Robinson, Tom II, Scott Haden Church, Clark Callahan, Mckenzie Madsen & Anna Lucia Pollock (2020, January). Virtue, royalty, dreams and power: Exploring the appeal of Disney Princesses to preadolescent girls in the United States. Journal of Children and Media. (ePub in advance of print) (doi: 10.1080/17482798.2020.1711787) (Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/17482798.2020.1711787)

Abstract: For years the Disney Princesses have been at the top in box office tickets and their merchandising sales have reached into the billions. With this success there has been concern about the influence these princesses have on preadolescent girls’ lives and their self-esteem. The purpose of this study was to ask preadolescent girls why there is such a strong attraction toward, adoration for, and devotion to the Disney Princesses. The study was conducted using Q methodology, a behavioral research approach that allows for the measurement of attitudes, opinions, and beliefs. The results produced four factors labeled The Virtuous, who looked at the princesses’ positive personality attributes, The Royalists who liked the princesses because of their beauty, gowns, and royal status, The Dreamers who seemed to yearn for the princesses’ lifestyle and creating a better life for themselves, and The Grrrls who liked the princesses who were confident and strong. Overall, this study indicates that preadolescent girls do not take the princesses at face value and recognized the actions and behaviors of the princesses first. They see beyond the physical attributes of the princesses and understand they do not have to be beautiful to be confident and kind to others.

Tom Robinson II <tom_robinson@byu.edu> is in the School of Communications, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT (USA).

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