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Pretty Pretty Princess

High School Junior Petitions Disney For a Plus-Size Princess


There’s always a lot of debate surrounding Disney and princess culture, but I hope there’s one thing we can agree on: Disney princesses should, as a group, aspire to diversity. Representation is incredibly important, especially to kids, whose perception of the world around them is still being formed. All children deserve to see themselves positively represented in media. It’s something teenager Jewel Moore took to heart when she started this Change.org petition to get Disney to introduce a plus-size princess.

“I made this petition because I’m a plus-size young woman,” writes Moore, “and I know many plus-size girls and women who struggle with confidence and need a positivie plus-size character in the media.

…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.

Disney films are highly influential and wide-spread, and they impact the lives of many children, especially girls. It would be revolutionary for Disney to show support to a group of girls who are otherwise horrendously bullied by the media. It would make many young girls feel confident and worthy to see a strong character that looks like them. This move on Disney’s part would have an amazing positive ripple effect in people all around the world.”

Currently the petition is sitting at just under 13,000 signatures. Will it, by itself, get Disney to create a princess who doesn’t have the same old body type the Mouse House has been rocking for decades? Probably not. But this type of outreach is essential to get people thinking critically about the media they consume and how it should be changed. We absolutely need more positive representation of people with diverse body types.

The only Disney princesses (or “Disney princesses,” since they’re two of the unofficial ones) I can think of who don’t have the same willowy frame as your Auroras, Belles, and Ariels are Nani and Lilo from Lilo & Stitch. They’re not plus-sized, but Nani is more muscular than Disney’s other protaonigsts, and Lilo isn’t skinny in the way, say, little Anna from Frozen is. It’s a good bit of diversity to start with, but we need more. Here’s hoping Disney wises up.

(via: The Huffington Post)

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  • frankenmouse

    What would make me ridiculously happy is a plus-sized Disney princess whose (and this is the kicker) plus-sizedness is never an issue. It’s not mentioned. It’s not addressed. There are no sad songs about not fitting in or joyful songs about learning to love who you are. She’s just a princess who happens to be heavier.

    I think this is one of those representation issues that people don’t get sometimes. Yes, it’s good to have more heavy/Asian/gay/whatever people represented in the media, but don’t make that their defining feature. Have a character bring his boyfriend to a party and have NO ONE discuss the fact that it happened. Allow it to be “normal,” not marked out as, HEY THIS CHARACTER’S GAY LET’S FOCUS ON ISSUES RELATED TO GAY RIGHTS AND ACCEPTANCE!

    Those depictions are, of course, good and helpful. But they still mark the targeted group as being “other” or not normal.

  • Anonymous

    I signed :D

  • Anonymous

    The best friend in The Frog Princess was a pleasantly plump lady. Not a “princess,” either, but she is a positive character throughout, if a bit empty-headed.

  • Jennifer Graybeal

    Yes, yes and yes! In Gilmore Girls, Melissa McCarthys weight is never discussed. She get married, has babies, is great at her job and is overweight. But the weight thing is never referenced. There’s some comments about big, but only when she’s pregnant.

    More like this please!

  • Desirae

    Charlotte wasn’t plump at all… she had a rounder face, but that’s about it! Google image her.

  • Anonymous

    D’oh, you’re right, all I remembered was the huge skirt and round cheeks!

  • Rachel Banzhaf

    The Princess and The Frog was an unrealized opportunity for plumpness. Food was a major part of that story!

  • Anonymous

    Plus sized, and wears pants. Seriously, we have two princesses that wear pants. Some girls like to wear pants more than dresses.

  • Michael McNinch

    Signed – proudly I might mention! :D

  • Ashe

    ^
    This!

  • k23mt

    Pretty much exactly what I was going to say

  • Cellism

    I think Frozen is progressive in terms of queer acceptance, given the (admittedly brief) cameo of the same-sex parents who own the mountain store and the relentless queer imagery connected to Elsa. While one is brief and the other is extensively obvious (for a critical viewer, thanks English degree) I think these are definitely progressive steps. For Elsa to be judged as ‘different’, come to terms with it and become comfortable with no heteronormative nudging is a massive step in the right direction.

  • Caitlin

    And can she please not have the perfect hourglass figure while we’re at it? I feel like we never get to see a fat girl unless she has a small waist.

