Date of Award

5-2018

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

English

First Advisor

Emily Stanback, Ph.D

Advisor Department

English

Abstract

The world of Disney has long been criticized for the lack of empowered princesses, racial representation, and unrealistic body images in its princess films. While steps have been made to provide a fairer representation through the bodies of the princesses, there has not been much progress in the way villains’ bodies are depicted. Most Disney villains exhibit a form of disability or non-normative embodiment including missing limbs, old age, or fatness. This thesis will analyze the bodies of three well-known Disney villainesses from three different eras—The Evil Queen, Ursula, and Mother Gothel—and will demonstrate how their bodies reflect the historical and cultural anxieties around non-normative embodiment for the time in which they were created.

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