In the new Scooby-Doo movie Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy, Daphne gets cursed – and as a result of the curse, grows from a “size two to a size eight.” Clearly, growing to a size eight — way smaller than the average American woman — is the worst thing that could befall a girl and a great lesson for the kids!
Writers and producers seem to think that the worst thing that could happen to a pretty girl like Daphne is to put on some weight. It’s also clear writers and producers have no idea what a size eight looks like – because it’s certainly not this. Do we really need to bring the idea of body-shame into a beloved cartoon? Great idea. Let’s start our kids early brainwashing them with the idea that gaining weight is the worst thing that could happen to them.
Here’s the actual scene where Daphne is cursed:
Huffington Post points out that some reviewers actually think Daphne’s curse is a lesson in self acceptance. They quote one Amazon reviewer:
I was worried about [the movie] promoting a negative body image for women based on another review about Daphne being turned in to a “size eight” and her freaking out about it. I actually have to defend the writers here because Daphne realized she was being superficial throughout that story arc, it added to the story in a meaningful way (it allows her to evade iron face) and the most importantly: Fred didn’t notice/care and said that she “always looked good to him.” I would say it was more about acceptance and not being superficial than anything.
I’m going to have to disagree with this male reviewer. I think you can teach lessons in body acceptance without waffling between fat-shaming and shaming girls for caring about how they look. Also, “the most important” part of female body acceptance isn’t whether the man in their life still likes the way they look, as this reviewer seems to think.
This whole thing was just done wrong. First, making girls think being a size eight — a full three sizes smaller than the average size-14 American woman — is a curse is absurd. Also, we really need to get away from the idea that gaining weight is the worst thing that can befall a woman.
Earlier this year when NYC schools sent children home with fitness report cards that called some of them overweight (admittedly a horrible idea) mothers on my Facebook feed were freaking out. I just remember thinking, maybe we shouldn’t be sending the message to our children that being called overweight is the worst thing that could happen to a person. That’s exactly what I think this movie does — and it’s not healthy for our kids.