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Gender Roles and Stereotypes in Cinderella

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Words: 562 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Mar 16, 2024

Words: 562|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Mar 16, 2024

Cinderella is a timeless fairy tale that has been passed down through generations and has been adapted into numerous films, books, and other forms of media. The story revolves around a young girl who is mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters but ultimately finds her happily ever after with the help of a fairy godmother and a glass slipper. While the story may seem innocent on the surface, a closer examination reveals underlying gender roles and stereotypes that have been perpetuated through the years.

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One of the most prominent gender roles depicted in Cinderella is the idea of women being passive and submissive. From the beginning of the story, Cinderella is portrayed as a meek and obedient character who endures the mistreatment of her stepfamily without protest. This perpetuates the stereotype of women as being passive and willing to endure suffering without standing up for themselves. This sends a harmful message to young audiences, particularly young girls, that they should accept mistreatment and oppression without resistance.

Furthermore, the idea of beauty as a defining trait for women is heavily reinforced in Cinderella. The story places a strong emphasis on Cinderella's physical appearance, particularly her beauty, which ultimately leads to her meeting the prince and finding her happily ever after. This perpetuates the stereotype that a woman's worth is tied to her physical appearance and reinforces unrealistic beauty standards for women. This can have damaging effects on young audiences, particularly young girls, who may feel pressured to conform to these unrealistic standards in order to be valued and accepted in society.

Additionally, the portrayal of the stepmother and stepsisters in Cinderella perpetuates the stereotype of women being jealous and competitive with one another. The stepmother and stepsisters are depicted as cruel and envious characters who mistreat Cinderella out of jealousy and spite. This perpetuates the harmful stereotype of women being catty and competitive with one another, rather than supportive and nurturing. This can have negative effects on young audiences, particularly young girls, who may internalize these stereotypes and believe that women are inherently mean-spirited and competitive with one another.

It is important to note that gender roles and stereotypes are not limited to the portrayal of female characters in Cinderella. The male characters in the story also adhere to traditional gender roles, particularly the prince who is depicted as strong, heroic, and in a position of power. This perpetuates the stereotype of men being dominant and in control, while women are passive and in need of rescue. This reinforces traditional gender norms and can have a detrimental impact on both young boys and girls, as it limits their understanding of gender and perpetuates harmful stereotypes.

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While Cinderella may be a beloved fairy tale, it is important to critically examine the gender roles and stereotypes that are perpetuated through the story. The passive and submissive portrayal of Cinderella, the emphasis on physical beauty, and the depiction of female characters as jealous and competitive all contribute to harmful gender stereotypes that can have a lasting impact on young audiences. It is important for media creators to be mindful of the messages they are sending, particularly when it comes to perpetuating harmful gender roles and stereotypes. By challenging and reimagining traditional gender norms in stories like Cinderella, we can work towards creating a more inclusive and equitable society for future generations.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Gender Roles And Stereotypes in Cinderella. (2024, March 15). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 18, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/gender-roles-and-stereotypes-in-cinderella/
“Gender Roles And Stereotypes in Cinderella.” GradesFixer, 15 Mar. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/gender-roles-and-stereotypes-in-cinderella/
Gender Roles And Stereotypes in Cinderella. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/gender-roles-and-stereotypes-in-cinderella/> [Accessed 18 Jul. 2024].
Gender Roles And Stereotypes in Cinderella [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 15 [cited 2024 Jul 18]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/gender-roles-and-stereotypes-in-cinderella/
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