What happened to the new ‘Cinderella’'s waist?
The new Cinderella trailer looks absolutely ethereal and breathtaking, from Helena Bonham Carter’s role as the Fairy Godmother, to the magic slippers we’ve always associated with true love. There’s just one problem: Cinderella’s unrealistic body. Even the movie’s poster, as Samantha Escobar over at The Gloss points out, features Lily James looking VERY thin. Thin is great, and the actress is naturally skinny, but the poster seems Photoshopped to make her tiny and doll-like, especially at her waist.
Now before you get all “Who cares? STOP TALKING ABOUT BODIES HELLOGIGGLES. MAH!” let’s explain that the Cinderella trailer was one of our most popular stories last week, the video went viral within hours. And because so many young girls and women are excited about this film, we feel a certain responsibility to say this: What does the continued whittling down of naturally-thin and beautiful bodies teach young girls? That you need a super-small waist? That you should wear a corset to be beautiful? That we need to go through massive amounts of discomfort to be desirable? It’s one thing to draw a fictional cartoon character with Barbie-like proportions. But applying the Disney treatment to a real, live, already-slim human woman just seems wrong.
Arguably, Cinderella is set in a time where corsets were essentially mandatory, if not very common, for women to wear. It was fashionable to have a small waist and a big, poofy dress that would exaggerated the ratio of your waist to hips. I do get that. I also think Disney has the creative license to not perpetuate the idea that women must be hyper-thin in order to be beautiful, triumph against evil, and end up with the prince.
We’re not the only ones dismayed by Cinderella’s anatomically-disproportionate body:
Look, I know Disney-princess bodies have been hot a topic this month —everyone’s got an opinion. And that’s a good thing: we need to have this conversation. We need to acknowledge the fact that our cartoon heroes have unrealistic bodies, and we need to discuss whether this sets insane standards for little girls (and boys!). The fact remains: all the classic Disney princesses are tiny. All of them. There is no diversity in shape whatsoever, and many do see this as problematic and potentially damaging to some.
We are sure Cinderella will be a fantastic trip to nostalgia-heaven, but it would have been great if our heroine’s body wasn’t manipulated to look so unbelievably tiny and unreal.