Disney Plus Size Princess Petition

Jewel Moore, a junior right here in Farmville, VA has made international news with her petition on change.org for Disney to include a plus-sized princess. In just under 3 weeks, Jewel’s petition has amassed over 25,000 signatures and national and international news coverage.

In part, Jewel’s petition reads:

I made this petition because I’m a plus-size young woman, and I know many plus-size girls and women who struggle with confidence and need a positive plus-size character in the media.

Studies show that a child’s confidence correlates greatly with how much representation they have in the media. 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.

The Huffington Post reports that Jewel is correct in her assessment of how girls engage in unhealthy eating behaviors.

The reaction to this petition also demonstrates social learning theory – how positive and negative reinforcement from others influences gendered norms (in this case, the importance of and type of ideal appearance for women).  For negative reaction, check out hostile comments made about Jewel in response to her petition and even broadcast on national news.  However, Jewel has also received a great deal of support in her quest for more realistic and a variety of body types to be represented in children’s media – my favorite is this great video created by an artist of his work to create a princess in Jewel’s image!



6 thoughts on “Disney Plus Size Princess Petition

  1. I have had a few friends who have gone through the disney college program and have tried to be casted as a disney princess or princes, but the physical qualifications they need to meet are incredibly specific. Most of the actresses have to be a size 2-4.
    I have also seen articles where artists have redrawn disney princesses and princes into what they would look like as an average sized woman or man. This post also made me think about the movie, “Brave”. The princess Merida, has thick messy red curls, and more of a tom boy personality than any other princess. I think Disney is starting to realize how children view their earlier princesses and how it is effecting the way they view themselves.

  2. I remember hearing about this a few months ago and all the attention that this girl was getting for her plus size petition for Dinsey princesses. This particular post and situation interests me a lot, because Disney princesses are icons that we have known since we were little girls. We had the dolls, some of us even went to Disneyworld and actually met the princesses, and tried to look and act like these princesses. They were idols and role models for us as young girls. I can remember also that it was a big deal when Disney finally had an African American princess from their re-make of the story, The Princess and the Frog. Disney’s idea of princesses as basically perfect, skinny, great hair and all around beautiful is similar to how the media influences young girls. The messages being told to these girls is that they have to wear make up, they need to have perfect hair, they need to be skinny in order to be considered beautiful by guys or society in general. It just adds so much pressure to young girls in order to try to live up to these standards. Disney has been just as bad in the media in the way that they have these cookie cutter princesses in terms of their looks making young girls believe that is what women, beauty, and all around perfection looks like. The concept and main point of this petition and issue with the Disney princesses can be related to how much our culture’s practices really influence us. As discussed in chapter one, our culture’s practices and the gender norms for women are being portrayed by Disney princesses. Barbie dolls are also just as bad as the Disney princesses, because Barbies also influence young girls and make them believe that they need to look like their dolls. The interesting thing about Barbie dolls is that I read online once that if Barbie were a real person her body would be so disproportionate and unhealthy, because of how tiny her hips and legs are and how big her butt and breasts are. Barbie is just as unrealistic and as much of a negative depiction of women and beauty as Disney princesses are. In the long run, they will do society and children more harm than good by leading them to believe that is what a beautiful woman looks like.

  3. I think that this campaign is amazing and could do great things for girls growing up in this unrealistic world. Society is telling us to be as skinny as celebrities and models that are not actually as skinny as their photoshopped photos portray.

    As a girl that will NEVER be “skinny” I hope that this campaign works. It is important for young woman to know that it is okay if you are not what society deems to be skinny. I struggled with my body image growing up because I am simply not build like I am “supposed” to be. I am tall with big hips and athletic build thighs. My hips simply will not let me be smaller than a size 10 (not that they is my size 🙂 ).

    The criticism of this campaign is that by having a plus-size princess we are encouraging young girls to be fat, that we are saying “being fat and unhealthy is okay.” That is not what this is saying. I have to watch my weight because sometimes I have unhealthy eating and exercise habits but, like I said before, I will never be Disney princess skinny. I think that having a plus-size princess is showing girls that have bigger builds, like myself, that they are beautiful and that it is okay to be bigger. There is a difference between a plus-size person and an unhealthy, overweight person.

