Unit 3 Ideas

The Princess Effect

In an age where our society is so concentrated on beauty, young girls are trying to live up to unrealistic standards. The problem isn’t even the ultra chic celebrities who grace the red carpet, but rather the role models girls have been looking up to for years: Disney princesses. The original princesses created by Disney were unrealistically pretty and “perfect”, no wonder more and more young girls are becoming victim of eating disorders and bad self-image in general. However in the past years, Disney has been trying to remedy this problem. Recent princess movies that have been released show more realistic princess that girls are better able to identify with. The princesses have also become more diverse, with the first African-American princess just recently being welcomed into the Disney family. The princesses have also taken on stronger characters as seen in “Brave”. Disney has begun to steer away from princesses who sit and wait for their princes to come, but instead go out into the world. This shows girls that they only go far in life if they work for it. Also for years young girls, even toddlers, have been looking up to young women, however recently Disney has introduced a new TV series featuring Sofia the First. Sofia is a young princess who is better able to relate to little girls. On the show Sofia even deals with “normal” problems such as trouble with friends and fitting in, which has never before been seen. Disney has definitely had a hand in creating the unrealistic images young girls look up to, however Disney is now trying to shift and create princesses that are actually good role models for girls.

I Am Not a Number

Recently students have become stressed with trying to achieve “perfect” numbers. Colleges have begun to stress the importance of achieving high scores on SATs as well as having high GPAs throughout high school. Many times these numbers have been looked at as more important instead of the whole character. This has changed our society so that students don’t work on their entire self but rather just focuses on receiving high scores especially on standardized tests. Students focus more on their numbers, rather than their character. This change of focus within education has also opened up a whole new market for making money. Companies like CollegeBoard now make millions on dollars because every student in America must take the SATs or ACTs in order to apply to college. Must students also do not just take the test once but two or three times in order to reach these high standards of scores. The market for standardized test prep has also had a boom with most students taking a class in order to prepare for the SATs. Because of the stress on standardized tests, students seem to think that colleges no longer care about them as a person but rather as a number based on SAT scores and GPAs.


I thought this TED Talk was fascinating. The lady spoke of how her husband was diagnosed with cancer and was told he would only live a couple weeks. However he lived, she began to feel that he would never die, that he would be able to fight off the cancer every time. And he did, for a time, but eventually he did die. She said that she never got to say good-bye to her husband because neither of them ever believed it was the end, they both still had hope that he would survive. She discussed how people always believe that they will survive or beat whatever they are fighting. She said that the experts would call this denial, everyone dies, but she argues that it’s not denial but hope. She said hope is such a strong emotion that every human feels at one point or another, however we really don’t know how to accommodate hope in our lives. I really liked how she talked about how dying is seen as a failure and only fighting and beating death is a victory, however she tries to show it is just as much of a victory to know when your time is up and retreat peacefully. I thought her topic was really fascinating and loved how she really showed the different sides of hope and denial. Watching her TED talk shows me ways in which I can look at topics in different ways and from different points of view. Also her speech was very engaging however she didn’t seem to be working very hard at all, I want to try to replicate her style in my own TED Talk.


  1. Emily Isaacs says:

    I like both of your ideas. To add to your princess idea, you can trace the shifts that Barbies have undergone in our lifetime. They are shorter, chubbier, and have more realistic proportions.

  2. Of course I always like the princess topic!

  3. I like both of your ideas but I like the first one the most. Looking back on the most recent Disney princess movies there is definitely a shift in the way they look and act. I think this is for the better and will have a positive influence on young girls.

  4. Benjamin Grove says:

    I enjoy how your two ideas go hand and hand in a way. People simply have hindered perceptions of what they consider perfection to be. If they are focusing half of their energy into looking beautiful and the other half into achieving high numbers to impress their superiors, it does not leave much room for the development of characters. The devil is characterized by numbers, which are 666. Perhaps the devil is just numbers themselves. O_o

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