Disney Princesses and Body Image

Disney Princesses and Body Image

If I’m being honest, when I was younger, I dreamt about meeting Walt Disney so he can tell me all about his movies. I wanted to know if it’s true that all movies were connected in some weird way or is it just a coincidence. Right now, I have lots of doubts if Disney had any idea how he influenced young children by disrupting body image in his movies is.

Nowadays we speak about body positivity and body image a lot, especially on social media. Last night I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and I found this photo of Disney princesses and how would they look like if they were real people. Let me tell you now – it wasn’t pretty. Of course, the images were photo-shopped as no one really could look like that and if they do it’s probably due to tons of surgeries and make up.

“Most valuable asset is beauty”

I think the most ridiculous thing is that young children are taught that beauty is everything and you have to be pretty to achieve anything – like Cinderella needed to completely transform her hair and put a make up on to be pretty and enticing. We see this everywhere. Every princess has an expensive dress and make up on. It’s said that when they’re in their casual clothes they are not as beautiful when in glamour.

There’s majority of princesses that look like they’ve been wearing a corset from the day they were born and they have been starving themselves ever since. They all have a waist size zero, big booties and heads. It looks unnatural. They are so out of proportion that it makes me think if it was a planned action or maybe they just didn’t care as long as they looked pretty. Also, most princesses have long slim necks (like there’s only one type of acceptable neck shape?!?!) and narrow wrists. They look like dolls and for me, when it comes to beauty, there’s not only one type of it – there are shapes and curves that are lovable and beautiful too.

For decades, we have been fed with lies about how a perfect body should look like. They say you have to have hourglass body, large breast, fair complexion and pretty, big eyes to look fabulous and beautiful. It also mention something about thick, long eyelashes and perfect teeth. Disney has been devaluing bigger-sized women for years and nobody took action to change it. Why can’t we add some curves and some actual fat? I think to would look not only more realistic but prettier too.

Summary

In my honest opinion Walt Disney made a great movies but I hate how he made every princess look like a unrealistic goddess. I think Disney movies are creating misleading body image for your girls and they’re messing with their heads, making them think that they won’t be beautiful until they will look like one of the princesses. Walt Disney, being long gone right now, can’t change his decisions but it makes me upset that no one thought about re-making those movies and adding some human shapes and sizes into it.

Being a fan of Moana and Merida I can tell that maybe they are ones of the first princesses that are actually more human like than others. They are, of course, out of proportion too but I think their body shapes are a little bit better than any other princess. If you look closely, they have some curves and some fat so they’re not as thin as a piece of paper. Also, both of them have lovely, curly hair and they’re embracing it proudly. I think they’re the closest thing to a human at this moment.

Plus-size – why?

Plus-size – why?

We see it everywhere. In the adverts, billboards, clothing apps, TV, social media and even at your everyday bus stop. The list is never-ending. People have been so used to this word. But it never was thought through, was it? Plus-size is something that’s been around since late 20s. It was invented by a man, which doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. Why would a man want to categorize people by their size, right? Well, let me tell you how it all started.

The woman named Lena Bryant was widowed in early age of her life. She was a dressmaker, providing a good living for her and her son. One day she borrowed some money from her brother-in-law and went to the bank. The officer in the bank misspelled her name as Lane and that’s how “Lane Bryant” came to life. She rented a small place and started selling her clothing line. One day, a pregnant woman came to her shop asking for something “presentable but comfortable”. Lena created a dress with an elastic waistband and accordion-pleated skirt. This piece of clothing soon became known as “maternity dress” and was the best-selling piece in Bryant’s shop.

After Lena Bryant got married, her husband took over the shop and began to expand it. Soon, Albert would establish three types of women figures and made clothing to fit each one (I have so many comments about only 3 types of figures but I will leave it until the end of this post). Maternity clothing quickly was shadowed by “plus-size” clothing. And the phrase is used to this day.

Now, I’m grateful for Lena Bryant Malsin (and her husband David Bryant) to start a clothing line where bigger women are appreciated and look beautiful in their clothes (functioning to this day) but I have just one question – why? There’s so much wrong in calling the clothing for bigger women “plus-size”. Do you agree? Well, let’s review a little bit.

First things first, there’s a “plus-size”. Okay. Why isn’t there “micro-size” too then? If we’re so easy to categorise people by their weight, then sizes from 4 to 8 should be called “micro-sizes”, shouldn’t they? Why did we call people that have more pounds here and there “plus-size” when skinny people are JUST skinny people? There’s no answer to that but I think it’s very wrong. It’s not fair towards bigger people. Some even may find it offensive. Some may take it as a huge attack towards them. There’s something in the word “plus-size” that makes me want to yell. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s just because I find it so hugely inappropriate.

Can we also talk about that all “plus-size” models aren’t really what the name says? They’re always have big booties or bigger thighs, or even bigger boobs, interfering with their body measurements but usually they have flat bellies and no double chin or whatsoever. How’s that plus-size and who said it’s okay to quietly shame women who have those things by calling a supermodel “plus-size” when they’re actually look healthy and normal? We DO care, you know? It’s not fair towards us – that’s the message to every fashion designer ever. Maybe try to use some real big women instead. Women that happen to know what “big” means and women that actually cherish their bodies the way they are – with floppy bellies, saggy boobs and cellulite. Women that care about being true to the world.

I strongly believe that calling ourselves “plus-size” isn’t the right thing to do either. It’s complete opposite – we are hiding behind the word, trying to avoid calling ourselves “fat”. And I know it, I used to do it a lot. But I think, looking at all of those models and calling ourselves the same way they are called is absolutely devastating for our mental health. We see advert with so called “plus-size” and then we look at ourselves and discover that we’re look nowhere near the way the model looks. And it brings us down. I don’t know about you but I’d rather call myself “fat” and be happy than call myself “plus-size” and get disappointed when I don’t live up to their expectations. It messes with out mental health.

I want to raise awareness about how bigger clothes are more expensive. If you’re a bigger woman, you probably know that buying cute clothes is always more expensive for you than your skinny friends. You can buy the same shirt, in the same shop but it will be double the price. Why is that? Well, sellers say that it’s because there’s more fabric used to make it. Well I say – screw you! That’s not because you use more fabric to sew it. Size 2 is bigger than size 0 and size 6 is bigger than 4 and they still cost the same. It’s just the way for companies to shame bigger people because they don’t look like models. They might as well put a tag on our clothes saying “you are different than other people so we will charge you more for it”.

I want you to take a minute right now and think – did it ever hurt you when you’ve heard the word “plus-size”? Does it hurt you right now? How do you feel about it? These days, we have so many great shops for people that are bigger but I wish that they won’t call it “plus-size”. How does simply “fashion for all” sounds like to you? I believe that every size is just a size. Whether it’s a 6 or 16. We are all equally beautiful and we deserve to be treated equally too.

Here is the video of Ashley Graham talking about “plus-size” – I want you to watch it. I want you to see yourself differently and I want you to see that no matter what your size is – you’re beautiful. You are writing your own beauty.