The Atlantic

The Psychology of Giant Princess Eyes

How Disney's caricature-esque women came to define "the fairest of them all"
Source: Walt Disney Studios

If Ariel had normal-sized eyes, we might be less endeared to her—forced to focus more immediately on her disconcerting scaly tail.

If Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg were a Disney Princess, as one artist recently rendered her, she'd have no wrinkles, a smirk on her face, and some décolletage.

The debate over the merits of Disney princesses is as old as time, but it's fairly undeniable that the animated films' female leads tend to look like a "pretty girl" cliche.And when Pixar redesigned Merida, the star of Brave, in May, she got a smaller waist and bigger hair.

There's some research behind why, which creates an air of innocence and vulnerability. There's evidence that adults characteristics are seen as less smart, more congenial, and less likely to be guilty of crimes.

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