Cinderella, Cinderella, All I hear is Cinderella
From the moment that I get up,
Till shades of night are falling
There isn't any let up
I hear them calling calling
“Go up and do the attic and go down and do the cellar
You can do them both together, Cinderella!
Above is the first verse from the Disney Cinderella song and we can automatically see one of the first stereotypes that are linked to women, but this is not the only childhood movie that has sent out a message to the youth before, with or after our generation. Christensen gives us an article full of different Disney movies that unknowingly shaped our mindset and helped to build into the people that we are today whether or not we ourselves see it.
"Even in pre-school years, we are exposed to misinformation about people different from ourselves....we have limited opportunities to interact with people different...." (p.126). When I was growing up, my mom always pushed me to play with other little girls and bought the pink, purple, and yellow outfits and put beads in my hair, and no matter how much I hated playing with Barbie, she continued to buy them. Also, I spent much of my elementary years in the south, and many of the neighborhoods that my family and friends lived in, even those of us who were living relatively well, lived among people who looked more like US, African Americans than having many or even a few Caucasian next door neighbors. So, pretty much, this first quote that I picked out and just drawing from personal experience goes to show us that not only are children pre-exposed to certain movies, but our lives and living circumstances also puts us in a self-identifying category. I did always wonder my Barbie did not look like me, or why many of the Disney Princesses were not identifiable. But luckily i grew up in a very diverse family so things like movies did not affect my life as much as they could have.
"Young people, unprotected by any intellectual armor....The messages or 'secret education,' linked with the security of their homes, underscore the power these text deliver....the stereotypes and worldview embedded in the stories become accepted knowledge." (p.127). Hercules is a story about a wimpy boy whose father is a god, and he grows up to be this strong and masculine hero who all of the women wants and he saves the city from all kinds of trouble. Snow White is a princess of the Forest who lives with seven dwarfs who takes care of her. Aladdin is a Middle-eastern peasant who is seen as a thief, and Hunchback of NotreDame is a ugly man who is put in the highest towers never to be seen because he is tricked into believing that no one will love him but his master because he is image is not bearable. All of these movies give their individual stereotypes about different class, gender, and nationality of people. We were exposed to thinking that ugly people are not to be seen in public, or that Middle-easterners are robbers, and that only men can be heroes. This is what this quote means, without our knowledge we contained a secret message from these cartoons and held on to them as psychological luggage and did not even realize it.
"...The dissection of dreams has been a major cause of depression for me. Not so much, dissecting --- but how I react to what is found as a result of the operation." (p.128). The hardest part about learning something new about one's self is accepting the truth about it and being able to go out and explain to the world the same things that they are involving in their lives and embedding into their children. Learning that what you dreamed of as a child is all lies or misleading and it has helped construct who you are today is a blow to life. Christensen explains to us what that is like. Living your life one way to find out that it has been done the wrong way the entire time, how do you recover, and this is what we are trying to teach our youth now, before the fall too deep into the secret society of knowledge.