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  Minnie Mouse's Anorexic Makeover For Barney's Window Display Enrages Women All Over the Country.
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Minnie Mouse's Anorexic Makeover For Barney's Window Display Enrages Women All Over the Country.

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 the ends.

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 fat.

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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