Oct 30th, 2015, 09:20 PM

It's Time for a Not-So-Skinny Disney Princess

By Jessaline Fynbo
(Photo: Disney)
Disney needs to introduce a Princess with a different body type.

A five-year-old girl looks in the mirror. She thinks she is fat. She thinks she looks different. She believes she doesn’t fit in. She wonders how she can look normal. Yet the same five-year-old girl to anyone else looks perfectly healthy and adorable.

So why so much self-doubt? Could it be the Disney Princess?

I have watched Disney movies since I was a little girl. To this day I still enjoy taking out these films for a nostalgic watch. I'm no different than most women of my generation. The chance of finding someone in the Western world who did not grow up watching Disney movies is slim to none. Lets put it into perspective: Five out of the top six Disney video releases of all time were Disney princess films. The Disney Princess franchise boasts $2.4 billion in retail sales. Disney Princess animated films had earned $2.6 billion in box office revenues worldwilde. And approximately 93 percent of girls between the ages of six to 11 instantly recognize Tinker Bell. It’s obvious that Disney princesses are hugely popular.

One thing I have noticed is that Disney has yet to introduce a curvy, or at least a not-so-skinny princess. Disney has made efforts to diversify their princesses by having have from various ethnic backgrounds. In 2009, Disney introduced its first African-American princess. That was both applauded and criticized. But at least Disney recognized that it was time to bring more diversity into their circle of Disney royalty. The one thing that Disney has ignored, however, is a princess with a more realistic body type.

While the princesses all have different stories, some less-feminist and some more, they possess unrealistic body ideals for young girls to look up to. Each princess is tall and skinny with breasts and long luscious hair. One Disney watcher took the time to establish that Disney princesses' eyes are quite literally larger than their waists. Let's be honest, only a very small percentage of women worldwide have this body type. 


If you watch the video above, while the young girl is adorable her argumentation says a lot about how Disney has branded what a “princess” looks like. She tells her father that she isn’t a princess because she doesn’t have a dress or sparkly bracelets. Her dad insists that she is a princess, but the child will not agree. 

So why not make Disney Princesses more relatable to girls? During adolescence it is important to explain to young girls that beauty does not only mean skinny with a head full of long and thick hair. Girls need to be told that beauty comes in multiple forms, shapes, sizes, and beliefs. They need to learn that wearing a dress isn’t what makes them a girl. They need to be taught that standing up for what they believe in is much more important than being a damsel in distress. They need to understand that you don't have to be skinny to be a princess. 

It is time for Disney to create a Princess for its franchise that does not resemble what the rest of the princesses have embodied since the first Disney Princesses. It is imperative to teach girls that, no matter what their body type, they are beautiful. It is important to teach girls that they can be “Daddy’s princess” without living in a castle, wearing a ballgown, or having jewelry. Today's young minds are our future. 

A five-year-old looks into the mirror. She thinks she's beautiful, fun, and capable. Isn't this how we want our girls to think of themselves?