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First Advisor

Schewe, Elizabeth

Legacy Department

Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality


This thesis offers a feminist analysis of the ABC television show Once Upon A Time. The show is a modem day fairy tale that retells familiar tales. Through content analysis of season one episodes and promotional material, I have come to the conclusion that Once Upon A Time has rewritten fairy tales that were once extremely sexist and very demeaning towards women. Once Upon A Time is more feminist and portrays women in more powerful and active roles. The women in this show are not just passive, idle princesses but active, strong and independent warriors. However in spite of this advancement for female fairy tale characters the show still highly values feminine beauty, including thinness, youth and whiteness; all characteristics that can cause more damage to women. While this show has made some advancement towards giving women more positive roles, the show still demonstrates that there are still unrealistic ideals for females in society to fulfill.


Includes bibliographical references.


35 pages




Northern Illinois University

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