Monday, October 22, 2012

Body Image... Again

It seems that women are constantly being assaulted from all sides to be thinner.  Mainly, I think we're all used to it because of consistently seeing ads with already-thin girls photoshopped to be even thinner.  But sometimes the media goes a little too far.  Has anyone seen this?

Photo: WWD/Barney's/Courtesy Photo
As this article explains, Barney's of New York is going to be running a holiday ad in which Minnie Mouse dreams of herself in Paris, with various other Disney characters joining her as models.  The picture above is how Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck will appear.

Let's all remember what Minnie Mouse usually looks like:

Traditionally, this icon from Walt Disney has been presented with a rather curvy figure.  The Barney's advertisement team has somehow felt it necessary to make her stick-thin.  Frankly, I find the new versions very creepy.  They're beyond runway model thin--they're more anorexic thin.  And in the world we live in where anorexia, bulimia, and body dismorphia are frequent problems for impressionable girls, is it really wise to be taking a beloved curvy children's figure and turning her into an impossibly thin version?

Minnie Mouse is not even fat, she's simply curvy.  The message it seems to send is that when you have curves, one of your biggest dreams should be to be thinner.  And I take issue with that.  Let's teach our children to be happy and healthy.  Being too thin can be just as detrimental to health as being overweight. 

The article also has a link to a petition to stop Barney's from running this ad on  If you go there, they list some shocking figures about children and body image:

•47% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures.
• 69% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape.
• 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner.
• 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat.

They're all pretty sad, but the third bullet point about 1st-3rd grade girls really depressed me.  At that age the only thing you should be worried about is if it'll rain and you can't go outside for recess.   I hope Barney's realizes the negative effects their ad could have on girls who view it. 

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