High school junior Jewel Moore decided that enough was enough, and there’s no reason for Disney NOT to have a plus-size princess. And she’s so, so right. She started a petition stating, “I made this petition because I’m a plus-size young woman, and I know many plus-size girls and women who struggle with confidence and need a positive plus-size character in the media.” Moore posted the petition on January 24, and it’s already reached over 19,000 signatures. She notes,
“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.”
While it’s easy to look back at “harmless” Disney flicks and think they haven’t impacted you in any way, they definitely have. Disney was scared to even have Princess Merida, who isn’t plus-size but isn’t as thin as the other princesses, deemed an official princess until she got a makeover. It was ridiculous. We were all outraged, and Disney eventually brought her back as she was originally.
The way the media portrays women’s bodies is not fair and not realistic. The fact that it extends to cartoons is unnerving. Why aren’t there plus-size princesses? There’s no reason that Belle or Jasmine or Aurora needed to be drawn in this unattainable fashion. Seriously, the way the princesses are drawn now don’t even make sense in real human anatomy.
The Disney Princess franchise is something so huge that if they made a plus-size princess, it would reach so far. They really do have the opportunity to do something great here. It would be incredible to see Disney take note of this and actually draw up a princess who looks like a lot of young women and girls out there. Not every woman looks like Ariel and seeing the Disney Princess form as a standard of beauty can be really damaging. Disney’s diversity problem hasn’t been solved, although we have a diverse range of princesses. But that diversity shouldn’t stop at skin color.
Having a plus-size princess will give girls who are plus-size someone to look up to. It’s not that they can’t look up to the thin princesses, but they currently aren’t seeing images that look like them. It’s hard to appreciate yourself and be confident when there aren’t role models who actually look like you. Seeing a plus-size princess will help plus-size girls understand that there’s nothing wrong with them the way that they are.
Not only is this something that can be really body-positive for individuals, but it will help with acceptance. There is so much body-shaming going on because we’re all brainwashed to think that these ridiculous standards are the only acceptable forms. Granted, I’d like to think that most of us are smart enough to know that not everyone looks the same. But unfortunately, the media counteracts that by perpetually bombarding us with these false ideals.
Moore’s petition is something that I wish was started a long time ago, even though it’s something that should have just happened already. Hopefully Disney actually makes something happen and draws us up some kickass plus-size princesses to root for.
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