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Old 02-05-2014, 11:35 PM   #31
agavegirl1
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(Jumps onto personal soapbox)....

My daughter is an animator. For her Master's thesis, she designed two female protagonists and set them in a "Space Opera". They were definitely idealized characters in terms of body size but their characters are strong, fearless and clever. She has participated in a number of panels on women in animation and this subject does come up. Essentially, if a young girl cannot identify with the personality of the character, the character will not "sell". Girls and women want to identify with these characteristics regardless of their body size. They want strong role models. Remember, women animators are few and far between and it is very new. Who knows what changes will come as a result.
That said...

A cartoon is a cartoon. Think of a characature of yourself, does it have to look like you to capture "you"? My daughter has animated herself in numerous iterations. The marketable ones are superhero style in the Marvel and Disney traditions. I love them! However, she does have some cute graphic novel style versions that show her as a crooked little girl. You see, she had severe scoliosis until last winter when she had titanium rods put in her back. Does anyone want to buy those characters? Not so far, but I'm convincing her to do a series of patient information pamphlets for young people facing scoliosis surgery.

The brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen did not write stories about princesses who were not idealistically beautiful so those stories should not be illustrated any other way. Our role models are those we admire and aspire to be like. It's time we give up the notion that appearance should be our aspiration.

In Martin Luther King's "Dream Speech", he had a dream that his four children would not be judged by the color of their skin but the content of their character. Why not apply the same dream to the body mass index of our children? It goes both ways, no cute, little girl with perfectly smooth curls wants to be judged solely on her appearance either.

Off soap box now...
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:54 PM   #32
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Agavegirl1 - that is so cool. I would love to sit in on one of her panels, they sound really interesting, and I would be interested to hear the perspective of a female animator.

I agree with you, I think we need to get past physical appearances. My question for you is - How do we get there? Should we continue with the status quo? Or is it time to try something different?

Is there anything wrong with a strong female cartoon with larger than a six inch waist?
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:04 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by LaurenPlock View Post
Agavegirl1 - that is so cool. I would love to sit in on one of her panels, they sound really interesting, and I would be interested to hear the perspective of a female animator.

I agree with you, I think we need to get past physical appearances. My question for you is - How do we get there? Should we continue with the status quo? Or is it time to try something different?

Is there anything wrong with a strong female cartoon with larger than a six inch waist?
No Lauren, there is nothing wrong with it...however, women are just making strides in the animation field and they understand that what attracts us to a character (or actor/actress) is how symetrical their features appear. Things like waist/hip ratio for example. It's just human nature or an evolutionary characteristic that we look for as a sign of health. Other cultures also consider a little extra weight to be a sign of health but the media has transformed and perverted what we are "supposed to" consider attractive.

The talks and panels my daughter attends are generally in California (she lives in the San Francisco Bay area). She is very disappointed she missed one discussing "Frozen" last week but it couldn't be helped. She loved the movie by the way. One was recently held at Pixar Studios. If I lived in California, I would go too.

Thanks for your interest. It's fun to be a mom of grownups sometimes.
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:09 AM   #34
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The petition has generated almost 23,000 signatures in a few days. Hardly "a few".
I think what we're seeing more and more is a desire for "real women" to be represented in media. Look at Dove's "Real Beauty" project, the Aerie Real campaign, and countless articles about model's un-Photoshopped pictures. I agree with a PP that people are tired of seeing "cookie cutter" princesses. People come in all shapes and sizes. I have a hard time with the "celebrating ideal image" comments, but probably because I have so many friends that have celebrated that ideal so intensely that they wound up in a hospital room with body dismorphia. But maybe that's just me.
So they should have a princess that refuses to wear makeup? what about a princess with lots of tattoos? a princess that smokes? a princess that's divorced? Why not petitions for those?

Those are both perfectly valid things as well, that are more "real".
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:51 AM   #35
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So they should have a princess that refuses to wear makeup? what about a princess with lots of tattoos? a princess that smokes? a princess that's divorced? Why not petitions for those?
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:02 AM   #36
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I see why people criticize the princesses as being unrealistic (because like Barbie, they aren't real so I think that's sort of expected.) As many of you have said, there's a delicate line between the whole 'teaching health' and 'teaching acceptance' debate when it comes to weight. What is healthy? What is unhealthy? Should Disney make a role model who looks like the 'every-day, average' women even if there are negative health consequences to being that way? What about countries where the population body norm is thin? After all, obesity is a very prominent problem in America but that isn't necessarily the case everywhere else (and Disney is a global company.) There are so many questions to consider!

This certainly is an interesting debate. I'll be interested to see if Disney chooses to respond to the petition or not.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:24 PM   #37
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Who wants realistic? Who wants real life when they go to Disney?

No one, at least that I know. It is not called 'Fantasyland' for no reason. People go to Disney to get 'away' from all the reality that we face day to day. We want to laugh and play and be little kids again no matter our age.

What sells is what Disney will produce. I can't see overweight princess dolls selling very fast. I sure would never buy one to give to an overweight child. Is that supposed to make her feel better, or surely worse like you were mocking?

