Our Disney Prince Expectations


As we learned in our textbooks, the three principles that guide our attraction and relationship formation are proximity, similarity and reciprocity. (Lilienfeld, 443).

In the following clip from the television show "Say 'Yes' to the Dress", we catch a glimpse of a disney-obsessed bride who shares what her ideals are of what she wants for her wedding and perhaps how our culture has shaped her beliefs in marriage and how to find a spouse.


As we can see, Megan is all about the Disney princesses and would like to have the ideal princess wedding, as she wants a gown that resembles the "Cinderella classic". She briefly describes her fiancé and said that they both went to the same high school together and rekindled their friendship after college through mutual friends and began to get to know each other and date. This allows for the principle of proximity (physical nearness) to occur in their relationship because of going to the same high school and having mutual friends. With Megan's obsession with Disney, her fiancé also had to go along with a Disney World wedding and her Disney ways. This similarity (the extent to which we have things in common with others) in likeness allows for the next principle we have learned about to be met. Although, Megan doesn't elaborate on her fiancé and their similarities, but she said that he is perfect and the feeling must be mutual in order to meet the third and final principle, reciprocity (rule of give and take): "liking begets liking" (Lilienfeld, 444 & 445).

I felt that this clip of an episode depicts our varying levels of expectations for our partners and what we hope our partners will live up to. In regards to Megan, her obsession with Disney may have also influenced how she picked out her spouse or found him to meet the three guiding principles we have learned about. She may have felt that she needed him to be good looking, charming, and the near equivalent of a Disney prince. I think that the Social Role Theory also comes to mind, especially with the example of Megan. Although biologically men and women do have certain roles (nature), it is the way in which society allows each role to play out (nurture) that can affect our ideals for our mates (Lilienfeld, 446).

I think that "Say 'Yes' to the Dress", in some ways, shows how we as a society put men and women into their social roles and it can be seen by how many of the women on the show will describe their spouses. In regards to attractiveness and potential spouses, it is clear to see that women are pickier (as stated in our textbooks) and that women do look for qualities of a spouse who is motivated and will provide for his wife and family.

American popular culture creates standards for men and women and we can either nurture these standards or allow for them to pass without much of a faze. I think that Disney has added to these standards and is something that some women, like Megan, hold onto as they search for their ideal spouse. A prince charming who is perfect and exactly what a woman wants and needs. disney unrealistic.jpg


With shows like "Say Yes To the Dress" where women are strongly encouraged to spend upwards of 5,000 on a wedding dress that they will wear once for maybe 10 hours (that's 500 an hour) and where the "it's all about me" factor is encouraged I'm not surprised that divorce rates hover near 50% in this country. I don't think Disney has done us any favors either regarding where our expectations lay. In looking for that "perfect" prince, we're likely to overlook someone for superficial reasons. No one should settle but no one is perfect.

This video clip was so helpful to me to understand the three principles of our attraction. Although I just thought that the principles are important to attract someone, I didn't know them specifically and how to adapt to the real life. However, through Megan's example, I could understand proximity, similarity and reciprocity. Actually, I wondered how she has a fiance despite her severe obesity, but love is not made by just rationality. I knew about it well again through this chance.

A great video to show reciprocity, similarity, and proximity. I like watching this show and seeing how differently people act in response to their wedding. I also like getting to know all the couples. It really shows that love comes in all shapes and sizes. I personally didn't hold on to the thought of a Disney prince, but I can see how other people would. Everyone wants their life to be perfect. I was amazed to find out that these three factors have a huge affect on who we end up with, but after looking at relationships I knew and those of celebrities I realized it was true. I wonder how little girls growing up now will react to Disney princes and princesses. Or will it be something completely different?

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This page contains a single entry by scott848 published on April 7, 2012 11:36 PM.

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