Minnie Mouse is a beloved character from childhood TV shows, movies and Disney theme parks. She is a universal symbol of beauty and fun to little girls all around the world. Now, Barneys department store wants to change things so Minnie better fits its description of beauty.
Barneys has grand plans of altering the regular Minnie Mouse image into a 5’11 size 0 that “looks good” in a Lanvin dress in their window this holiday season. Can someone please tell us WHY Minnie Mouse needs to “look good” in a designer dress? First of all, what little girl is going to wear a designer dress or be able to afford one? Second, what kind of message does this tell girls who are built more like the original Minnie – that they aren’t good enough?
In today’s society there is a large amount of pressure for girls to be thin and beautiful, like what they see in the magazines. One problem is that even these women in the magazines don’t naturally look like that – they are photoshopped! However, a lot of times girls already have the desire to be skinny or lose weight after looking at just one picture or hearing one comment.
Hospitalizations for eating disorders in children younger than 12 years old rose by 119 percent from 1999 to 2006 according to a report issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and published in the journal Pediatrics. This is just unacceptable and it is our duty to encourage those whom we love to accept their actual bodies.
According to sources cited on the non-profit National Association of Anorexia and Associated Eating Disorders website:
• 47% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures.
• 69% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape.
• 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner.
• 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat.
There is a petition commanding Barneys to leave Minnie Mouse alone.
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