Minnie Mouse's Anorexic
Makeover For Barney's Window Display Enrages Women All Over the
Disney keeps pushing the envelope for a more modern, upscale
look. Gift shops have gotten fashionable makeovers, replacing
oversized Mickey T shirts with designer bags and young hip
clothes. For this Holiday season, Barney's is launching a window
display including Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck as 5'11 size 0
girls. The women of America are asking: has it gone too far?
Disney's influence has long been seen in couture fashion, with
models wearing mouse ears, oversized Minnie bows and the classic
Mickey Mouse symbol down the runway and in fashion spreads. When
the majorly influential family-friendly company decided to team
up with Barney's for a fun and fashionable window display, this
is the sort of influence the public had in mind.
However, in lieu of models, the campaign will feature several
beloved Disney Characters themselves, including Daisy Duck,
Minnie Mouse and Goofy. One of the coordinators of the display
explained that Minnie Mouse simply wouldn't "look good" in the
Lanvin dress that she would be required to wear with her current
proportions. Her body was changed into a long, thin version that
is unrecognizable. Women from all over the country suggest that
the solution could have been to put her head on a real model's
body, or simply use her character as inspiration for the line.
Instead, the mouse was altered digitally in a way that is not
only making an impossible change for the existing character, but
in a way that also made her thinner and taller than any real
woman on the planet. In this design, her torso is preposterously
long, with arms and legs that almost disappear into nothing at
Disney has recently become known for strong female characters
that rise up against adversity to achieve their goals without
ever compromising who they are. In Brave, a girl earns the right
to chose her own marriage partner based on love, and in The
Princess and The Frog, a young woman works hard for her goal of
owning a restaurant.
That has not always been the case, however. Earlier Disney
princesses relied heavily on their looks and housekeeping skills
to survive. A Disney princess was first and foremost good to
look at, and then later on revealed other important qualities,
typically cooking and cleaning and not speaking much. In Snow
White, a young woman is forced away because of her looks, and
learns to keep a house clean and tidy. For this, she is rewarded
with marriage. There are theories that such tales were meant to
keep women in line, and keep them from getting too carried away
once they were joining war efforts, getting jobs, and generally
getting out of the house.
In The Little Mermaid, another young woman leaves her family,
changes herself from a beautiful mermaid princess into an
ordinary human and risks the lives of all her friends for a man
who besides being older than her by five years has never even
heard her speak. She trades her most prized possession, the
ability to sing and voice her opinions, for long, normal legs
and a typical girl's body. He chooses to marry her after only
three silent days, because she is beautiful.
It is no surprise that teenage girls and older typically
struggle with body image issues, as it has become an appalling
right of passage in the United States. What is even more
shocking is the age in which girls may begin to develop these
problems. According to a report issued by the American Academy
of Pediatrics (AAP), hospitalizations for eating disorders in
children younger than 12 years old rose by 119% from 1999 to
2006. Yes, the report did focus on girls younger than twelve.
According to non-profit National Association of Anorexia and
Associated Eating Disorders website, 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls
want to be thinner and 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being
Why is Disney telling Minnie Mouse to lose weight? She is a
fictional character that isn't even meant to resemble human
proportions. What is the message that we, by allowing these
changes, are sending? Minnie Mouse is decently shaped and fun to
look at- until she has to be pretty and dressed up. Then she has
to change everything about herself in order to be acceptable.
Barney's: Leave this mouse alone, and put some real women in
your window display this Holiday season.
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