Posted by: pcordell | October 22, 2012

Minnie Mouse as a Size 0

Stadler and O’Shaunessy discuss body appearance manipulation in our textbook Media and Society (2012).   They mention “most media images of women feature models so thin that they have practically ‘no body’ and are “nobodies’ lacking in individuality because they all have the same stereotypical kind of beauty.”  (p.366).

They also say, “This could all be interpreted as yet another media message that young people have to be thin and wear designer labels in order to measure up to media ideals…” (p.366)

This holiday season, Barney’s of New York and Disney are ‘starving’ childhood’s superstar Minnie Mouse into a stick figure so she can model one of their famous evening dresses in a holiday window display.


Celebrities are using their popularity with fans (O’Shaunessy & Stadler 2012, p.427 – 430) to influence the conversion of  Minnie Mouse to a 5’11” size O. Self-described fat person Ragen Chastain is circulating a petition on asking Barney’s and Disney to not change Minnie’s shape:

For a holiday window display, Barney’s and Disney have agreed to showcase Minnie Mouse wearing a designer dress — and distorted so she looks like she’s 5’11” and size 0.

I work with kids who have eating disorders, so I’m not exaggerating when I say the message this sends is deadly. According to one study, hospitalization for children younger than 12 with eating disorders went up 119% from 1999 to 2006. Younger than 12.

Can’t  concern for our children’s mental and physical health be expected to trump commercialism?   Aren’t the models journalists choose for shoots in fashion media irresponsibly thin?

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