As for the other things that have been mentioned in the last few posts, those that may have faced illnesses, accidents, that in 'their' eyes may make them 'feel'

less than 'perfect'. Even 'they' would surely not opt for a doll in their image. We see plenty imperfection in bodies every day in general public or hospitals - why would anyone want to 'play act' with that type doll (whatever).

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Old 02-06-2014, 10:38 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agavegirl1 View Post
(Jumps onto personal soapbox)
You see, she had severe scoliosis until last winter when she had titanium rods put in her back. Does anyone want to buy those characters? Not so far, but I'm convincing her to do a series of patient information pamphlets for young people facing scoliosis surgery.
Spinal fusion? :D Me too. I had my surgery when I was 16, and seeing something like that---something from a real person, would've helped. Yes, people come in all shapes and sizes; but like many PP have said, these are still cartoons Disney is producing.
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:21 PM   #39
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Everyone looks for fantasy (fun), not real life when going to Disney. We get enough of real life everyday - what would then be the point of getting 'away' from it all and enjoying for a couple weeks??
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:35 PM   #40
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Who wants realistic? Who wants real life when they go to Disney?
Not me! I want the Fantasy.
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:55 AM   #41
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Whatever for?? To give the impression that being overweight is the norm and no big deal. I would think it would be a terrible thing to let this be the impression our little girls grow up with. A barbie body? No! But healthy weights should always be the emphasis for all of us. I would never give a child an overweight doll. By no means would I ever want to demean a child that was overweight, but encouraging it by showing it's totally accepted is another story.
I agree!
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Old 02-09-2014, 07:28 AM   #42
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and no more talking animals... because those are not accurate representations either.

I get the idea, and I think the concept is noble.... but focused in the wrong direction. Rather than asking a fantasy cartoon to conform to real life... personally I think we need to focus on our definitions of beauty in the real world... stop worshiping and promoting the real life anorexic actresses and models as ideal... how about stopping the fat shaming of real world actresses when they have had a baby and have not magically gone back to a size 2 a week after giving birth? Use the power of your wallet and don't buy magazines that promote unhealthy bodies or unrealistic expectations.

Because when it comes to my 12 year old DD and her self esteem.... I am a lot more worried about the supposedly real life models who have been photoshopped into a thinness that they don't even have.... than I am about a cartoon female with a tiny waist and huge head having a conversation with a squirrel.
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Old 02-09-2014, 08:04 AM   #43
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How about a different angle?

Someone earlier mentioned disfiguring health problems. I am very sorry for anyone who must suffer both with the health issues and with perception issues of others.

This may be a very small portion of the population, but acceptance of those that are different is important for our children to learn.

While we don't need a different princess for every different shape, size, and health issue out there, how about some positive side characters? And I am not talking about the nice overweight sidekick which is so over used. Disney always works in a helpful pleasant animal and/or sidekick.

Why couldn't Disney throw in a character in the story that helps the princess and is different? What if along the way Rapunzel is helped at a key point by a girl on crutches, or blind, or deaf? Or Anna is pointed in the right direction and given encouragement on her quest by a loyal young subject - a girl with a misshapen arm, leg, back or something. Just seconds on screen along the way and a small place at the conclusion. A heartfelt thank you and hug from the princess. Think of the positive image this would portray and the positive press it would generate.

Think what that would do! A child with a disability suddenly sees someone like herself helping the princess! All the other kids see someone that is "different" in a positive light! And maybe kids would embrace the doll and figure in the play set.

Yes it is fantasy, but everyone is raving about Frozen because the fantasy has a great message in real life! I don't think anyone should force Disney to do anything, but what if? It couldn't hurt to add the character.
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:31 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Suger Mag View Post
and no more talking animals... because those are not accurate representations either.

I get the idea, and I think the concept is noble.... but focused in the wrong direction. Rather than asking a fantasy cartoon to conform to real life... personally I think we need to focus on our definitions of beauty in the real world... stop worshiping and promoting the real life anorexic actresses and models as ideal... how about stopping the fat shaming of real world actresses when they have had a baby and have not magically gone back to a size 2 a week after giving birth? Use the power of your wallet and don't buy magazines that promote unhealthy bodies or unrealistic expectations.

Because when it comes to my 12 year old DD and her self esteem.... I am a lot more worried about the supposedly real life models who have been photoshopped into a thinness that they don't even have.... than I am about a cartoon female with a tiny waist and huge head having a conversation with a squirrel.
Well said, couldn't agree more with your perspective.
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:31 PM   #45
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A project like this is a nightmare for a movie studio, Disney more so than anyone else. The very same advocacy groups that like to demand such productions are so hypersensitive to how they are portrayed that they crush the creativity right out of the process in development (without necessarily showing up to support the movie when it's done). I was surprised that The Princess and the Frog ever made it out of early production.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pri...ly_development

Tim, I think that The Hunchback of Notre Dame hit many of the themes you're describing, but it had it's problems as well, even though it came about long before our current age of hypersensitivity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hun...ction_troubles
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