  • Anonymous

    I think this is one of those representation issues that people don’t get sometimes. Yes, it’s good to have more heavy/Asian/gay/whatever people represented in the media, but don’t make that their defining feature.

    I think this is why I liked Frozen more than Mulan. Mulan is presented as Gender Issues: The Disney Movie; every song in the whole thing is about gender, Mulan’s challenges with being a woman in her society, etc. In Frozen the female characters just are proactive, without anyone saying “you’re a girl, you can’t do that”.

  • Anonymous

    You’re equating plus-sized with unhealthy. The two are not the same.

  • Anonymous

    Bah, I’m still petitioning for Emma Swan to be the first gay Disney princess.

  • Ashe

    Interesting, I didn’t know being skinny was synonymous with being healthy

  • frankenmouse

    For the love of God. Okay, let’s accept the (flawed) argument that fat people are automatically unhealthy. Does a person having ONE bad quality mean that they are a bad role model? Does being fat completely remove the influence of any and all positive influences a person might have?

    That’s a ridiculous argument, and it really only shows a great deal of unwarranted prejudice against (and disgust with) heavier people. THAT does more direct harm than a million fat princesses.

  • Lisette Charlotte Muratore

    AAARRGGHHH Disney should buy the rights to StrangelyKatie’s ‘Princess Princess’ and make Sadie the first plus sized princess! THIS NEEDS TO BE A THING.
    For anyone whose eyes haven’t feasted upon the awesomeness that is Princess Princess, behold:
    http://strangelykatie.com/princessprincess/

  • Charlie

    People have different body types. Not everyone can look like Kate Moss. Plus sized women don’t sit there and stuff their faces full of chips just to spite you no matter what you might think.

  • Charlie

    Considering how many plus sized cosplays I’ve seen of her I think a lot of people came away with the same impression.

  • Silverwisp

    I …. don’t completely agree. Disney Princesses (at least the newer ones) are supposed to be role models for girls growing up. There is a reason we don’t see them smoking/drinking ect..
    I’d love to have a princess that doesn’t look like a stiff breeze would snap her at the waist: an athlete, a soldier,heck, maybe just a girl who’s unusualy tall.
    But don’t make it “only the inside counts, never mind that the girl will be diabetic in two years”.

  • Charlie

    Endomorph is a body type. Look it up.
    Being plus sized doesn’t mean being unhealthy.

  • Silverwisp

    I did not mention dress sizes in my post. I did not deny the existence of endomorphism.

  • Charlie

    Well I got the impression that you think you can either be athletic, skinny or unhealthy. I’m sorry if I misconstrued that.

  • Tiger Park

    Eh, YMMV – as an Asian female, Mulan hit me really hard and still continues to do so. The sexism baggage is VERY different across race/culture – maybe your average white American girl only has “Gender Issues: The Disney Movie” as a takeaway, but for Asian girls it does have a huge host other levels of meaning to it (family shame, rigid Confucian patriarchy, etc.), and you cannot discount that the film also came out in 1998 rather than 2013.

  • sleepisgone

    No it doesn’t make them a bad person, and no one is saying that. But I think in our society, with obesity being such a problem already, there’s no reason to encourage it any further. It’s not prejudice to want to protect children against the social and life-threatening implications of obesity. We’re already fighting a losing battle as it is. I was average sized growing up, but gained a tooon of weight in recent years, and it’s made me horribly depressed and just in general tired and slower. I would never wish that on any child.

  • Silverwisp

    no hard feelings.

  • Charlie

    It’s also worth considering that as the story it was based on was about a woman pretending to be a man in order to fight, gender would inevitably be an issue in the movie.

  • Charlie

    Personally I wish discussions about creating certain types of Disney characters didn’t always come back to princesses/princes, but I guess that’s a side-effect of Disney’s relentless marketing and merchandising of the princesses. But yeah, some more varied body types would be cool.

  • Ashe

    Mmm. Don’t pull the slippery slope fallacy. Being chubby doesn’t mean they’ll slide helplessly into obesity in the future, no more than someone being skinny means they’ll become anorexic.

  • Charlie

    I agree it’s like saying ‘Don’t look up to Martin Luther King or Winston Churchill they were a bit chubby.’

