Why Disney Needs To Draw Up Plus-Size Princesses

I love the Disney Princess franchise, but growing up with it, I never really realized a lot of the issues that it has. I’ve been trying to bring some of these to light, but there’s something that I haven’t touched on yet because there’s no movie about it. There are no plus-size princesses.

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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  • Foreverawesome

    Back in the day, being larger was a sign of wealth. So if she was a princess, it would make sense if she was larger. I think it’s a good idea to have a princess who is larger, but still really cool and awesome.

  • Jade

    Lots of fricking rude comments, guys, I may not be plus size, but i know people who are, and ya, i think they should have a plus sized princess, BUT, we are going to get a rasist movie again, like tanya, She was in ” the bayo ” ( oops ) suronded by red necks.

  • Merp

    There is no reason for a plus sized princess. The girls are FICTIONAL, so obviously their physical traits are unattainable. Look at Jessica Rabbit, you think HER body is anything close to the actual female form? Get over yourself.

    • nerdygirl

      Exactly, plus whether the girls were big or not the thing that matters most is their personalities; if you’re talking purely about looks something is wrong with you not Disney.

  • Marii

    I disagree. Much like the people claiming barbie should release a plus-sized doll. They’re works of fiction. Idealized, perfect people made for enjoyment, not for a role model. It’s not disneys job to make people feel good about their bodies, it their job to create romantic senerios including unrealistic people. This is how its always been and there’s no reason to bring the ‘real wold’ into fiction. Also, though I’m very happy with people accepting and feeling good about their bodies, people need to understand that being overweight isn’t healthy, and that calling anyone under 120 pounds, real or fictional, ‘anorexia’ is disgusting. Obviously being too skinny isnt healthy either, but the girls in these movie shave huge, cartoonish eyes, long perfect hair, tiny hands and feet, why? Because they’re fictional characters and should be treated as such.

  • Kristen

    I don’t think it is fair to nail any one corporation for not representing everyone in the world. Ultimately, everyone is out to make money. Disney, along with almost every other film or marketing giant sees what consumers are buying, and are probably going to stick to what works. It isn’t up to just Disney to fix the media problem. Lots of kids television shows stick to skinny actors and many marketers stick to skinny models in advertisements. This is bigger than not having a Disney princess to call your own. I never really thought about their loos anyways, I tended to like the princesses who’s personalities I identified with.

  • yes

    Plus size does not equal unhealthy. Stop fat shaming and understand that girls are so self conscious from ages as early as 6 about their weight and that fat is not an insult.

    • Sophie

      Yes it does, if someone is a plus size it means that they are overweight, being overweight is extremely unhealthy and leads to a shortened life-span, I do not agree that women should idealise Barbie’s waist size as it is unachievable however I do believe that children should not be brought up thinking that allowing yourself to become a plus-size is “okay”, not for look purposes but for health.

  • Mel

    First people want Gay princesses, now they want plus-size. People will never be happy…

  • tays89

    There are no plus size princesses because being overweight is unhealthy. Yes, there are a large number of plus size women in the world, and while these women themselves may be good role models, their weight is not something we should emulate. Being overweight can lead to diabetes and heart disease. If the body images of Disney princesses are really something little girls focus on, then we should not encourage them to adopt unhealthy eating habits by having plus size princesses. Everyone claims that having thin princesses encourages anorexia. I don’t find that to be true, personally, but if thin princesses encourage anorexia, won’t having plus size princesses encourage over eating and possible obesity? Both of these things have equally harming effects. Keep in mind that diabetes is on the rise, childhood obesity is at an all time high, and heart disease is the current leading cause of death. Just saying. Oh, and by the way, being thin IS attainable by eating right and exercising, not just by having an eating disorder.

    • anya

      Thank you! Why should we be telling kids that being fat is ok when it is unhealthy and leads to millions of health problems. Of course anorexia and other eating disorders arent ok either but that doesnt mean that we should be celebrating child obesity.

  • Brianna

    To be completely honest, I don’t see why everything has to be labeled ‘plus size’ or has to be one extreme or the other. Yes it would be great to have more Disney Princesses with realistic body types, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be deemed ‘plus size’ princesses. There’s a huge middle ground of normal, average sized girls being ignored here, and its impossible to please everyone. Either their boobs are to big or too small, their waist lines thin or wide, its never going to be perfect. If you wanted to write an article about having ‘healthy’ and natural Disney Princesses, that varied in shape, size, and appearance, I would agree 100 percent.

  • arya

    Maybe i’ll get hate for this but i honestly don’t think we should have plus-size disney princesses. I understand that the disney princess body is unattainable but thats an entirely different story. Obesity is an epidemic in our society, of course there are many plus sized women who are perfectly healthy but i truly don’t think that having a plus sized princess is healthy for young girls. we should all strive to take the best possible care of our bodies. A plus sized princess would be realistic however it could encourage young girls to not make the healthiest of choices. You know what disney girl would be a happy medium? Nani from Lilo and Stitch. She wasn’t perfectly skinny but she wasn’t overweight either. She was attainable for all of us. Maybe we need a princess who might not be perfect but is active and makes healthy decisions.