Growing up, like a lot of people, I watched Disney movies. Because of that. Disney princess movies were on heavy rotation along with The Lion King and Peter Pan. Looking back, I remember watching Cinderella and The Little Mermaid the most. I have watched all these movies so many times, including newer additions like Frozen and Tangled.
After rewatching these movies you would think I would have caught all the little details, but I didn’t. A few days ago I came across a Facebook post that had side-by-side comparisons of how Disney princesses are drawn and a version of those without makeup. Only then did I realize that they were actually drawn with makeup on, from eyeshadow to lipstick. I was so shocked that I never really noticed it before.
This whole time, Belle had on eyeliner and mascara, Ariel wore lipstick and mascara, and Elsa had some crazy purple and pink eyeshadow look going on. Maybe subconsciously I knew it was there but seeing the contrast next to a bare-faced comparison really got my attention.
And then, I started to wonder, why are these cartoons drawn with a full beat? Perhaps it could just be that they wanted to add some “life” and color to the princesses’ faces. However, I also started to think to myself if some little girls (and boys) were affected by this somehow. Did they watch these movies and think, “I want winged eyeliner like Princess Jasmine!”
Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with makeup and people wearing it. But, your obsession with highlighters and foundation might have started earlier than you thought. Adults might not notice it, but for kids, it could already be instilling unrealistic expectation of how they should look. Let’s face it, kids can look up to their favorite cartoon character and if it just so happens that it’s a princess whose covered in makeup, they might want the same thing and even try to emulate. Sure, it’s funny and cute when a five-year-old gets into her mother’s makeup bag and messily applies red lipstick all over her face. But, it’s a totally different story when she grows up and realizes she wants more than that. I respect anyone’s decision to do whatever they want to their bodies but society shouldn’t dictate how we should look and set unrealistic standards at a young age.