Plus-sized Disney Princesses? Teen Spurs Body Image Debate Online

by Laura Fontaine Haines

An online petition for Disney to feature their first plus-sized female protagonist has been created by Virginia high school student, Jewel Moore.

On, she explains: “I made this petition because I’m a plus-size young woman, and I know many plus sized girls and women who struggle with confidence and need a positive plus-size character in the media.”  

In her post, Moore suggests that since Disney films are so widespread and influential to their audience of children and especially girls, it would be totally “revolutionary for Disney to show support to a group of girls who are otherwise horrendously bullied by the media.”

While in most recent years, Disney has introduced a few female characters who have challenged the traditional white feminine model (i.e. Tiana, Mulan, Pocahontas, Merida), we have yet to see a positive representation of an averagel sized girl or young woman character. “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. It would make many young girls feel confident and worthy to see a strong character that looks like them,” says Jewel. And she’s right. In just one week of the petition being posted, it had already collected over 18,000 signatures.

Yet in addition to all of the support that she and her petition have been receiving, backlash and opposing petitions have begun to appear online as well. Of course they stem from the perspective of maintaining healthy lifestyles, but they also continue to deny the acceptance of representations of average bodies, specifically in young women. Those who are challenging the idea to include a plus-size princess in Disney films have created their own petitions, and are contributing to the online debate that is essentially addressing ways to incorporate body positivity for young women in the media.

What do you Busties think? Let us know in the comments how you feel about Disney creating a plus-size princess. And here’s the link if you want to sign Jewel’s petition.


images via Yahoo

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