When we think back to our childhood, many of us reminisce about those classic Disney movies. The famous “NANTS INGONYAMA BAGITHI BABA!!” from The Lion King’s introduction to singing “Under the Sea” whenever we saw The Little Mermaid and wishing to fly on a magic carpet with Aladdin across the world. Somethings we tend to forget are the sexual innuendos that we would often chuckle at because even at a young age, we knew that Simba and Nala were going to do more than just stare into each other eyes, hence the cut scene soon after that.
Don’t get me wrong, Disney movies are classics that we hold dear to our hearts, however; when you take a close look back at certain Disney movies, these films contained early sexualization of men, women, and relationships that feed into our psyche. Happy Feet had fairly transparent sexual innuendos; a scene that stood out, in particular, was when Mumble and Gloria reunite after their graduation and end up in a few awkward positions and by awkward, specifically, missionary, 69, doggy and the inquisitor. Many little girls envied Ariel’s beauty from The Little Mermaid from her voice to her hair, but we also physically wanted to emulate her appearance. Our young minds understood that having a flat and tiny stomach was the epitome of beauty standards for young girls. Jasmine from Aladdin had a similar appearance that further supported this concept with her curvy structure and low cut top. By looking like this we would be more attractive to potential partners in the future when we reached our sexual peak. These concepts do not just transcend into the minds of young girls but, also into the mind of young boys.
Disney movies aren’t just about the princesses; it also tackles the idea of what the male body should be like. In Sleeping Beauty, Prince Philip was a strong, chiseled man who defeated Maleficent and kissed Princess Aurora back to life. Tarzan, who grew up among gorillas, manages to keep a clean shaven look as well as a lack of body odor when he meets the love of his life, Jane. In Aladdin, the main hero who has been living in the streets most of his life maintains a healthy and strong physical appearance with no signs of malnourishment despite his assumed lack of resources. As children, we thought this was what a dream guy would look like and what men believed was the perfect body structure to get the dream partner. The men are always tall, clean-cut good boys with 6-packs that could lift a girl up with one arm or the tall edgy, misunderstood bad boys always on the run from the police that still has a 6-pack with amazing hair. These ideas of how the male and female body should look like played into our minds as we got older and went through puberty, eventually becoming reinforced by porn.
While there is nothing wrong with watching porn, just like Disney for aesthetics, it can build unrealistic expectations for what we think that sex will be like. We have already built this notion about what we consider to be sexy so when we enter the porn world, we see our imagination come to life. Depending on your preferences, it might be the huge triple D’s, gigantic ass, huge, thick penis and every move so perfectly coordinated that both parties orgasm together; with little to no communication upon first meeting about what the other person desires. Because of this supporting influence about how our bodies and sex lives should be, we often end up disappointed by the experience.
There is nothing wrong with fantasies – whether inspired by porn or Disney. These things are pretty beneficial in discovering who we are, what we like and what we want to try. The key is being able to separate reality from fantasy. The reality is that we have to love and accept our bodies for what they are and still admire the beauty of Disney characters and the world that they live in that helps remind us of our childhood. We also can still enjoy porn as well knowing that it is scripted for our enjoyment but, realize that sex does not always go as perfectly as we believe. That there must be time to discover and communicate what our partners truly want. That fantasy and reality can peacefully coexist as long as there remains a fine line between the two.