A call for a 'plus-size' Disney princess

06/02/14

Disney princess

More than 22,000 people have signed a petition for Disney to make its next princess character a "plus-size".

A high school student from the US has organised the online campaign.

Jewel Moore, from Farmville in Virginia, thinks it would help young women if the cartoon characters weren't always portrayed as slim.

She said: "I'm a plus-size young woman, and I know many plus-size girls who need a positive plus-size character in the media".

She believes there is a group of girls who are "horrendously bullied by the media".

If Disney could make a plus-size female protagonist who was as bright, amazing, and memorable as their others, it would do a world of good for those plus-size girls out there who are bombarded with images that make them feel ugly for not fitting the skinny standard.
Jewel Moore

The Disney princess franchise was created in the late 1990s, based on characters from Disney films like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and Cinderella (1950).

Others include Ariel from the Little Mermaid (1989) and Pocahontas (1995).

It's thought more recent movie hits like Tangled (2010) and Frozen (2014) show more modern thinking princess characters.

They appear to be feistier and more independent, but physically slim.

In a statement accompanying her online petition, Jewel Moore said: "If Disney could make a plus-size female protagonist who was as bright, amazing, and memorable as their others.

"It would do a world of good for those plus-size girls out there who are bombarded with images that make them feel ugly for not fitting the skinny standard."

Disney princess
Image caption Sofia the First princess at Walt Disney World in Florida

It comes in a week where the designer of the Barbie doll has defended the body proportions, often criticised for being unrealistic.

In an interview with Fast Company, Kim Culmone, the vice president of design for Barbie at Mattel, said: "Girls view the world completely differently than grown-ups do. They don't come at it with the same angles and baggage and all that stuff that we do."

She also said they are interested in "evolving" the doll's body, but they have to make sure it can still fit into old Barbie clothes.

Disney is yet to respond to the online petition for a "plus-size" princess.

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