Everybody loves the Disney Princesses right? No one can argue the influence they have on our young girls in today’s society. So why doesn’t Disney use that influence to provide our youth with products that present a healthy, positive and realistic lifestyle and body image Instead, little girls see unattainable physical attributes.
Shouldn’t society try and present realistic princesses to exemplify the average girl Would part of the fantasy of fairytales and cartoons be lost with such authentic depictions of women, or would a more accurate portrayal be even more popular with our smallest princesses
When Disney combined all of their princesses together into one unit, all of our little girls were elated given that they are drawn more toward those characters that they read about in story books or see in the movies. When you look at the Disney princesses simultaneously you see that they are all rather thin.
Snow White begins the group at a fairly normal body size and instead of growing larger or maintaining the same size and shape the princesses slowly start to evaporate. The Disney Princess character that comes closest to representing an average or normal body size is Nani from Lilo and Stitch, but she doesn’t classify as a princess.
Because Nani wasn’t a princess and was never really emulated by young girls like the other princesses, she never became that popular and therefore the desire to be like her never became popular. What if one of the princesses was overweight? Could that be seen as representing an unhealthy lifestyle and an unhealthy body image for women? Why must they all be so thin and fake looking?
With the enormous popularity of the Barbie Doll it only makes sense that instead of just being Barbie, the doll would start to transform into other popular girls, and the Disney princesses are a great example. Barbie was the original tall, thin glamor doll and then other similar dolls were developed Skipper, Ariel, Cinderella, Belle, Jasmine, Aurora, Snow White, Pocahontas, Mulan and many others.
The popularity of this doll spans the whole world. Two Barbie dolls are purchased every second. The doll’s popularity is unquestionable. It only makes sense that the power of Disney and the power of Barbie would come together to create a money-making, little girl influencing empire.
With all of these questions comes another question; what is the size of an average woman in the America. There are lots of different opinions, but most come to the conclusion that the average American woman is 5 feet 4 inches tall, around 140 pounds and wears a size 14. We all know from shopping for clothes that there isn’t one set standard of measurement when it comes to clothes so it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what is a size 14.
But I think we can all picture in our mind a woman who is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds – you could possibly be one. The average woman’s bust is between 36 inches and 37 inches which is a B cup and the average waist is between 30 inches and 34 inches, with hips that measure 40 inches to 42 inches.
Unfortunately these measurements are not replicated in the Barbie dolls that our little girls are playing with. If your daughter’s Disney Princess doll in the shape of a Barbie were to take on human proportions, she would be 7’2″ and 101 pounds and a size 4.
Her bust would be 39 inches which would be a FF cup, her waist would be 19 inches which just happens to be the same circumference as her head and her hips would be 33 inches. These measurements aren’t within reach by humans. In order to possess the same proportions as a Princess Ariel doll the average American woman would have to be 24 inches taller, 6 inches smaller in the waist, 5 inches bustier and have a neck 3 inches longer.
In order for a princess doll to possess her actual body, all of her organs wouldn’t even fit inside her! She’d have only half a liver and a few inches of intestine. It is vital that humans have multiple feet of intestines so that they can properly digest what they eat. With only a few inches of intestine, Princess Jasmine would be on the toilet a lot with chronic diarrhea and overall malnutrition.
She also wouldn’t be able to support her own head due to a neck double the size of the average human’s and she’d have to walk or crawl on all fours because her large chest would cause her to fall forward and her small feel wouldn’t be able to support her.
Disney, Barbie and other manufacturers of popular toys, dolls and movies have the platform to promote a healthy way of living and a positive body image for our kids. But instead, they contribute to an unattainable body image for young girls, and seem to ignore the possible harm that it can and does cause.
Is the answer to have more accurately proportioned princess dolls and Barbies? Is the solution to represent all sizes, shapes, colors and ethnicities within these very influential plastic models of us? Is there ever going to be a role model that satisfies everyone’s expectations or is it all based on the individual? The specific solution isn’t clear, but what is clear is that there is an incredible foundation for someone to change the unrealistic and unattainable body image being presented to young girls, so who’s going to be the first? And will it sell?