If the internet could collectively pick a favorite thing, Disney princesses and cute cats would be nos. 1 and 2 in some order. (Harassing people in YouTube comment sections would be #3.)
That’s what makes this news so upsetting. A study out of Brigham Young University, AKA “That Place the People Who Won’t Stop Knocking on Your Door Come From,” comes to the conclusion that obsessing over Disney princesses at a young age can be unhealthy for children. The study, called “Pretty as a Princess: Longitudinal Effects of Engagement with Disney Princesses on Gender Stereotypes, Body Esteem, and Prosocial Behavior in Children” and available here in case you’re the kind of person who actually reads studies and not just the articles based off of them, suggests that kids who get into Disney culture become more critical of their own bodies and perform more stereotypical gender behavior.
In particular, write-ups of the study have noted that a Disney princess obsession can be harmful to young girls. TIME Magazine pointed to a part of the study suggesting that it could make girls “more susceptible to having bad body esteem and less confidence.”
On the other hand, this is a comparatively small study — only 198 preschoolers were analyzed — and has yet to be confirmed or replicated by other research.
What do you think? Are Disney princesses bad for young girls, or should we wait until all the science is in before jumping to conclusions? Let us know in the comments below or @WhatsTrending on Twitter!