The Evolution Of Female Characters That Popular Culture Has Offered To Girls!

The Evolution Of Female Characters That Popular Culture Has Offered To Girls!

April 13 2017 - 04:08pm

It's not easy to come by these days! 

We wouldn't be wrong if we claim that every book, every movie, or every TV series serves to abolish or to strengthen certain ideologies. Everything is political; even the animated movies for children!

Now we're setting out on a journey starting with the first adaptation of old fairy tales to the latest productions, and we'll see how 'ideal' female characters have changed.


Disney's first animation was Snow White, which we all knew by heart when we were children. It was released in 1937.

Before going into the details of the Snow White character, we should ask only one question of ourselves: Do you remember the voice of Snow White? Or anything she actually said? No, because the main character Snow White in the Disney animation didn't have much to say, which had frequently been shown on TV until the 80s!

Yet, the voice is important. The voice is the thought of our mind. 

She was the meaning of 'passive.' She was fearsome, she was the victim and she was even acknowledged in the dwarfs' home since she was beautiful and was doing the housework. She was tricked by a woman and saved by a man without her consent. But, she was content with her life, because marrying a prince was every girl's dream.

Cinderella was another classical princess but at least she was rebel enough to run from home to pursue her dreams. It came out in 1950.

She made her choices freely only once in the story. That choice was to go to the ball to meet the prince. It was not much to brag about, but it was progress when you think historically. She was more confident than Snow White, at least she was aware of her desires, and was trying to pursue her dreams.

The Little Mermaid! Ariel was the prettiest character. At last, a character-wise and a colorful princess was created. It was 1989.

She fell in love, not with the title of the man, but with his appearance. She revolted and runs from home, biting off more than she could chew... She was more successful compared to the previous princesses, wasn't she?

But, at the same time, she gave up her home, her family, and even her voice to marry a man. In order to marry the man she loved, she made an agreement with a witch and she dared to lose her voice. The movie had the message that 'marriage and love were the most important things in the world for a woman.' Oh! Ariel, you were so dumb!

While Disney was feeding girls with stories of marriage and princesses, a different female character arose on the TV screens: She-Ra! It was 1985.

She was unrivaled and she was the first. She created great excitement. We were yearning for such a female character, we even didn't worry about her being the sidekick in He-Man. Ahh! Those were the good old days!

Then, Disney presented us with yet another princess. Jasmine was a woman of power, a know-it-all princess who could make her own decisions. It was 1992.

However, she was going after a man, of course. A man who lied, who hid the truth... But, at least they were having too much fun!

Princess Jasmin was the first character who was not white. She chose the man she'd marry. Disney was livening up gently. See? These were just small excitements!

At last, a princess who didn't put love at the center of her life and her story: Pocahontas. It was 1995.

For Pocahontas, mother nature, her tribe and her homeland were what was important. She was a clever and independent princess who had a deeper understanding than white men. 

She was not married. Look, this is a revolution! For the first time, a princess didn't feel that it was necessary for her to marry for her life to be 'complete.'

Just at that period, the heroine of the girls, our only warrior princess showed up: Xena! It was 1995.

She blew our minds! Even if we didn't have the consciousness to cry 'Women are strong,' we played Xena by jumping on the sofas!

While Disney was thinking about more princesses a legend was born in Japan: Sailor Moon!

Princess for a princess, warrior for a warrior! They were just wonderful female characters. They were saviors of the world without help from men. They inspired many little girls. We learned from them the power of solidarity, the importance of sisterhood, and that our desires were not to be blamed. 

We still miss you!

Disney, becoming aware of how the world admired and missed strong female characters, took a step forward and decided to make a warrior out of a princess: Mulan! It was 1998.

But this is Disney anyway, she fought a war but... disguised as a man! Because, a woman being a warrior was unreal for the society she was living in, and for Disney's audience. In the end, Mulan saved China and Disney created a half-strong female character.

The Millennium Madness: Powerpuff Girls! Year 2K.

The age group it addressed was wider. Although it was aimed at little children, it was watched by people of all ages. The common trait of these different girls was their super powers.

The women of Avatar: Last Airbender series were so strong that they even stole roles from Aang, the main character! It was 2005.

The strength of Katara and Toph, Azula's passion for power, the warrior women of the Kingdom of Earth... It was a legendary series and left us these wonderful female characters.

Children who watched these are lucky!

Disney, too, had to give in and they ultimately released the first real rebel to theaters: Rapunzel! The year was 2010.

Better late than never! 

Rapunzel was a princess who didn't want to marry. She didn't even think about it. Her only desire was to be free and experience adventures. She was strong enough to defend herself and brave enough to go to places she didn't know. Her relationship with the man she loved was based on exact equity!

At the end of the movie, she became the queen and governed her country by herself, forever. Yay for Rapunzel!

After Rapunzel's great success, Disney understood that it was meaningless to resist the demand for liberated women and created Merida as if to say, "Now, this is what you wished for." It was in 2012.

This princess was on a mission against marriage, let alone not wanting to marry. 

At the same time, she was Disney's first princess who was not described as being in perfect beauty. Her plump cheeks, messy hair and plain clothes could be acknowledged as a great step for Disney. Merida was frankly saying. 'I don't want to marry!' Indeed, she did not marry.

And it's 2013! Disney promoted the main female character from princess to queen! Please welcome Queen Elsa!

The cure was found with the sister, by a woman who is afraid of the throne and her own powers. And for the first time audiences heard the following sentence in a Disney movie: 'You can't marry a man you just met.'

This movie which paved the way for the strong, independent, and brave women of the future, became the favorite of many girls in no time.

We are now sure that future generations of girls will be stronger, freer, and more powerful than ours were growing up. There will be no obstacles, walls, or chains pushed by the media in the minds of our children!

Women are strong!

Send Comment