Thursday, March 6, 2014

James Bond or Snow White?

So I came across this blog that documented famous Disney controversies surrounding some of their past films and the final controversy they sighted had to do with concept of the 'Disney Princess'.  The article referenced the unrealistic expectation that Disney has placed on young women throughout the ages.  This is nothing new and it has been debated endlessly over the past several years.  

Gazing at the image, the one thing that started to sink into my thoughts was the 'number' of Disney Princess that have been manufactured by Walt & Company since the 1930s.  There is over a dozen of them, all with the same basic story line and same basic physical characteristics.
This got me reminiscing about when I was attending senior level business courses in college, one of the key mantras of American Capitalism was, "Create a Need, Then Fill That Need". Where being successful, which means making a lot of money, entails that you find out something the people want (not necessarily need) and then market and sell something to fulfill that need.  Apparently Disney hit on this back in the 1930s and has been running with it ever since.  

This further got me thinking that American profit making can't be limited to one gender.  Women could not be the only targets of this tactic.  So how have the American Media Conglomerates targeted the American Male?  The first thing that comes to mind is the James Bond franchise.  Bond is cool, suave, sophisticated, lots of random sex with beautiful women, neat cars, licensed to kill, all the things that men want.  There have been almost as many Bonds as there have been Disney Princesses.  

Next came the ultra macho male film stereotype, epitomized by Arnold Schwartznegger in his various films of the 80s and 90s. (Commando, Predator, Total Recall, Eraser, etc....).  I recently watched a copy of Commando on LaserDisc and was on the floor laughing at just how ludicrous and funny it was.  Nothing but huge steroid induced muscles, catchy one-liners delivered in a heavy German accent and a body count that had to be in the hundreds, literally. 
Since bigger is always better in the male world, Arnold appears to have given way to the ultra large robot movie such as Michael Bays 'Transformer' series (I believe that the 4th one is about to be released) and the gawd awful 'Pacific Rim'. When your muscles can only get so big, make a 12 story ultra-muscular robot that kills things.  Again, create that need and fill it. 
This all makes lots of Money, Money, Money for the media conglomerates while we teach impressionable women to be be ultra thin and find a male for happiness and impressionable men, to get bigger guns and use more steroids.  

My point being.  This is all leading us down the wrong path.  This imagery of wanting and desiring such things is not only wrong, but downright hazardous to the health of society.  The only people that this type of stereotyping is good for are the owners of the large media companies.  We don't allow companies to advertise cigarettes and hard liquor to impressionable people, why do we allow them to market this type of behavior?