Gender Roles in Disney Movies BY Mtzzou23 Gender Roles in Life-Size In the made for television Disney movie, Life-Size (2000), Lindsey Lohan stars as a 7th grade tomboy named Casey Stuart whose mom died recently. Casey attempts to bring her back to life with magic, however her plans go awry. Instead of her mom, Casey brings a doll named Eve to life. Eve is a fashion doll similar to Barbie, and played by Tyra Banks. Eve comes into the world thinking she is still as perfect as she was when she was a doll. Eve begins to win over Casers dad, people around the ffice she works in, and eventually Casey.
Eve soon begins to learn how to be human with help from Casey. However, doll sales are suffering because young girls don’t want to buy fashion dolls anymore. So Eve must return to her life as a doll with the knowledge she has learned from Casey and her dad to save the doll sales. After learning about the Mickey Mouse Monopoly, watching this movie (which was once one of my favorite Disney movies) was almost comical. The movie immediately opens with Casey on the football field, bickering with some boy about how he plays, and he mmediately says, miou throw like a girl… o play with your dolls”. So right off the bat, you can see the conflict between Casey and the idea of femininity. The motif of dolls being used as an ideal for women is also shown. The commercial for Eve portrays her as a beautiful, fashionable, social woman who can do any career. However, all the things Eve is shown doing are shopping, driving around in her convertible, going to the beach, being in the kitchen, and some lower level careers. Once Eve is brought to life, the female stereotypes start, and Casey and Eve butt heads from the beginning.
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Eve comes off as very beautiful (Tyra Banks is a model after all), ditzy, instinctually flirty with all men she encounters, has a valley girl accent, always happy and bubbly, confident, and extremely “girly’. Whenever asked what she wants to do, the first thing she says as her eyes light up is, “let’s go to the mall! ” She tries on dramatic, costume- like outfits and puts on a show for Casey and her dad. She refers to shopping as “doing what [girls] do best”. All Eve seems to worry about are clothes, accessories, doing her hair and makeup, pop music, and experiencing the world around her.
She is extremely innocent, childish, and superficial. Eve constantly refers to herself as “positive image of womanhood” even though she can’t read or do simple secretarial tasks. This Disney movie is basically saying the ideal woman is portrayed by Eve, but Eve is a doll. At one point in the movie, Casey and Eve are talking about life and Eve says she’s “supposed to always be perfect”, but Casey disagrees saying no one is perfect. The entire movie is comparing women to dolls and showing that the prettier they are, the more they can get away with (regardless of how good they are at ctually doing anything).
It sends messages to girls who watch it that if you are beautiful, you can do anything. Boys will like you, you can do any career, other women will be Jealous of you, and more. Heck, after watching it I even wanted to get up and fix myself up. By the end of the movie, Casey gets the message across to Eve that life isn’t all about looks; its about feeling human emotions like love and pain. However, by the end of the hour and a half movie, the takeaway isn’t that. It’s the ideal female stereotype portrayed by a doll.