I breifly touched on this issue on our Facebook Page. The Barneys New York holiday campaign Electric Holiday featuring fashionable yet ultra skinny versions of Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck has officially ticked off plus size models and eating disorder specialists.
Plus sized models Robin Lawley, Lizzie Miller and Courtney Legare have joined 135,000 supporters in a Change.org campaign against skinny versions of Disney characters Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck for the Electric Holiday campaign, which calls to cancel the holiday window display featuring 5’11” size zero versions of Disney cartoon characters. Eating disorder experts and celebrity endorsements are adding fuel to the campaign against “skinny Minnie”, saying instead of it being a light hearted campaign, it’s sending a negative message to young girls and…
“there is something wrong with changing a beloved childrens characters body so 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 problem isn’t with Minnie’s body, it’s with a dress that only looks good on a woman who is 5’11 and a size zero.”
Barneys and Disney released this joint statement countering the campaign saying…
“We are saddended that activists have repeatedly tried to disort a light hearted holiday project in order to draw media attention to themselves.”
Barneys creative director Dennis Freedman explain his reasoning about Minnie’s smaller frame…
“The standard Minnie Mouse will not look so good in a Lanvin dress. There was a real 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.”
Coming from a fashion industry professionals perspective, this is not out of the question. If Minnie and Goofy were to star in a fashion campaign, then they should look like models who walk the runways.
While the campaign is bringing attention to important issues such as eating disorders and how the fashion industry affects body perceptions, are these versions of Disney characters viewed through a fashion lens controversial or truly light hearted?
With the complaint that high fashion skews skinny anyway, we aren’t seeing anything new here. Many fashion designers make clothing specifically for smaller sized individuals. Even Balenciaga admitted to cutting their clothing to flatter smaller sized customers only and Karl Lagerfeld stated that he believes that anorexia and the fashion industry are not related.
But the industry is slowly starting to change. Burberry is collaborating with Adele to create their first plus-sized line and Ralph Lauren used their first plus-sized model in a campaign (ironically model Robin Lawley is one of the models speaking out against “Skinny Minnie”). The creative director of Barneys did state that the traditional Minnie would not look good in a Lanvin dress, but that’s a problem with the industry. Harrods is doing a designer Disney princess themed window for the holiday season that highlights what the Disney Princesses would wear wear if they wore couture designer dresses. Is there a difference between the two? Why is the one receiving more negative press than the other? Maybe this calls for another blog post…
Now, I turn to you dear readers. What are your thoughts on BARNEYS ELECTRIC HOLIDAY VERSION OF MINNIE AND DAISY. Will our future generation of children’s body perceptions be affected by these altered versions of their Disney favourites or are they innocent interpretation from a fashion perspective?
Let me have your opinions, s’il vous plait.