Psychiatrist Carl Gustave Jung described the archetypes as models of people, behaviors, or personalities that exist in the collective unconscious. Transference is the projection of unconscious contents.
It is often said that a child’s mind is like a sponge.
As you can see, these stories have been around much longer than the Disney films in some form or another. This is how I feel many of these roles became archetypes in the first place. However, Disney in particular, seemed to have some interest in making the adult female role the antihero. Here are some of the Disney Princess movies that contain the archetypes of “princess”, “hero/prince”, and “evil queen”, and where they came from (skip past these, if you are already familiar with the background info):
Rapunzel, a tale with similarities to a Persian tale from the 10th century AD called “Rudaba”, was published by the Brothers Grimm in 1812, which then became the basis for the Disney movie “Tangled”.
The Little Mermaid, published in 1837 by Hans Christian Anderson, became the Disney animated film of the same name in 1989.
Sleeping Beauty, taken from an original story called, “The Beauty sleeping in the wood”, by Charles Perrault, published in 1697, was made into the Disney animated film, 1959.
Snow White, taken from an original story by the Brothers Grimm, in 1812, but completed in 1857, was made into the animated Disney film in 1937.
Cinderella, taken from an original story by Charles Perrault, published in 1697, was later published by the Brothers Grimm in 1812, and made into a Disney animated film in 1950. However, there are earlier versions of this theme, in fables complete with slipper motif, going as far back as the 1st century BCE.
The Set Up:
Cinderella was originally a story about unjust oppression with a reward at the end, and is possibly derived from an original Greek tale called Rhodopis, which contains no evil queen or wicked stepmother. The first version I could find with a wicked stepmother in it is a Chinese tale from 860 AD, called Ye Xian (Yeh Shen). The Disney movie Cinderella has the female antihero in its version, as does Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, and Tangled (taken from Rapunzel). It is my opinion that these particular Disney movies actually serve to disempower women in general, although some of them do show assertive princesses. The repetition of the theme of the oppressed princess (daughter role), trapped by some rendition of the evil queen (mother role), but who ultimately gets rescued by a dashing prince (hero/lover role) does a gross disservice to women in general. By creating a set of unnatural archetypes based on roles from these stories, these roles subconsciously become projected onto people by the little girl (or adult woman who grew up with these stories).
Today’s little girl is more prone to the programming behind these movies, since they are inundated with the movies, DVDs, books, video games, baby dolls, Barbie dolls, coloring books, figurines, room décor, outfits, etc., which all serve to reinforce the “princess” role in the child’s mind, before she has any defenses against such programming. By being exposed to these movies, over and over again (because of the advent of DVDs), and at such a young age (sometimes from birth), this programming is even harder to resist. It is often said that a child’s mind is like a sponge. Since the programming comes through on a subconscious level, the child’s open mind has no filtering mechanism to avoid being programmed. I would be remiss if I didn’t note that the extent to which a child is programmed by these stories may be directly related to the amount of trauma she has received in early childhood.
By making almost every prominent adult female the villain, Disney is effectively subverting a natural bond between mother and daughter by destroying a level of trust between them. In the animal kingdom, baby animals instinctively trust their mother, because the mother has an instinct to protect her young. Humans have these instincts as well, but they are subverted by programming inherent in these movies, among other things. By subconsciously identifying with the oppressed princess, the human daughter is subconsciously projecting the role of evil queen onto her mother (or other prominent female caregiver) who then becomes the antihero to the princess. In this way, the mother has become the enemy in her daughter’s eyes, albeit on a subconscious level. It is simple psychology.
I have witnessed this effect in my life, my adoptive mother’s life, and in my daughter’s life. Looking back, I know I projected the evil queen role onto my mother, but did she subconsciously accept that role to a degree? In my mother’s case, she was indeed “rescued” from her family by her so-called “prince”, but it eventually didn’t work out, and they got a divorce, probably because of unrealistic expectations programmed into my mother’s psyche. I have to wonder if the woman who unknowingly identifies with the princess role as a child, subconsciously accepts the evil queen role when she enters motherhood, simply because it is the most prominent adult female archetype in movies that programmed her as a child. Could that be part of what happened to my mother (in addition to other forms of archetypal transference), and why I was verbally abused and neglected when I was growing up? My mother was also a narcissist, as are the evil queens/wicked stepmothers in the Disney princess movies, and I spent half of my childhood in a literal “house of mirrors”. Could that have come from the programming from these films? In my daughter’s case, I can see how she has internalized these archetypes, because she certainly acts like a little princess and often treats me as if I were the evil queen. I, however, refuse to accept that role. I love my child and have the natural instinct to protect my child. I projected the Huntsman role from Snow White onto my father, and as such, I put him up on a pedestal, even though he was rarely present in my childhood.
