First Post: Once Upon a Time…

Thank you for joining me! My name is Kaytie and I am an avid Disney fan. I grew up watching Disney movies and the Disney channel TV shows and to be honest I could never watch the Disney hit movie Aladdin quite enough times. In 2017 I decided to pursue my masters degree in cultural studies while working full time as an academic adviser. My masters program started making me question everything and I started noticing something: Disney animated movies have great parts about them that make them interesting and entertaining but also terrible parts about them that I believe inaccurately represent certain marginalized communities and only perpetuate stereotypes and biases. I started facilitating Disney themed diversity and identity workshops for colleagues and college students at my institution in 2018 to address these concerns and bring awareness that while there are heroes and villains we should not assume who is a hero and who is a villain based on the patterns and characteristics Disney associates with each.

Photo credit: teeturtle.com

This blog is part of my capstone project to graduate from my masters program so you’ll be seeing many posts in a short span of time to meet my end of May 2019 deadline. I hope to continue this blog post-graduation (maybe 1 post a week or one post a month depending on how much time school frees up) to continue my research as a Disney scholar and one day teach a college diversity elective class about Disney animated movies.

While I love Disney protagonists like Aladdin and Princess Jasmine most of my research supports my thesis that Disney villains are more relatable than their Disney hero counterparts and therefore most of my conversations and blogs will be about Disney villains not Disney heroes.

Presenting my masters research. Photo credit: Mom

There’s a quote I always like to end my Disney presentations with so I will end my first blog post the same.

Sometimes it’s “better to be fabulous and have gone out big (as a dragon or a witch) than a dowdy, boring scullery maid or servile housemother to ungrateful dwarfs”.

Mark Helmsing “This is No Ordinary Apple: Learning to Fail Spectacularly from the Queer Pedagogy of Disney’s Diva Villains”

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