Jewel Moore, 17, from Fuqua High School in Farmville, Virginia, launched a Change.org petition asking Disney to give us an interesting female character who isn’t stick-thin. Jewel: ‘It’s extremely difficult to find a positive representation of plus-size females in 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.
Disney films are highly influential and wide-spread, and they impact the lives of many children, especially girls. It would be revolutionary for Disney to show support to a group of girls..
..who are otherwise horrendously bullied by the media. Jewel told Yahoo! ‘I know the characters are just cartoons but they give girls their first impressions of real-life women.. Do YOU think Disney should make a larger princess?
..Now that I’m almost an adult, cartoons don’t impact my confidence, but I have small cousins and I want them to see a wide representation of women. If plus-size girls see characters that look like them succeed, it would show them that they can do anything.’
Over the years, Disney has occasionally strayed from its classic princess aesthetic. Its 2012 Pixar film ‘Brave’ focuses on Merida, a tomboy hero with wild, curly red hair, and 2009’s ‘The Princess and the Frog’ features a hardworking African-American waitress named Tiana (who eventually becomes the princess).
And of course, there’s the 1995 flick ‘Pocahontas,’ which tells the story of the daughter of an Algonquin chief who falls in love with an English colonist, and 1998’s ‘Mulan,’ about a Chinese warrior who leads her country to battle dressed as a man.
‘To be clear, I’m not asking for Disney to stop making thin princesses. I would just like to see a princess with a different body shape. Where’s the pear-shaped princess? The short princess? The chubby princess?
I’ve had a few people tell me that I should redirect my efforts to help women not look toward the media to gain their self-confidence. I wish women wouldn’t listen to the media, but that’s inevitable.
If we can’t change people, we can at least start with animated characters. I want little boys to see plus-size Disney princesses, so they don’t grow up and think women they date have to look perfect.’