Minnie Mouse, beloved Disney cartoon character and perennial girlfriend of Mickey (going on 80 plus years!) has been put on a severe diet. If you are like me, you probably haven’t given much thought to Minnie’s size before. She has always appeared to be perfectly proportioned for a cartoon mouse, in my humble opinion.
Apparently, she wasn’t proportioned in quite the right way, however, to wear a Lanvin dress in a collaboration between the department store Barney’s and Disney that is set to appear during the holiday season. If you are like me and haven’t heard of Lanvin, this is a designer that sells blouses for $750, pencil skirts for close to $900 and rather average looking career dresses that range anywhere from a low (ha!) of $1,800 to well over $3,000. Thanks, I’ll stick with Ann Taylor.
No, in order to wear the very high-end chic Lanvin dress, Minnie’s image had to be converted to the digital equivalent of a 5’11 woman who wears a size 0. The result is not only scary (look at her legs!), but insulting to women. I confess I don’t know what percentage of woman have the natural body type that Minnie is sporting in this ad, but I would hazard a guess that it is less than 1%. And those who have it are probably working models that are forced to remain underweight in order to book jobs. And to be very clear — this isn’t meant as a knock on very tall, very thin women. They do exist and their body type should not be negatively critiqued anymore than their curvier, shorter sisters.
Dancer and writer Ragen Chastain pointed out another very concerning aspect of the re-tooled Minnie image – the effect on young girls.
“There is something wrong with changing a beloved children’s character’s body so that it looks good in a dress that almost nobody looks good in – adding to the tremendous pressure on young girls and women to attain photoshop perfection.”
Anyone who has parented girls knows that concerns about weight begin very early in childhood. I can only imagine that a young girl looking at these two very different images of Minnie is going to be confused. The overwhelming message she is getting from many media sources, however, is that Skinny Minnie is the ideal to aspire to. No wonder eating disorders are on the rise in girls younger than 12. Shame on Disney for participating in this offensive campaign.
If you are interested in adding your voice to those expressing displeasure to Disney and Barney’s, Change.org has an online petition that already has close to 113k signatures.
About the Author:
Anya@IW has written for ImperfectWomen.com since 2009. She dutifully follow current events and pop culture and loves having a platform to share her imperfect opinions.