I now have to wonder if the programming from these princess movies is the root cause of why little girls seem to fight their mothers about things that are good for them, such as the way my daughter fights me when I tell her to brush her teeth, eat better foods, do her homework, take a bath, etc. While of course children want to play rather than do homework, would they be more apt to follow parents’ instructions if they weren’t watching movies and TV shows that make the parents look either like an enemy or unintelligent? In the case of little girls, these princess movies are the biggest suspect, but in the case of little boys, you can simply take a look at television shows such as The Simpsons, which paint the father in a negative light, and make the children out to be smarter than their parents. If you are programmed by these shows to think that you are smarter than your parents, are you going to trust their advice?
I have been asked why someone would want to do this. There are a few reasons that I can think of:
First, you have to follow the money. It is a multimillion (if not billion) dollar industry, aimed at little girls. Princesses are royalty. What do we know about royalty? They have a whole lot of money and stuff. If you can get those children to identify with the princess role, then you can trigger this programming in media, which can then open them up to new programming in your movies, music, television, and advertisements, thereby making them into good little consumers who will buy, or get their parents to buy, anything you make them want. This is done simultaneously with the sexual subliminal messages found in many Disney films, if not all of them, which then brings the child’s subconscious mind to focus on sex (and on baser desires in general), programming which will be played out later, as the child reaches puberty. While the adage “sex sells” is often used in advertising, that is only one reason for sexual subliminals. By focusing children’s subconscious mind on sex, after already setting up the atmosphere of mistrust between parents and children, they will further stray from their parents’ advice, and it will be harder for them to focus on learning, spirituality, or finding a career.
The little girl who subconsciously identified with the “oppressed princess” role will project the “hero/prince” role onto any boyfriends she has as she gets older. However, these males were not programmed by these movies, and thus don’t fit that role very well. In fact, any boyfriend or husband to the female, who subconsciously identified with the princess role, will most likely grow to resent this woman and complain that she is too “high maintenance”. Well, duh, she’s been programmed to be that way! This sets a girl up for a big disappointment that occurs in the unconscious mind when she subconsciously recognizes that her mate can never fulfill the role of “hero/prince”. This will cause a form of cognitive dissonance that the grown woman will not be able to identify, and thus, she will not be able to address or resolve the issue at heart, if she seeks psychological help. The end result of all of this unrealistic programming is depression, among other mental health issues.
If you can get children to mistrust their parents (especially on a subconscious level they cannot recognize), this makes it easier to program them using the media. By the way, this subconscious programming of little children to mistrust their parents is reinforced when they realize the parents have been lying to them about Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth fairy. Again, this happens on a subconscious level, which makes it all the more insidious and hard to correct, once the damage has been done. It is easier to program a person who lacks foundational values. This is accomplished as a result of the child being somewhat cut-off from a parent’s protective instinct due to the subconscious lack of trust caused by these movies, as well as certain TV shows. How does one deprogram a child that has had the princess programming reinforced throughout their childhood via the umpteen million Disney princess products on the market (mentioned above)? If a parent tries to raise awareness about the issue to the child, the child is not going to admit that they identify with the Disney princess, or Bart or Lisa Simpson for that matter, because it is not in the conscious mind. The fact that it is done on a subconscious level is what makes it work so well.
With these programs in the subconscious mind, triggers can be used to bring this programming to bear in multiple ways. Take the shopping addict for example. Could that be a subconscious reaction to princess programming? How about addiction in general? What about hoarding? Overeating or eating disorders? I already mentioned depression. These mental health issues support an industry already in place: Psychiatric medicine, i.e. pharmaceutical drugs. I feel that many disorders that people suffer are caused by programming, to keep a whole industry running, thereby making a small portion of the population very wealthy from other people’s suffering, without actually curing anything. The only real way to cure some of these issues, in my opinion, is with deprogramming. Most psychiatrists and psychologists out there barely even admit programming exists, much less want to cure it. One begins to see a vicious cycle going on with all of this.
So, if you are a mother with a young daughter, and if you decide to expose your little girl to these movies, I ask you to offer parental guidance with these princess movies. I feel that any movie showing a priest getting an erection during a wedding should not be rated G. I don’t buy the story that it is actually the priest’s knees because the erection scene is one lump, not two.
See “Wash Your Brain” with Freeman Fly and his wife, Jamie, talking about the Disney princess films in more depth, at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQr4Q2fqvI0
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