Minnie Gets Madeover

Disney Reveals Skinnier Minnie Mouse

It seems that Disney has been making a lot of headlines in the past few weeks with the “Skinny Minnie” issue. For those of you who don’t know, Barney’s has altered Minnie Mouse’s  usual curvier image along with the other Disney characters for a film that will appear in their window displays on November 14 to launch their holiday campaign “Electric Holiday.” The film shows Minnie shopping in Paris and sees a dress in a shop window. It then goes into her fantasy of walking down the runway as a model in a pink Lavin dress, a change from her classic red and white polka dot ensemble.  Other characters along with Minnie go from their cute Disney selves to sleek models including Goofy, Daisy Duck, and Cruella De Ville that are no longer recognizable in order to give a “proper portrayal of the fashion world.”

People are now outraged and signing online petitions to get the film changed for the brief moments of Minnie looking tall and extremely thin.  One of the petitions, “Barney’s: Leave Minnie Mouse Alone” from Change.org has over 17,000 signatures since this debate has started. 

As a result of the backlash, Disney and Barney’s have released a statement. According to the article on People.com, the two companies said, “We are saddened that the activists have repeatedly tried to distort a lighthearted holiday project in order to draw media attention to themselves.”

Aren’t they the ones distorting our beloved Disney character to fit into a Lavin dress? 

I can see why people are upset. I hate it when any of the characters  change in my favorite shows whether from childhood or that I presently watch, and now they are slimming down one of most famous female Disney characters because she does not “fit” in their outfit.  Barney’s has said that it is only for a brief moment that Minnie Mouse appears in her slim alter ego, and then at the end of the film, she returns to her normal self wearing the same outfit. If she ends up wearing the same outfit at the end of the film, why change her at all?

In our society, there is so much pressure to be “perfect”. The whole idea of body image has become headline news, with articles about which celebrities have gained or lost weight. There are constantly ads about diet pills and “the secret food that will help you lose that belly fat.” Not to mention the constant intimidation that girls feel from looking at all the models airbrushed to perfection in magazines.  It is understandable why people are upset about a cartoon character, especially one that has become a female icon, being altered for fashion’s sake. There hasn’t been news on whether or not the film is going to be shown, but I have a feeling I will see it during the holiday season in New York.

Whether it is a promotional video or not, I do not think that Disney and Barney’s are seeing the big picture here. It is not the fact that Minnie is being altered that is upsetting, but rather how she is being altered to the extreme limits. Minnie Mouse is a beloved icon that has been around for decades. I think most people would agree that for 84 years old, she looks pretty good, so leave Minnie alone!