Disney princesses are a very specific breed of (cartoon) women, something akin to a casting session for “The Bachelor.” Tall, skinny, long-hair, conventionally beautiful. In other woods, despite the company’s attempt to diversify their movies in recent years, Disney princesses are not even remotely reflective of women in the real world.
High school junior Jewel Moore of Farmville, Virginia, is trying to change that. She is asking Disney, through a Change.org petition, to create the first-ever plus-size Disney princess.
Jewel herself is plus-size and points out in her petition that there are not many plus-size women reflected in Disney’s movies who girls (or their moms) like her can see themselves reflected in. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, the average American woman’s weight is 166 lbs. Yet most Disney princesses appear to be a good deal skinnier and smaller than that. The “biggest” women who I can think of from Disney movies are Ursula The Sea Witch from “The Little Mermaid,” a villain and all-around scary person, Mrs. Potts from “Beauty & The Beast,” and the Fairy Godmother in “Cinderella.” (I guess you could also count the chubby mouse Gus from “Cinderella,” too.) But all of those women are older — they aren’t girls and they aren’t princesses. Girls want to wear princesses on their backpacks, dress like them on Halloween, and meet the characters at theme parks. Just like it’s important for girls to see princesses who are Native American and Asian and Black, it’s important for girls to see princesses who look like them.
Am I optimistic this will happen? No. Unfortunately, wading into “plus-size” territory where kids are involved will get controversial and messy faster than you can screech “OBESITY EPIDEMIC!” I’m happy to be proved wrong, though.
Email me at Jessica@TheFrisky.com. Follow me on Twitter.