Is The Little Mermaid a Bad Role Model?.
Singing Caribbean crabs named Sebastian, a fish named Flounder as a best friend, and most important, a little princess mermaid called Ariel, these are the images that come to the mind of the millions of people who have enjoyed Disney's movie entitled The Little Mermaid. I myself have watched this movie with delightful glee repetitively as a child. Again and again the tape of the little mermaid has played until the VCR complained loudly from the abuse, as the video has and continues to do so with an uncountable amount of children across the world. Warm and fuzzy feelings are all that most people now associate with this movie. So when Susan White asserts that Disney's version of Hans Christian Anderson's story The Little Mermaid actually perpetuates a negative stereotype of a woman to its viewers she must make a quite an argument to convince any loving fan. .
In the article Split Skins, Female Agency and Bodily Mutilation in The Little Mermaid Susan White doesn't just make the claim that Disney's The Little Mermaid stereotypes women negatively, she actually assumes the reader knows this (although throughout her article she goes to prove this point also). Her mission of her article is to explain " just what the female spectator may get out of stories that, like Disney's The Little Mermaid, seems in part designed to reinforce negative stereotype about women and girls."(White, 317). What is good about her thesis is that it was clear and concise and she stated it twice, making her argument clear to her audience and also giving a clue as to who her audience is supposed to be. .
The author assumes her audience to be a well-educated one based upon her scholarly tone and the high class of her words. She also expects them to have knowledge of the western cultural standards; particularly about women, politics, and psychology. Her audiences" background in basic psychology is important because the proof of her argument is based mostly on psychological theories such as Freud's psychoanalysis, structuralism and semiotics.