There is a bit of controversy surrounding Cinderella’s waist, or rather, Lily James’ waist. Many critics have spoken out about the actress’s waist size, claiming that it may have been altered to appear smaller for Disney’s new live-action Cinderella film.
James has spoken out herself, claiming that she has a naturally small waist. “On top of that I have a corset that was pulled me into the inch of my life,” she told Nightline.
She is not the first Disney star to be attacked for her small waist; in fact, most of the time, the animated monopoly comes under the wrath of critics for unrealistic proportions on women. That being said however, most of those Disney characters are animated, whereas James is most certainly not.
Speaking in James’ defense, I find it interesting that her waist has become the focus of an incredibly uplifting film. Cinderella is a re-told tale that has taken a classic story and transformed it into a cinematic wonder, with a particular focus on positivism, kindness, courage, and yes, even feminism. Cinderella puts a very generous and kind-hearted woman on the big screen, yet here we are, focusing on her body instead of her mind.
Recently, Disney has been praised for promoting tough girls, from Princesses Merida in Brave to Elsa in Frozen. Though these stories are not so much about the look of the female characters, all of them are still incredibly beautiful — especially the impossibly perfect Elsa. Cinderella, however, has always been a story of kindness, forgiveness, and staying true to one’s self — why are we instead tearing apart the actress who portrayed such an important character for little girls to look up to?
Furthermore, in the latest version of Cinderella, James was not the only beautiful, thin person with a cinched waist in the movie. Both her stepsisters and her stepmother (Cate Blanchett, hello?) are gorgeous, and all boast relatively tiny waists. The original story of Cinderella relies on more than the stepsisters’ nasty personalities to turn the audience off; they are actually supposed to be heavy and unattractive. Not that it at all matters if someone is heavy or not, but it is hard to not notice that the casting of Sophie McShera as Drisella and Holliday Grainger as Anastasia strays from the original tale. Both women are absolutely gorgeous with lovely figures, and their ugliness only comes across in their own bitter and cruel personalities. If we are picking apart James for her waist, how come we are not questioning the casting director for presenting us with seemingly perfect antagonists.
What is the point of all of this conversation and critical obsession? Why does it matter who has a waist that is too small? Or one that is larger? Why is the up-and-coming, very talented star of a much beloved film being criticized for her body instead of praised for her impeccable delivery?
To be completely honest, I was most taken aback by how perfect the Prince’s teeth were!