Super Sexy Minnie Mouse Has Health Advocates Squeaking Mad
By Christopher Zara | October 16, 2012 7:38 AM EST
It was supposed be a chic makeover for a famous mouse, but critics think it’s just plain cheesy.
A rapidly growing petition on Change.org is urging Barneys New York to scrap an upcoming campaign that features rail-thin Disney characters in sexy threads.
Titled “Leave Minnie Mouse Alone,” the petition was launched by Ragen Chastain, a Los Angeles-based blogger who advocates for improving girls’ self-esteem, regardless of their size.
“There is nothing wrong with tall thin women,” Chastain wrote in the petition. “There is something wrong with changing a beloved children’s character’s body so that it looks good in a dress that almost nobody looks good in -- adding to the tremendous pressure on young girls and women to attain Photoshop perfection.”
The Barneys campaign, dubbed “Electric Holiday,” is a collaboration between the luxury retailer and the Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS). Set to debut Nov. 14, it features the well-known characters -- including Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck and Goofy -- as runway models in stylistically detailed renderings featuring various fashionable outfits. The revamped Minnie Mouse is seen proportioned at 5’11’ and a size 0, wearing a hot-pink Lanvin dress.
In an August interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Dennis Freedman, Barneys’ creative director, said Minnie’s model-type body was decided upon after he pointed out to Disney animators that the character’s traditional look -- short and stubby -- would not flatter the clothing. “I said, ‘If we’re going to make this work, we have to have a 5-foot-11 Minnie,’ and they agreed,” he told WWD.
The campaign will launch as a window display at Barneys’ flagship location on Madison Avenue, which will feature a three-dimensional light show and a short film in which Minnie dreams of being in a fashion show in Paris.
In a statement emailed to IBTimes, a Barneys spokesperson stressed that the campaign is temporary and that it ends with Minnie returning to her classic look.
“This one-time holiday project was designed to be a playful interpretation of the high fashion world where Minnie briefly imagines what it would be like if she and her friends were a part of it,” the statement said. “The images shown during the brief dream sequence in the animated short are highly stylized interpretations of these artistic characters. In the end, the short concludes with Minnie back to her classic self, happily wearing a Lanvin designer dress.”
But Chastain noted that the images will only add to the pressure young girls feel to be thin, pressure she believes leads to unrealistic expectations about their own bodies. On the petition, she points out much-cited statistics from the National Association of Anorexia and Associated Eating Disorders, showing that 81 percent of 10-year-olds are afraid being fat.
On Friday, Nidia Caceros Tatalovich, director of corporate communications for Disney Consumer Products, posted a Q&A with the unit’s senior vice president of global creative, Luis Fernandez, who described “Electric Holiday” as a “fun and colorful campaign that gave our character artists the creative liberty to do something artistic and completely unique.”
Chastain’s petition has been signed by more than 118,000 supporters, including Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Walt Disney’s brother and business partner, Roy Disney.
In a tweet early Monday, Disney urged her followers to get involved and sign the petition against the “too skinny Minnie.”
Other high-profile petition signatories include the actress Virginia Madsen and the National Geographic correspondent Mireya Mayor, who called the campaign “disturbing” via tweet.
Each new signature on the petition is sent via email to Matt Reed, Barneys’ vice president for display. Chastain has also urged fans to voice their concerns on Barneys’ Twitter and Facebook accounts.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- From Fat To Fit: Celebrities Who Were Overweight Before They Became The Beauties That They Are
- Kendall Jenner Could Be Next Victoria's Secret Angel [PHOTOS]
- Pope Francis: World War III Has Started On Piecemeal
- Champions League Results: Barcelona Barely Escapes With A Win, Chelsea Fails To Hold On To The Lead [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- "Game of Thrones" Season 5 Spoilers -- Arya Stark’s New Costume, Mace Tyrell And Tycho Spotted On The Sets
- ‘Mad Men’ Season 7 [Final Season] Update: Jon Hamm Talks About Surprises And Things Looking Up
- 'The Bold And The Beautiful' Spoilers For Sept. 19, 2014: Hope Needs To Decide If She Will Stay With Wyatt Or Go With Liam [WATCH VIDEO]
- Nina Dobrev Moves On From Ian Somerhalder: ‘TVD’ Actress Trying To Reconcile With Ex, ‘DWTS’ Star Derek Hough—Report Suggests
- ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 5 Casting: Brothel Guard, Military Officer And More
- Google Nexus 6 Release Date on Q4 2014 Confirmed by T-Mobile Featuring Wi-Fi Calling
- 2 Reasons Nexus 6 Release Date is Worth the Wait: Android L Data Encryption & Material Design
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs. BlackBerry Passport — Specifications, Features, Release Date And Price Showdown
- 3 Signs Apple iPhone 6 Could be in Short Supply Following its Sept 19 Release Date
- Australia Actively Rallying Support For International Coalition Against ISIS
- iOS 8 Jailbreak Release Update: Pangu Devs Will Outrace Evad3rs in Rollout of iPhone 6, iPad Unlocker
- Micromax Canvas A1 Vs Spice Dream Uno Vs Karbonn Sparkle V: A Choice On Which Android Is The Best