  • Avril111

    My Uncle Gabriel got a stunning blue Dodge Charger SRT8 from
    only workin part time on a home pc… hop over to here J­u­m­p­9­9­9­.­ℂ­o­m

  • Raerae

    Given how much disney likes making fat jokes, be they dialogue or visual, I’m not holding my breath on this one.

  • Raerae

    So instead we should just continue to be assaulted by models so sickly they have to be photoshopped to look healthy.

    My heavier friends have horror stories about how they almost died from medical advice because their doctors couldn’t look past their weight to an obvious problem…because the stigma of plus-sized = unhealthy is so ingrained that it’s the first conclusion doctors have. Never mind that my friends eat healthier than I do and are healthier in general.

    Also, people don’t look up to societally ‘perfect’ people. They look up to people they identify with. Mulan is lazy and takes shortcuts, but is cunning and thinks fast on her feet because of that. Ariel made plenty of bad decisions to get her independence. Aladdin was a thief and a liar. Sorry, but I’m not seeing why a plus-size princess is a problem beyond how Disney will portray them.

  • Emily Hill

    I signed it because in some cases being heavy set isn’t a choice because things like thyroid problems and it irks me to see people say the heavy set are lazy

  • Lorna

    I know (hope) you weren’t intending it as a slight, but honestly if plus size peeps stuck to cosplaying within their body type, there wouldn’t be a lot of choices. So maybe they didn’t think she was plus size, but just enjoyed her character as I did. She’s got a bucketload of personality.

  • Lorna

    I know (hope) you weren’t intending it as a slight, but honestly if plus size peeps stuck to cosplaying within their body type, there wouldn’t be a lot of choices. So maybe they didn’t think she was plus size, but just enjoyed her character as I did. She’s got a bucketload of personality.

  • Lorna

    Funny I’ve been fat for more than two years and my blood sugar is on the low side.

  • Lorna

    Funny I’ve been fat for more than two years and my blood sugar is on the low side.

  • frankenmouse

    And, again, I ask: Why would looking up to someone who is overweight “encourage obesity?” Does looking up to someone who is gay “encourage homosexuality?” If I look up to someone who smokes, will I start smoking too?

    These arguments stem only from prejudice. You would never make any of the above arguments (unless you were a homophobe), because they’re patently ridiculous. The message that fat = unhealthy is so entrenched in our society that I seriously doubt that positive portrayals of fat people will do more to encourage obesity than things like food deserts, changing social life, and lowered income.

    What positive portrayals of fat people WILL do is work against all the negative stereotypes associated with fat people (i.e., that we’re lazy, ugly, stupid, sloppy) and possibly help shift attitudes away from demonization of fat individuals.

  • locuas

    Not counting “unofficial princesses”, realistically speaking, where could we find a plus-size princess to make the story take place in?
    THis will probably sound wrong, but princesses are, well, skinny(i can’t think of any princess in real-life who isn’t represented as skinny) so unless they take the story somewhere where it could be possible for a princess to be plus-sized.
    OF course that, in the end, giving a good role model should be the priority, but i really, really, really don’t like when people change something for political correctness. If it is possible for a princess to be plus-sized(wether for marriage or something else), then go ahead.

    What i am saying, there is a reason Disney took so long to have a black princess, and not the obvious “Disney is [X]!!!”
    And before anyone comments about african or real life black princesses, i want to remind people, Pocahontas and Mulan where not good examples of Disney handling other cultures well.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Where is it written that a fairy tale princess has to be skinny? What part of the story of Sleeping Beauty specifies what body type the main character should have? And even if it’s NOT realistic… there are dragons in Disney movies. And magic. And mermaids. “But it’s not realistic” is a cop-out excuse not to include diversity. It doesn’t work when people try to justify not having POC in historical fantasy, and it doesn’t work here.

  • Anonymous

    Just read the comic. It’s nothing short of outstanding! Thanks!

