Over the years, pop culture serves as an indicator of how we view things. If we take a look at our favorite movies, our favorite books, or our favorite games and hobbies, they will reveal to a large degree the way we think and understand the world. In recent years, the way we perceive the female ideal has evolved – and pop culture is a great way to reflect on that movement.
From the Classics to Superheroes
I belong to a generation that still read Huckleberry Finn and knew the names of all the sisters in Little Women. Later, we saw our kids grow up with the Disney classics and the Harry Potter books. The books and movies we usually refer to focused more around the role of family and domesticity – although they also broke some boundaries, like Jo March did. But for our children, those notions kept expanding to incorporate more and more. Especially now, in the golden age of superhero movies, we see more and more female heroes donning the cape and coming to the rescue. This is true in film, video games and even casino titles like slots.
Marvel is set to release its first female-led movie which will focus on Captain Marvel, portrayed by Brie Larson. And in the latest Black Panther movie, Wakanda was depicted as a society that valued women greatly – and where the King’s personal guard was comprised solely of women. In the movie’s iconic casino fight scene, when T’Challa goes to face off with the villain who wants to steal Wakanda’s technology in an underground gambling den in Korea, there are only two people fighting alongside him – two women. Okoye, the leader of his personal guard, is arguably doing the most fighting, taking out bad guys as surprised poker and roulette players run for cover, while Nakia shows her unique fighting style by protecting the King (who also happens to be her on-off boyfriend).
From Successful Movies to Online Gaming and Slots: Disney Princesses and their Cultural Impact
Meanwhile, T’Challa’s cheeky little sister, Shuri, is the brains behind Wakanda’s crazy technological progress. And because it is Disney princesses who have potentially the biggest cultural impact on how we perceive female identity, it is quite amazing that Shuri has been dubbed by fans an official Disney princess. Princesses like Pocahontas and Ariel defied what their fathers had in store for them in the search for true love – and inspired multi-million franchises with their successful stories. The Little Mermaid remains so iconic that mermaids have been the theme of many games, including in the online slots world – everyone I know who plays slots has either heard of or is talking about Mermaid Millions. The game that is usually offered alongside other casino games like keno, craps and baccarat, was originally released in 2008, but its ocean and mermaid elements remain so popular that online slot fans still consider it a favorite.
Modern Disney Princesses continue on the streak of defiance and constantly evolve. Elsa and Anna in Frozen did not wait for any prince to save them – they saved each other. In recent years, the stories of Merida and Moana focused on exploration and identity rather than finding romance. The same with book heroines: Katniss in the Hunger Games book series was a true fighter and cared more about her sister and her family than for anything else. Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter books regularly saved the day – and Harry and Ron – with her brains and wisdom. This goes to show that women’s portrayal on the big screen and in books (and even casino games) today tells us that we can be anything we want: amazing scientists or amazing fighters, all the while holding on to the idea of duty, family and loyalty.
It is extremely important that the younger generations are growing up with such a variety of female role models – so that they can make up their own minds about who they want to become.