Minnie Mouse has received a bone-thin makeover for Barney’s for their holiday display and not too many people are happy.
“The issue of body image is always prevalent and should be considered,” Ragen Chastain, a positive body image blogger and Los Angeles dance teacher, tells New York’s Daily News. Chastain launched a petition movement on change.org asking Barneys to remove a ruffled Lavin mini dress, opera gloves and stilettos from its holiday display that is premiering on November 4th — four days before the famous mouse’s 84th birthday.
Disney and Barney’s released a joint statement through their representatives:
We are saddened that activists have repeatedly tried to distort a lighthearted holiday project in order to draw media attention to themselves,” Disney and Barneys said in a joint statement to the News. They have deliberately ignored previously released information clearly stating this promotion is a three-minute ‘moving art’ video featuring traditional Minnie Mouse in a dreamlike sequence set in Paris where she briefly walks the runway as a model and then happily awakens as her normal self wearing the very same designer dress from the fashion show.
Barney’s and Disney executives thought hard about the idea. “When we go to the moment when all Disney characters would walk on the runway, there was a discussion,” Barneys creative director Dennis Freedman, told Women’s Wear Daily. “The standard Minnie Mouse will not look so good in a Lanvin dress. There was a moment of silence, because these characters don’t change. I said, ‘If we’re going to make this work, we have to have a 5-foot-11 Minnie,’ and they agreed. When you see Goofy, Minnie and Mickey, they are runway models.” Although they’ve released various statements, people in certain sects of the fashion community are not pleased. Plus plus-sized model Lizzie Miller was appalled. “People may think it’s blowing it out of proportion, but where does it stop?” asked Miller. “This is a big step backwards.”
Do you think a thinner Minnie Mouse reflects badly on body image?