The strangest and most dangerous thing about these cartoon-body makeovers is that they are clearly targeting an extremely young audience, toddlers even! Why do these designers feel the need to tell young girls that it is not okay to be short and still have your baby fat, like the former Dora the Explorer and Minnie Mouse? This kind of marketing is exactly the sort of thing that is contributing to the fact that 42% of 1st-3rd graders want to be thinner. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that hospitalizations of girls younger than 12 years old for eating disorders are up by 119% from 1999 to 2006. These statistics are terrifying.
If you thought that beauty magazines were only harming the body images of teen girls you would be terribly wrong. The AED (Academy for Eating Disorders) recently came out with a statement condemning the Barney’s Minnie Mouse Display as well, claiming that, “Viewership of such images is associated with low self-esteem and body dissatisfaction in young girls and women, placing them at risk for development of body image disturbances and eating disorders”.
Disney is a company that intentionally targets younger audiences, and the recent re-dos of some of their female character’s bodies are nothing short of shameful. These characters should be teaching girls that they can do anything, to think positively of themselves, to give examples of successful women in all shapes and sizes. Little girls deserve better role models. (via)