  • locuas

    oh, the old “they have dragons thus they don’t need to be accurate” argument.

    even if they have dragons and stuff, plenty of films have been set in realistic enviroments, if not in a real place.

    if it is a full out, completely invented fantasy world, okay. but Disney movies tend to be set many times in a real place or in a semi-realistic enviroment outside the obvious Magic and talking animals. and even then, the magic and the talking animals are more of an outside force which people are “aware” of but that does not form than a part of said enviroment. so the argument “magic exist” is meaningless because magic has no relevance in the daily lfe of the characters(except Ariel and maybe Sleeping Beauty, but i give sleeping beauty an exception due to the time period. Also, Frozen does not count either because it was mentioned that elsa having magic wasn’t a common thing)

    If they create a fantasy world that is not set in a semi-real world enviroment, where magic is a common thing. or a movie like aladdin where they embrace being an unrealistic place. Then yes, go ahead and make her plus-sized. but do not tell me that just because magic exist something can’t or shouldn’t be realistic.
    You want a plus-sized princess? i want a believable story where i can believe the character is plus-size. so either give me a story in a place where it would be believable or make a world were it could be believable, i don’t care.

  • frankenmouse

    Let me get this straight: You feel that the inclusion of fantastic elements (e.g., mermaids, dragons) in a “semi-realistic” setting is more believable than the fact that some of the people in that setting would be fat?

  • Silverwisp

    Good for you, but we are still talking about characters that are supposed to act as role models for little kids when they are at their most impressionable; being well rounded/true to life is not really the point.
    There is a reason why Mulan and Tiana work their absolute hardest and excel as a result instead of just being settling for doing okay. Same reason we don’t see them drink/smoke, even though it would make for more three dimensional/realistic characters.

  • Lorna

    Except being fat is not the same as drinking or smoking, both of which are substance abuse. On top of which promoting only perfection and working hard makes kids who can’t do as well as other kids feel like shit. It’s been proven that accepting and loving yourself improves your health more than many much more difficult things. That’s all.

  • Mandy H

    YES THAT WOULD BE PERFECT :D

  • Anonymous

    I’m Canadian, but point taken.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder if the people objecting to plus size princesses on the basis of what’s “realistic” for a princess realize that at one time being “plump” was a sign of health and wealth? The skinny people were the starving ones. This would be true in most of the “fictional” time periods which contain Disney princesses.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone else ever notice that its only the large female characters in the media who get called as being ‘bad role models for girls’
    Meanwhile, the Peter Griffins, the Homer Simpsons, the Drew Carrys, Princess Jasmin’s father, Belle’s father, Chien Po, etc etc, only ever get called fat? Never bad role models? No one ever goes, ‘THAT MAN IS FAT! THAT MAN IS A BAD ROLE MODEL FOR BOYS! BOYS MIGHT ASPIRE TO BE FAT NOW!’ its always the large women who get the double standard in the media and get this same damn message all the time.

    Its like some invisible male presence wants women to adhere to their standards of beauty by claiming some non-existance consequence to scare them into believing it.

  • Charlie

    Oh no I didn’t mean it as a slight at all but I think it’s telling that plus size women feel comfortable cosplaying as her.
    I think anybody should be able to cosplay what they like.

  • http://twitter.com/bomyuri_ Shegotthatsomething

    Nobody will watch their films if they inserted a fat ass for a disney movie,why don’t you fat asses go ask those anime creators to create a fat anime character as well while you do this, dumbasses…..

  • http://twitter.com/bomyuri_ Shegotthatsomething

    there is a difference between plus-sized and OBESE….

  • http://twitter.com/bomyuri_ Shegotthatsomething

    go look at animes before you ask for a plus-sized disney princess…who would want to watch a land whale sized female character for goodness sakes?

  • k23mt

    I want to up-vote this like, 50 more times.

  • Simen Martinsen

    Being fat is unhealthy and being fat is not something we should use as a role-model for children.

  • Anonymous

    Since when has Disney cared about historical accuracy?

  • Witty Username

    Plus sized =/= obese.

  • Witty Username

    There are fat children. Let’s establish that fact right away. Some children are fat. These fat children are told that being fat is ugly, horrifying, ruining society.They are told that it means they are lazy or inherently weak. They see the covers of magazines in the supermarket, models photoshopped to inhuman ideal proportions and “lose ten pounds fast”. If they see themselves in movies it’s as the clumsy, laughable comic relief. They are constantly surrounded by messages that tell them, by exclusion or by outright parody that they are freaks of nature. And the kicker? Even reasonable, compassionate people will support this prejudice by telling those children that they deserve all this because they are unhealthy. That is unfair, cruel and wrong. Why should we make these children feel like dirt? It doesn’t inspire them to lead healthy lives. All this attitude inspires is a deep-seated and pervasive shame that never goes away. Do they really deserve lifelong shame because they’re physically unhealthy?