OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Don’t Dream Too Big: An Ideological Criticism of Feminism in Disney’s “Be a Champion” Commercial


In 2016, Disney launched an advertisement campaign called “Dream Big, Princess.” This self-claimed “photography campaign” was set up to help raise money for the United Nations “Girl Up” Foundation (Disney Partners, 2017). The campaign featured photos of female bodies achieving notable feats. Girls everywhere were encouraged to hashtag the campaign in their inspiring photos on Instagram. The campaign reached their goal of donating $1M to the “Girl Up” Foundation. After this goal was reached, the “Dream Big, Princess” commercials, products, interactive web-page, and advertisements remained in circulation. The previous “Disney Princess” line has now been replaced with the “Dream Big, Princess” line. In this paper, I use the “Be a Champion” commercial from Disney’s “Dream Big, Princess” line to help understand the hidden ideologies that the company is producing. Using research of feminist movements and Disney’s involvement with feminism, I conduct a rhetorical ideological criticism of the messages being produced by Disney. I explain the core values of feminism, power feminism, and post-feminism. Then, I present the current critiques of Disney’s attempt at achieving a feminist stance. I conduct an analysis of the privileged and hidden messages presented in the advertisement and make the argument that this production of ideology is problematic for the growth of feminism.

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