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Classic Disney Opinion Article

“Realistic” body image better portrayed through a fairy than a human?

Opinion by PiiXiiE posted over a year ago
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Now this is just my point of view, but I find it a little bit ironic that one of the most realistically portrayed Disney females comes in the shape of a pixie! When it comes to typical proportions, the average woman can more easily identify with a winged sprite?! I mean, not everybody has a beautiful hourglass figure! Having somebody who is a little bottom-heavy is comforting.

While Tinker Bell does have a super-skinny waist, she is the only Disney female I have seen whose lower body is not exactly proportionate to her upper body.
Stuck
Stuck
When I realized this, it made me feel so much better as a slightly pear-shaped person! (Hooray for Margaret Kerry!) Unfortunately, the movie demonstrates that Tink is not very comfortable with her hip circumference. (Recall the scene where she’s checking herself in the mirror and gets stuck in the keyhole.)
Insecurity
Insecurity


It’s just a shame that we only find this type of thing in the secondary character department.
The über-skinny Megara
The über-skinny Megara
For the most part, the Disney princess have gorgeous bodies with unbelievably trim waists. (Don’t even get me started on Megara in Hercules.) Though I can’t blame the Disney animators for doing this – they are, after all, supposed to be fairy tale princesses, right? – it does not help with the growing self-esteem issues in young girls.

I did not mean for this to be a criticism of the unrealistic body ideals that have been put into the minds of today’s young female viewers, so I just want to end this by saying, thank you, Disney animator Marc Davis, for giving us an adorable fairy with a little "junk in the trunk." :)
Rock it!
Rock it!


*Margaret Kerry was the model for Tinker Bell in Disney's 1953 animated version of Peter Pan and Marc Davis was the lead animator who brought her to life (as stated in Wikipedia).

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7 comments

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i agree with you completly!! i was watching a few disney movies weeks ago and i realised the same thing.
tinkerbell is also the very very jealous type and she has perfect legs.
posted over a year ago.
 
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nice article! I totally agree.
posted over a year ago.
 
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great article
posted over a year ago.
 
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You definitely have some distinct points that I agree with. But I also just wanted to put it out there that the "unrealistic" body proportions aren't always just to make the gals look good.

For example, Megara was most likely drawn to be so scrawny because that reflects Ancient Greecian art. The Greeks were known for always displaying the human body as being their mold of perfection (tall and skinny with sharp features) -- even depictions of real-life people were done this way. Look at Hercules -- he's a prime example of Greek perfection that doesn't really hold true for our curretnt ideals; he's got huge shoulders but a tinier waist than his girl.

Another example is Mulan. She's a traditional Chinese vision of loveliness that's a little different from today's. She's fairly short and very petite, but she isn't very curvy at all and she's pretty flat-chested. Then there's Pochahontas -- who was built very sturdily and muscular, just as Native American art showed its women.

And, seriously, if we're gonna rant on unrealistic proportions take a look at Disney men. Hercules at least had an excuse as a demi-god, but almost all the rest are ridiculously buff and broad...
posted over a year ago.
 
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PiiXiiE said:
thanks for that. very good points!
i wasn't so much ranting though. just food for thought.
posted over a year ago.
 
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big smile
^^
posted over a year ago.
 
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fishypup said:
Nice article--though I fully concur with EmilyELewis's points. Character design is often based upon the cultural background of the film. Doesn't change the face that Meg's super-skinny and Tink's a tad curvier than the average Disney gal.
<3 both Meg & Tink. ^.^ They're gorgeous. ;)
posted over a year ago.
last edited over a year ago