This study aims
to examine how gender roles and body image are portrayed in Disney Princess
movies. The author goal is to measure whether Moana is the most revolutionary
princess, and if she fully breaks the stereotypical behavioral and physical
depictions of women. Thus below research questions are proposed:
Moana possess less stereotypical feminine, and more masculine behavior traits
than previous princesses?
Moana presents less stereotypical female body image, that previous Disney
To measure the
change of gender roles and body image among Disney Princesses, this study used
a content analysis. A content analysis “is a technique for examining
information, or content, in written or symbolic material” (Neuman, 2007, p.
20). This methodology has been chosen in order to measure traditional feminine
and masculine behavioral and physical traits. Similar methodology has been
shown to be useful and valid in previous research (Thompson & Zerbinos,
1995). England et al. (2011) suggested this method allows researchers to
collect quantitative information about the types of behavior portrayed by the princesses.
consists of one Disney movie, exhibiting leading female character called Moana.
This movie was analyzed, as it is the latest Disney Princess movie, and has not
yet been examined in terms of gender role and beauty image. That is why, this
paper aims to fill this gap. Apart from Moana (2016), eight
other Disney Princess movies, were presented in the literature review namely:
Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Pocahontas, Mulan, Little Mermaid, The
Princess and the Frog, Frozen, and Merida, in order to conduct a comparison.
These movies were chosen, as they represent all three Disney Princess periods.
and physical traits items, used to examine the princess, were taken from
previous studies. The author of the study adapted the England et al. (2011)
coding system to match this research’
objectives. Based on England and
colleagues (2011), the following behaviors were coded as traditionally feminine:
affectionate, easy to cry, and masculine traits included items, such strong, or
aggressive. In order to measure the change in body image, feminine and
masculine physical traits will be used. The author created the coding sheet,
based on England et al. (2011), and Johnson
(2015) study. The coding sheet with full list of feminine and masculine traits
can be found in Appendix A and Appendix B.
3.5 Coding procedure
author will carefully watch Moana (2016)
movie twice. The movie is about 100 min long. The coding sheet provides a space
to mark, present in the movie, items. The study will focus on the leading
female character, when she is appearing on the screen. If a crucial for the
research action occurs, the movie will be was paused and coded. The film will
be fast forwarded, during the absence of the princess on the screen. In addition, the script of the
film will be read twice to make sure, none of the behavioral and physical
traits was omitted.