The early Disney villainesses (including the Evil Queen, Maleficent, and Lady Tremaine) are all drawn wearing much more conservative clothing than their youthful princess counterparts. A reinforcement that older women have lost their beauty, this conservative dress makes them appear less feminine.

Lacking any semblance of a figure

In comparison, Snow White is much more loosely dressed. Instead of a flowing robe that hides most of her curves, she is wearing a low-cut dress that is cinched at the waist, flattering her feminine figure.

Even more drastic of a different is Maleficent’s clothing. She is also wearing a flowing robe, but it has absolutely not feminine shape to it. The only ways in which she is markedly female, in terms of how she is drawn, are her makeup and her small thin hands.

The contrast in feminine clothing is startling between the villainesse and the princess, whose bodice is even more low-cut than Snow White’s and whose waste is equally flattered by her dress.

Though not a film still, this image is sanctioned by Disney to represent Princess Aurora

Finally, in Cinderella, Lady Tremaine is wearing a very conservative Victorian dress. Though not as obscuring as the two former villainesses in terms of flowing black capes, her clothing is still remarkable more restrictive and unflattering than Cinderella’s dress.

Not only is the lack of an accentuated bodice similar in all three villainesses, but also the lack of an exposed neck. Both the Evil Queen and Maleficent have large collars or black fabric that cover their necks, and Lady Tremaine’s dress also reaches to her skin. This implies that once a woman reaches a certain age her body must be hidden away from sight. Only young bodies are celebrated in Disney films, and the early villainesses are no exceptions.

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