Coming this fall, the world will see that Disney went on a diet. Well, not really, but classic Disney characters will be seen in a brand new role as skinny runway fashion models.
Disney has partnered with Barney’s Department store for their 2012 holiday campaign called “Electric Holiday.” Rina Raphael of TODAY reported on this story on Today’s “Look.” The ads will highlight the classic Disney characters like Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Daisy Duck. The campaign is also intended to be a reflection of Disneyland’s famous Electric Parade.
The visuals of the Barney’s ads portray the characters as runway models. As the creative director and team began fitting the toons into the high-end couture clothing, they ran into a problem: Minnie and her friends did not wear the animated clothes well in their round physiques. The solution was to elongate and change the shapes of the classic characters. Now, images of a very slender Minnie Mouse and friends are causing quite a stir. Some are even saying Minnie looks anorexic.
Oh my – what is the right response to this? Shame the creators who took our beloved round-figured cartoons and turned them into an impossibly thin model? Or, do we just go with it and not worry because they’re just drawings? Is this reinforcing negative images of beauty to our young children, especially young girls? Is Minnie now the new bad role model?
It’s really hard to say. The interesting issue with this ordeal is that opponents of the campaign are arguing that our kids don’t need another negative image of what they’re supposed to look like. However, aren’t these just animals? It’s a mouse, a dog, and a duck; not humans. Granted they’ve been dressed like humans, but aren’t they still just animals – cartoons at that?
The battle for viewing healthy as beautiful is ongoing and will likely continue to be fought. Many runway models are too thin and they use dangerous methods to get to that shape. None of these things are what we want our children emulating. But maybe, just maybe, the battle against the skinny cartoons isn’t the one worth fighting. They are just cartoons after all, right?