In the past, people have criticized Disney for creating female characters with unnaturally tiny figures.
Because of the growing body-positive movement, thanks to artists like Lizzo, Disney will include its first-ever plus-sized heroine in a short film.
According to Daily Mail, the heroine is a full-figured ballet dancer who suffers from body dysmorphia.
The film is called “Reflect” and follows Bianca, a ballet dancer “who battles her own reflection, overcoming doubt and fear by channeling her inner strength, grace, and power.”
Glamour writes that the short film will be one of several other “experimental films focusing on the issue of body image and the importance of channeling your own identity while developing and protecting your own self-esteem.”
Daily Mail notes that villains are typically the only plus-sized characters featured in Disney films and television shows. So, naturally, news of Disney’s inclusive approach to representing different body types went viral on social media, inspiring mixed responses.
While some celebrated the announcement:
Others think that normalizing obesity is dangerous:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “for children and adolescents aged 2-19 years in 2017-2021, the prevalence of obesity was 19.7% and affected about 14.7 million children and adolescents.”
Obesity can cause a slew of serious and chronic medical problems “such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol, orthopedic problems, and liver disease.”
While there is nothing wrong with representation in film to a degree, a production company as influential as Disney should not be promoting unhealthy body types to a young and impressionable audience.
The film is directed by Hillary Bradfield and is available to watch on Disney+.