh boy, will it be good!  (I'm not saying that from experience, I'm still very single, and very happy at that :).

Lets go over a few of the messages here:

Instant Gratification-
Hey, we all know its not the best.  Its fun.  Its instant.  Its gratifying... for a while.  But it's usually more like a farce.  This is one of America's biggest addictions!  "What do you mean we don't have money for it?  Take out a loan!", "Did you eat too many sweets?  Take some drugs, you'll feel better, and we'll do the same thing tomorrow", "We want to wait for children and marriage and have fun now; lets just take birth control pills or have an abortion", or "This Nation needs more stuff to make people feel better, so lets just borrow it from a Communist country so that we are indebted to them for the next 5 generations - that will make us feel really good, and get America out of the pit.".  That sound familiar?

Isn't that what America is all about?  Huh?  Are we proud of this?  I hope not!  I know I'm not, and I also know that Walt Disney, the "wonderful man in the office who inspired so many to live their dreams and get back to the magic of childhood" may not have known that he was inspiring kids to grow up too fast, with a wrong world view, and unrealistic and dangerous expectations of love and relationships.  But if he did, I think we are in trouble.  I also know that Walt Disney, the "wonderful man in the office" was also a very perverted man, steeped in... well... things, lets say.  I'm hoping that his "inspiration" for these cartoons arent dredged from his own experience and lust in the world of "love".

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