Tuesday, April 8, 2014
I thought I would share the experience I had tonight after babysitting a young boy (6 years old) and a young girl (4 years old). We were watching Disney's Beauty and the Beast, before bed, and the scene where Gaston sings his song really caught Little Jack's attention. He knew all the words! Despite that, I noticed how he mimicked Gaston's movements in the scene, flexing his muscles, drinking and saying cheers with his cup of water (as the people in the pub do with their beer in the movie), and even punching his sister in the arm! It was then that I realized how much of an impact something as innocent as a scene (with the intention of humor) from a Disney movie can influence gender roles on young minds. Minds as young as children in early years. Boys are expected to grow into men that fit into a Gaston man box... "for there's no one as burly and brawny" and "not an inch of him scraggly or scrawny". It is becoming increasingly difficult to protect children from falling into the roles that society has assigned.