The body inclusivity movement needs to extend to cartoons

Photo courtesy of Luis Alveart, Flickr

The idea of beauty is not the same for every person; everyone views it differently. Many young girls, however, are taught from a young age that in order to be seen as beautiful, they must be petite and thin. Today, people are challenging this standard as beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and ethnicities.

This important lesson is yet to infiltrate the cartoon world. It is imperative to make that change and teach young boys and girls that beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder and there are no standards. 

As a young girl I loved Disney Princesses, and Sleeping Beauty was my favorite. I loved their long beautiful hair, their incredible gowns, their fabulous shoes and the handsome princes they meet on their journeys. But one thing that this love of princesses instilled in me as a child was that princesses have to be petite.

Disney Princesses all match one unrealistic body type that nobody could truly achieve. 

In many shows and films, larger women are the butt of so many jokes. They are never the ones to have the handsome man fall in love with them, never the one to get the big job promotion, never taken seriously, and are always made fun of behind their backs. This idea that if you are not skinny, you are “less than” gets imprinted in the minds of young girls who consistently see this arc in films.

And when this idea gets imprinted time and time again, you start to believe that it is true: if you do not match Hollywood’s standards of beauty, you are less than. 

I will say it again: it is time for a change. I know myself and millions upon millions of women are sick and tired of this plotline in movies. Size and worth do not coincide. The body positivity movement has been making itself known, and women of all different shapes are showing off their bodies in a bid to tell other women that they are beautiful, period. A wonderful example would be when these gorgeous plus-size influencers dressed as Disney princesses, showing young girls and women that size does not equal beauty. 

A good place to start making changes would be creating a new Disney princess, one that is plus-size. I do not think this would be a difficult feat as people, especially women and young girls, would get to see their first glimpse of a realistic body type on their new favorite Disney character.

To finally see someone who looks like you or me could be life changing, save people years of body image issues and help people gain the self-confidence they need. Do you think Disney will take this step? Will young girls and women get to see themselves in movies? 

 

agiampag@ramapo.edu