ME-rror ME-rror On the Wall


Leigh Caldwell via Wikipedia Commons // Creative Commons

Editor’s Note: This article was unfortunately published in the magazine without the author’s name. The EICs take full responsibility for this error.  We wanted to publish it online to showcase Julie’s great work, along with the proper credit.


What is narcissism? It is the excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s appearance. Narcissistic people are usually self-centered, have extreme selfishness and crave admiration. According to Time Magazine, there is data that this narcissistic personality disorder is nearly three times as high for people in their 20s as for the older generation. Not only that, but 58% more college students scored higher on a narcissism scale in 2009 than in 1982 according to the National Institute of Health. Disney characters, especially villains, have shown some narcissistic characteristics portrayed in the movies and some prominent examples include: Gaston, The Evil Queen, Cinderella’s step sister, Ursula, and Gothel.


Gaston: He shows an exaggerated sense of self-importance, and has a lack of empathy for the feelings over others. He’s basically everywhere singing songs about himself. In the story Beauty and the Beast, he strongly believes that Belle should marry him since she is the most beautiful girl in town. He says, “She’s the one, the lucky girl that I’m going to marry. Here in town there’s only she, who is beautiful as me, so I’m making the plans to woo and marry Belle.” In this quote, you can clearly tell that he sees himself as a “special” guy and so Belle, the lucky girl should be thankful.


The Evil Queen: The Evil Queen also known as the Wicked Queen is the main antagonist in Snow White. She is an evil stepmother of Snow White, and is obsessed with being the fairest in the land.

“When Snow White was seven years old she was as beautiful as the light of day, even more beautiful than the queen herself.” Because the princess’s beauty makes her jealous, she makes several plans to kill her. She has a magic mirror who she speaks to every single day and asks, “Mirror Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” The mirror is basically forced to say that she is the fairest to avoid consequences.


Cinderella’s Step Sisters: Cinderella’s step sisters Anastasia Tramaine and Drizella are both portrayed as selfish, spoiled, and foolish. They both find themselves attractive but are still jealous about Cinderella’s physical appearance because the prince chose her. Because of this, they always need to make sure that they look prettier, have a better life, and are superior to Cinderella. As a consequence, Cinderella grows up feeling guilty about her talents, beauty, and personality traits.


Ursula: She is a dramatic, selfish and jealous mermaid witch who uses Ariel’s voice to lure Prince Eric into liking her in the movie, The Little Mermaid. In addition, she only sees things that will benefit herself and uses others such as Ariel, which shows her arrogant, and manipulative personality.


Gothel: In the movie Tangled, Gothel tries to maintain her looks by keeping her daughter away from everything. She selfishly uses Rapunzel and her magic golden hair to prolong her own life and to stay pretty. Her goal is to keep Rapunzel in a hidden tower to take advantage of the healing powers within the lost princess’s hair. Her justification for keeping her in there is because the outside world is, “dark, selfish, and cruel” and continues to insult Rapunzel to lower her self-esteem and so she continues to insult and avoid familial contact with Rapunzel.  


Like other generations, ours has likely watched a fair number of Disney movies: Snow White, Rapunzel, Cinderella and, more recently, Tangled. Hopefully, the lesson learned is that narcissism ultimately leads us down a bad road.