Disney has done it all, it seems. There has been a princess of nearly every race, there have been princesses who broke social norms associated with being a woman, and, most recently, there was a princess who proved she didn’t need the love of a man to save herself.
But there’s something Disney has yet to do.
I want to see Disney create an overweight princess — and I want the storyline not to mention the fact that she’s overweight. If Disney creates an overweight princess, her story would undoubtedly be about her struggle with self-acceptance, and that’s not a story I want to see on the big screen.
I want to see an overweight princess who is treated like every other princess. She should be awed and admired for her beauty and strength, and at no time during the movie should weight even be mentioned.
An inevitable complaint of a movie like this would be from concerned parents. “This movie encourages unhealthy eating habits and promotes a dangerous lifestyle!” I hear them crying from the future. Being overweight does not automatically equate to being unhealthy. I repeat: being overweight does not mean being unhealthy. It’s very often true that people who are overweight eat healthy, exercise and have very healthy vitals. BMI isn’t an accurate indicator of health, and the assumption that an overweight princess is an unhealthy one can’t actually be proven.
And the previous princesses of Disney aren’t exactly promoting safe lifestyles either, are they? Cue to the scene where Rapunzel and Finn nearly drown, or to the scene in Frozen where Anna and Kristoff are chased off the edge of a mountain by a pack of wolves. A princess packing a few extra pounds lives a much safer life than either of the aforementioned princesses.
Seeing an overweight princess would do so much good for young girls. Girls are growing up in a society where being anything other than thin is not considering beautiful. By age 6, girls start to express concerns about their weight or shape and the average girl goes on her first diet at age 10.
Perhaps an overweight princess who is adored no matter her shape or size is what our society needs. Perhaps creating an idol that looks more like the average woman will aid in the decline of eating disorders in young girls. Perhaps it will lead to less instances of bullying, of feeling like an outsider, of punishing bodies with diets and overexercise and eating disorders. Maybe it wouldn’t. But maybe it’s a start.
Disney, I challenge you to do what a lot of other people want you to do. Create a princess whose waist isn’t a fifth of the size of the male lead, a princess who wears size 16 dresses, a princess who girls can look up to and not feel left out.