A young girl named Jewel Moore from Farmville, Virginia recently started a petition for Disney to finally make a plus-sized princess. She writes:
Studies show that a child’s confidence correlates greatly with how much representation they have in the media. It’s extremely difficult to find a positive representation of plus-size females in the media… if Disney could make a plus-sized 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.
Her petition now has over 30,000 signatures and the support for her cause only continues to grow. I support her and I want you to support her too.
If there’s one underlying message that Disney Princesses teach young girls it’s that you can be smart, you can be strong and you can have it all… as long as you’re pretty. While not exactly surprising, my issue with Disney’s princess marketing machine is that their specific, single formula for ‘beauty’ is exclusively for the girls with the teeny, tiny waistlines.
In 1992, Disney gave us Princess Jasmine, a feisty young lady of Arabian descent. Princess Jasmine paved the way for ethnic diversity within the princess palace of Disney who has now given us Mulan (Asian), Pocahontas (Native American) and Tiana (African American). While I celebrate this change, I don’t think it’s enough. I think young girls deserve much, much more because, despite the racial diversity, these four princesses all have one physical trait in common – they’re thin.
Disney needs to give girls princesses of all sizes and shapes, because women are born into all sorts of body types and it’s frightening how easily we can be brainwashed into thinking that something different from the (Disney) norm can equate to being ugly, to being worthless, to never being good enough. It’s scary to think that somewhere in the world a little girl is sitting in her room, ashamed of her body because it doesn’t look like Bella or Jasmine or Snow White. It’s scary to think that she could live the rest of her life always thinking she’s not good enough.
Disney films are extremely influential and widespread and play a big part of many a young child’s childhood. It’s their job to teach children that everyone, despite how they may look, can have the Disney dream. It’s time for them to step up to the plate.