Gina Vaynshteyn
November 01, 2014 9:33 am

Disney princesses are notoriously known for their itty-bitty tiny waists. Whether this detail is an idealistic holdover from the days of wearing corsets, a reflection of what our society finds beautiful, or simply a stylistic choice the cartoonists and animators decided to go with, we can’t deny the fact that these waistlines are biologically impossible to attain.

Illustrator Loryn Brantz decided to challenge these iconic images and give them humanly possible waistlines. She edited six Disney gals: Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Aurora from Sleeping Beauty, Elsa from Frozen, Pocahontas from Pocahontas, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and Jasmine from Aladdin. Brantz stated, “As a woman who loves Disney and has dealt with body image issues, it has been something I’ve always wanted to comment on, particularly after seeing Frozen. While I loved the film, I was horrified that the main female character designs haven’t changed since the ‘60s,” She also added, “Their necks are almost always bigger than their waists!” While I too adore Disney, I can’t help but wish the creators of the princesses represented anatomically correct bodies so that all little girls and boys would see that their favorite cartoon heroines did indeed have tenable bodies.

When I was little, Disney princesses meant the world to me. They were strong, inspirational women who fought evil queens and monsters, and not only were they victorious, but they were desirable. Disney princesses always ended up with a Disney prince. While I most likely never thought, “Huh. Ariel’s waist-to-hip ratio is pretty radical,” I think I inevitably associated their hyper-svelte bodies with beauty. Because these women were flawless. Unconquerable. Sure, they might have fallen for a poisoned apple, or risked losing their voice forever for a man (*cough cough*), but hey. At the end of they day, they always triumphed.

Having role models whose waist sizes are simply unreal is problematic and damaging. As adults, I think we’re able to separate cartoons from real life, but kids? Kids soak everything up, whether it’s consciously or subconsciously. What I love about Brantz’s project, is that it’s not extreme. She’s not saying, “These fictional characters are too thin, let’s put some meat on their bones.” She’s simply retouching images of female bodies that are literally impossible and making them possible.

Brantz said, “Media outlets with the opportunity to change the way women are viewed and view themselves should start taking responsibility. It only took a couple nudges of a line to make those princesses’ waists less extreme, and they still looked beautiful and magical.”

Images via Loryn Brantz , Disney, Buzzfeed

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