Driving to school today, my three daughters and I passed a poster for Disney’s new movie “Gnomeo and Juliet” coming to theaters February 11. My kids wanted to know, where’s Juliet?
Can you find her?
If you spot Juliet around town, preferably with eight or so of her girlfriends frolicking behind her, Romeo nowhere in sight, please let me know. Extra points if she’s doing something acrobatic and looking grumpy, instead of standing around beaming at Romeo which, of course, she won’t be because, remember, he’s not in the poster.
Last year, at the same billboard location, around Townsend and Brannan, there was an ad for Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.” It featured only the flame-haired Madhatter.
I’m sure Alice found her way out of Disney’s marketing machine rabbit hole onto some poster, somewhere in San Francisco, but my daughters and I never discovered her. Maybe we should’ve checked the backs of milk cartons.
Girls in kids’ movies have gone missing.
Just last month, Disney’s male executives announced they were going to stop making princess movies, practically the only animation vehicle where girls were allowed to be stars. It may be a lame genre, but at least it acknowledged that girls do, in fact, exist.
Movies that feature girls in title roles, star girls, or feature female characters of any kind continue to decline. See statistics here.
Research is also showing that the limited role models for girls in the media along with the increasingly gendered toys sold to them is affecting children’s brain development.
Apparently, imaginary land never got the memo that we’ve all achieved gender equality and are living happily ever after in a post-feminist world.