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)