OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Doing Gender in the Princess Diaries' Guyland: Training to Become a Babe


Mellissa Patton


The Walt Disney Picture film The Princess Diaries (2001) is a present-day example of the concepts introduced in Kimmel’s Guyland (2008) and West and Zimmerman’s Doing Gender (1987). Set in early 2000s San Francisco, The Princess Diaries details the journey of a fifteen-year-old girl, Mia, whose world is shaken when her long-lost grandmother arrives and announces that she is the next heir to the throne of a small European country. The grandmother insists on the training and grooming of Mia so that she can be presented at the country’s independence ball as the country’s next heir. Through the lense of hegemonic masculinity, I argue that Mia Thermapolis from The Princess Diaries is an example of the requirements of being a babe within Guyland and the performance of the female gender as she transitions from an invisible teenage girl to a princess worthy of the throne. Through Bandura’s Social Learning Theory, I analyze how Mia’s grandmother models the expectations set forth in Guyland in an effort to prepare her granddaughter for royal life. Overall, I find that while the film appears harmless in presenting the transition of a shy teenage girl to a beautiful and courageous princess on the surface level, further examination presents dangerous implications for young female viewers.

This document is currently not available here.