Disney princesses, much like Barbie and most other beautiful characters that little girls are presented with, are represented as flawless. You know the type: hair that defies gravity with its soft waves, giant eyeballs on symmetrical faces, stark white teeth, and bodies never veering from the incredibly thin yet mysteriously womanly–extremely unrealistic waistline to hip and bust proportions, if you will.
There are of course Disney characters with a little more meat on their bones but they tend to come in the form of evil witches, fairy godmothers, outcasts, and chubby animals. Disney has become more multi-cultural over the years in the princess department, but the beautiful girls getting swept off their feet by handsome princes have remained svelte throughout the Disney lineage.
Well a teenage girl named Jewel Moore isn’t having this trend any longer, and to express her opinion on the topic she started a petition asking Disney to address the possibility of creating a plus-sized princess to add to the mix of animated films. The high school junior from Farmville Virginia expresses that as a plus sized woman she feels unrepresented in the media and thinks it would be good for a lot of people’s self confidence to have a new princess role model…one that’s larger than a size zero.
Moore’s petition on the Change.org petition page at the time of writing has over 28,000 supporters. It’s a wonderful example to add to the growing number of teenage girls engaging in body positive campaigning and conversation. Remember Julia Bluhm, who organized a petition over digitally altered images of models in magazines? In 2012 Seventeen magazine vowed to show girls as they really are, enacting a Body Peace Treaty.Perhaps older women could take notes.
Moore’s petition eloquently states:
“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-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.”
The media’s taste for celebrating thin people is certainly not a new one, but if there’s any outlet for a quick response and making a change in response to the issue, it’s this one.