  4. Jewel must have had enormous courage and support to initially make this plea to Disney for a “plus-size” princess. To even begin a petition of this caliber and have it spread internationally is amazing taking into account her age. For Jewel to be one of the first people to publicly state and demand a change from Disney because princesses are not similarly shaped as her and probably most of her peers, it is a shame that many have not done it sooner. I do believe that if she had changed her wording a bit she would not have received as much negative backlash as she did from many of the public. Instead of using the term “plus-size” continuously in her petition, I believe it might have been more effective to use “normal-size,” “more realistic size,” or something to that effect. Society has started to look down on those who have a “few extra pounds” when in all reality they are as healthy and as active as they can be, but they just are not that ideal figure or weight (or not skin and bones). By including the term “plus-size” she started off with a negative vibe to all those who do believe that “big is not beautiful.” Jewel was more than correct in her petition saying that because Disney is such an influential part of both girls and boys lives in the early years of development, that if they see a character who is like them and are able to relate, they might be able to see that they are just as bright, amazing, and memorable as that character. There is not a “one size fits all” in life, so there should not be a “one size fits all” Disney princess.

  5. As soon as we discussed this in class, I think it was the first day, I went and I read Jewel’s story. I want to state how brave I think this high-schooled young woman is. When I think back to high school (it was such a long time ago!), there is no way that I would have had the guts to start a petition about weight. I have attended high school and as anyone who has attended high school, there are clichés. One such cliché comes to mind when I think about body image, peer pressure, or beauty, and those girls are known as the “popular” girls. They are slim and tiny, have all the best clothes, and some part of us wants to be just like them. There are some of these girls in every high school. But we also see these women on the television, in magazines, on billboards, even in our Disney movies; they are what’s hot and who we should strive to be. But sometimes, these women aren’t realistic. I for one know this because I am an athletic woman. I possess curves and muscles, so my thighs will touch each other. My arm circumference is sometimes one of these women’s leg measurements. I have wanted to be these women, but silently. I have hated these women because what they show us beautiful is, it is not practical. After all of these thoughts running through my head, I signed Jewel’s petition. I was disgusted by the comments that had been left on Jewel’s petition. The one that was extremely hard to read was one posted by Zachary P.

    “How about we quit appeasing every child’s massive ego. If you don’t look like a princess…good! You aren’t a princess, you’re a dumpy prole and need to learn that external validations are cheap substitutes for self actualization and true acceptance. If it bothers you, hit the gym and slurp on a kale shake. Grab your mat and let it all go.”

    I find it so hard to read the hate in these words. Jewel’s not promoting that Disney create a “fat” or “dumpy” princess, she is asking Disney to create a plus-size princess. Plus-size models are a part of the fashion world, they are real people, and they have gone through so much because of their weight. But these models, or women, do not promote putting anything in your mouth and call yourself beautiful. No, as anyone who has tried to go on a successful diet (insert laugh here), you can appreciate just how hard this is. But these women are normally unique in different aspects, some of them of geniuses; some of them are changing the world. These women are role models because they cannot just rely on their looks to get them somewhere in life. As we can see by Jewel’s strength of character and thoughtfulness by being the spokeswoman for many, many young girls in our society, she has tried to change the world. She is trying to make a difference in what our culture sees as beautiful. I think if fashion embraces plus-size models, then Disney can too. As for Zach P, I think he needs to go back and read A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett because Sara Crewe said it best when she stated, “I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren’t pretty, or smart, or young. They’re still princesses. All of us.” This is what I believe.

  6. Jewel Moore is a smart Woman. With her doing this petition is giving women all around the world confidence, to think one day Disney might actually do this. Personal I think Disney should do this. There are so much degrading media portrayals on women today, it’s disgusting, especially looking at these horrible comments on this petition. While reading these comment I came across one that really struck me, it said ”not plus sized, normal sized. Why make them fat? It isn’t healthy. Make them more normal and healthy looking.” To answer Shay S comment I would say Jewel Moore is not trying to make them look fat and she is trying to make a Disney Princess look healthy by putting meat on their bones. It’s crazy to me why someone would say she is trying to make a Disney Princess be fat. Some of the people saying this comments need to think before they say. The most important thing that is Jewel Moore is trying to change something that most women would not do is incredible.

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