Minnie Mouse To Get A Makeover For Barneys - All In Good Fun Or Crossing The Line?
by Allison Gates
A new petition
is taking off on Change.org that has many people up in arms over the beloved children’s icon Minnie Mouse.
For its holiday window display in NYC, Barneys plan to “drastically alter” Minnie’s body—typically short and slightly plump, like the mouse that she is—making her size 0 and 5’11 so that she will “look good” in a Lanvin dress.
The petition argues that this is just another attack on the self esteem of young women, making the point that the problem “isn’t with Minnie’s body, it’s with a dress that only looks good on a woman who is 5’11 and a size zero.”
It continues with some pretty compelling statistics from 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.
This petition raises a lot of interesting questions about the role of models, icons, fashion, and self-image.
Is this Minnie Makeover the last straw? Is this different from using an image of a real person who has such an unattainable figure?
What is the interplay between rising rates of, on one end, eating disorders and on the other, obesity? How does society influence health choices?
Should designers respect young women by catering their designs to real bodies? Which real bodies?
Finally, is it inherently the role of fashion to showcase and idealize the perfect human form? Who decides what the perfect form even is?