The Princess Petition: Give Those Girls Some Curves!
By Laura Mooney, Arts Editor
It is a fact; the female body comes in all shapes and sizes. While more mainstream television shows and movies having been adapting to this fact with the inclusion of curvy actresses now appearing in leading roles, one company in particular, has remained consistently unchanged with their model of female beauty; Disney. Throughout the 80-year span of Disney’s feature length animated films, the one major aspect that has been noticeably absent in their films is some diversity with their animated characters, with the most specific one being the Disney princesses.
This lack of curves on some of the most famous women in the world has not gone unnoticed, with many groups concerned with women’s self-esteem commenting on this fact before, but now one young woman is determined to get something changed once and for all. Jewel Moore from Virginia started a petition on change.org, urging Disney studios to create a Disney princess that has some curves to her body, in order to reflect a more realistic female body type. The tenacious junior high student, who says she is a plus-sized young woman herself, is using the petition as a means to call out not only Disney, but all those in the media who are responsible for there being a lack of role models for curvy women represented in today’s media. When one stops to think about the statement that Jewel is making, one can see that she is not wrong. You could probably count on one hand the number of shows that an overweight woman has appeared on in which she is the main character, and are mostly likely only on shows that have appeared in the past three years, such as Melissa McCarthy in Mike and Molly, and Lena Dunham in Girls. Although Jewel is concerned about the lack of diversity across all mediums, Disney is her main target, since the princesses tend to be the first role models young girls have as children.
Jewel states in her petition’s manifesto, “if Disney could make a plus-sized female protagonist who was as bright, amazing, and memorable as their others, it would do a world of good for those plus-sized girls out there who are bombarded with images that make them feel ugly for not fitting the skinny standard.” She also goes on to express her desire for Disney to create this curvy princess, since their films are so widespread and influential to young children, and it would be nice to have some reprise from the constant bullying and fat shaming they receive from the rest of media.
Although it is a large task, Jewel’s petition entitled “Make Plus-Sized Princesses in Disney Movies!” has caught a fair amount of steam, with the petition already receiving 13,090 of its desired 15, 000 signatures, and is rapidly spreading across Facebook and other social media websites. Whether or not it will be enough to convince those at Disney to branch out with their character designs, it is always a plus to see that people are aware of the issue, and are working hard to get what is considered “the norm” to change.