Mirror, mirror on the wall? Who is the fairest of them all?
Disney has long been criticized on modeling its princesses after an all too idealistic “perfect princess” archetype with big eyes, a ridiculous waist-hip ratio and hair that obviously has never seen split ends. Is it time for a makeover? What about a plus-size princess? High school junior, Jewel Moore, is calling Disney out for a change.
On Jan. 24, Moore from Farmville, Va. launched a petition for Disney to make its next Disney protagonist a “plus-size” princess. Today, the petition has reached over 29,000 supporters, just a few thousand signatures short of Moore’s end goal. Moore spearheads her campaign with the statement, “I made this petition because I’m a plus-size young woman, and I know many plus-size girls and women who struggle with confidence and need a positive plus-size character in the media.”
We’ve already noticed the difference in Disney’s latest releases, Tangled and Frozen; princesses aren’t the cliché ladylike damsels in distress they used to be. Not to mention, the princesses aren’t even ending up with Prince Charming anymore (please refer to Princess Rapunzel who ended up with crown thief, Flynn Rider, or Princess Ana who hooked Kristoff, an ice seller.)
If Disney could make a plus-size female protagonist who was as bright, amazing and memorable as their others, it would do a world of good for those plus-size girls out there who are bombarded with images that make them feel ugly for not fitting the skinny standard,” continues Moore.
Some people are vehemently against a plus-size princess saying that this will promote an unhealthy lifestyle. Fox News actually staged a debate over this idea between Meme Roth, an anti-obesity activist, and Emme, a plus-size supermodel. Roth declared, “It’s [plus-size] unhealthy. If you like cancer and diabetes, if you want fertility problems, then plus-size is beautiful.”
I’d like to take a moment to clarify that plus-size is not equivalent to obese.
Regardless of the backlash this petition is receiving, it’s still going strong. If Moore is successful, we don’t know what to expect from Disney’s magic workshop, but we do know that it shouldn’t stop there. I think that should Disney agree to this petition, they have an automatic obligation to follow up with princesses representing other groups as well. Is society ready for a deaf princess? A princess with cancer? What do you think?
Needless to say I signed this petition last night.