While scrolling through Buzzfeed, I found a picture that made stop and take a second glance. The article was entitled "Pop Princesses Photoshopped To Have Disney Princess Proportions." This is what singer Taylor Swift would look like if she had the same body proportions as a Disney animated princess.
As you can see, a real-life person looks laughable with these proportions. Her waist is basically the same size as her neck and her eyes look about the size of tennis balls. After I got over how ridiculous she looked, I started to think about the implication this has. These animated princesses are drawn so unrealistically and it's sending the wrong message. I thought Barbie proportions were bad, but these princesses are on a whole different level.
What young, impressionable kids are seeing on screen really does impact them later on. It has an influence on beauty stereotypes they'll grow up thinking, because their favorite Disney princess has an impossibly thin waist, toothpick legs and arms, and gigantic eyes. Parents are feeding their children these beauty standards without even realizing it.
And we don't really see the same thing with men. The Guardian had an interesting article about this topic regarding male love interests in Disney animated films, saying they "may have puffed-up chests and broad shoulders, but their proportions are at least feasible. Half the male Olympic swimmers could pass for Disney princes." It might be a little more understandable if characters were all being drawn so exaggerated, but it's only the women! It seems like men's bodies are being exaggerated with the large muscles and broader shoulders, while women characters are exaggerated by being made extra meager and small.
Why are these princesses being drawn like this? Is Disney afraid if they put a princess on screen who has a normal woman's body proportions that the kids won't enjoy the movie? It seems like a terribly easy fix. Disney has the power to influence kids, and they could use this power in a really good way (like drawing princesses who have a healthy person's waistline), but they're using it to do the opposite. They're enforcing these impossible beauty standards when it seems so easy to just draw a princess with a waist a few inches thicker.