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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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ara Williams

Professor Larrimore

October 20, 2017

English 211

Little Girls or Little Women? The Disney Princess Effect Rhetorical Analysis

The Disney princess franchise, created by Andy Mooney, has been watched and adored by families around the world for decades, but in the rise of modern day feminism and the eradication of gender roles Disney's interpretation of women is starting to raise a few eyebrows. It has become evident that girls are starting to act more mature at a much younger age which leads to them being sexualized. Considering young girls obsession with Disney princesses many parents are left wondering if the Disney princess franchise is acting as an aid in this horrific epidemic. In Stephane Hanes article, Little Girls or Little Women? The Disney Princess Effect, Hanes explores the seemingly innocent world of Disney princesses and the psychological effect they have on their core fan base, young girls. Hanes attempts to inform her audience about the negative impact that Disney Princesses can have on young girls' minds and life. Hanes does an excellent job of thoroughly explaining her argument and uses concrete evidence from mothers, authors, professors and psychologist to support her claims. Hanes, effectively uses ethos, pathos and logos to persuade her audience, the parents of these young girls, to believe that the Disney princess franchise along with media outlets such as televisions, social networks, and magazines are contributing to the over sexualization of young girls. She also wants to inform her audience about the harmful effects the Disney princess franchise and other media outlets have on young girls and how detrimental it is to their self-esteem and self-development. In the beginning of the article we learn about the obsession of young girls wanting to meet their prince charming. When we are introduced to five-year-old Caiomhe, we are also introduced to her obsession interfering with her childhood. As the article proceeds, we learn just how frightening and life changing “The Disney Princess Effect” can be. Hanes incorporates ethos and logos into her article to further support her claims. The statistics included in “Little Girls or Little Women? The Disney Princess Effect” helps Hanes develop a trusting relationship between her and her audience. Hanes' also appeals to logos by using strong statistics and logical appeals. Due to the amount of statistics, data and research articles, the reader can be certain that most of the article is based on facts and not just opinions. By including statistics and research articles, the logos appeal is reinforced throughout the paper. Facts like “The marketing group NPD Fashionworld reported in 2003 that more than 1.6 million is spent annually on thong-under-wear for 7 to 12 year olds”, “according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the percentage of television shows with sexual content increased from 54 percent in1998 to 70 percent in 2005” and proves Hanes' point that young girls are being exposed to sexual content at a younger age than ever before. These statistics provide logical support that back Hanes' statement that young girls in today's world are over sexualized, and sheds light on how real the issue truly is.

 Pathos is crucial when trying to write an effective persuasive article. Hanes includes statements from parents that have personally been effected by the “Disney princess effect”.  Mary Finucane is the mother of 3-year–old, Disney princess fanatic, Caoimhe. Finucane reported that her daughter “stopped running and jumping and insisted on wearing only dresses”, “she sat on the front step quietly- waiting for her prince” and “she seemed less imaginative, less spunky, less interested in the world”. These heart-wrenching statements give a powerful emotional punch and tug on the heartstrings of any parent with a young daughter. The word selections are so descriptive that they paint a picture that makes the reader feel like it is their child. This helps the reader become emotionally attached to the issue. The reader may also reminisce on childhood memories while reading the beginning of the article because of the vivid diction used. The captions and subject matter also appeal to pathos because the reader is exposed to words like “sexy,” and “hot.” These words are not typically used when talking about or referring to children, consequently making the reader feel uncomfortable. The reader is forced to feel these emotions when reading this article which means the author has effectively used pathos. In this article, Hanes relies heavily on pathos to persuade her audience that the “Disney princess effect” is a problem that parents should be concerned about.

In Stephane Hanes article, Little Girls or Little Women? The Disney Princess Effect, Hanes tackles the issue of Disney's influence in the growing epidemic of the sexualization of young girls head on. Throughout the article Hanes effectively uses ethos, pathos and logos to persuade her audience, the parents of these young girls, to believe that the Disney princess franchise along with media outlets such as televisions, social networks, and magazines are contributing to the over sexualization of young girls.  She also wants to inform her audience about the harmful effects the Disney princess franchise and other media outlets have on young girls and how detrimental it is to their self-esteem and self-development. Hanes' daunting opening statement “In today's highly sexualized environment-where 5-year-olds wear padded bras, some see the toddlers-and-tiaras Disney princess craze leading to the pre-teen pursuit of “hot” looks” “Do little girls become little women too soon?” perfectly foreshadows her article. The notorious “Disney princesses effect” can cause young girls to grow up too fast. They feel that they need to start searching for their prince charming when they are still children. This thought can cause girls to mature too fast to the point that they may feel like they need to wear makeup at the tender age of ten to attract more guys. Hanes used the personal experiences of mothers who are dealing with the “Disney princess effect” to help persuade other parents with young daughters that this is a real issue that they should be concerned about. Through ethos, logos, and pathos Hanes has informed her audience about the “Disney princess effect” and persuaded her audience to take action against it.

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