Pop Culture

Disney’s Latest Cinderella Ad Tells Girls To Have Courage, Be Kind, And Wear A Size 0

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[Content note: eating disorders]

There’s a little more Photoshop than ‘bibbidi-bobbidi-boo’ about Disney‘s latest promo for the forthcoming release of their new live-action Cinderella movie. The Mary Sue caught wind of the new ad, and, well … take a gander below at the image that appeared on the film’s official Twitter account. And when you do, try not to get so apoplectic that you turn into a pumpkin.

Disney s Latest  em Cinderella em  Ad Tells Girls To Have Courage  Be Kind  And Wear A Size 0 cinderella have courage be kind waist photoshop jpg(via)

The image was posted on Disney’s official Cinderella Twitter account with the comment, “Where there is kindness, there is goodness. And where there is goodness, there is magic.” Sounds about right, because it would surely take some Photoshop magic (and some overzealous use of the liquify tool) to turn the movie’s star, Lily James, into a human Dorito like this. What an interesting message to paste over an image of a woman who no longer appears to have enough room to house her ribcage and internal organs (surely she could do without her spleen, at least long enough to attend the prince’s ball?): have courage and be kind! But also, preferably, have a waist the size of a soup can.

Maybe it’s true that a dream is a wish your heart makes, but since this poor woman’s internal organs are being mercilessly crushed, I’m not sure her heart is going to have much of a chance to do a lot of wishing. Plus, as The Gloss pointed out last month, Disney has already come under fire for the way previous Cinderella ads have pared down James into a live-action Jessica Rabbit. You’d think the previous criticism would have made them take a second look before releasing this ad, but if anything, she looks even tinier this time around. Either they really don’t give a damn about young girls who struggle with eating disorders, or they’re actively trolling us now. Neither one makes me feel particularly inclined to see this movie.

It’s been a little irksome seeing movies like Tangled and Frozen in which the heroines’ heads are bigger than their waists, but at least those are cartoons. And I’m not sure how I feel about Barbie dolls, exactly, but at least her exaggerated proportions are clearly only possible in the realm of plastic. But when Disney takes an actual human woman – one playing a princess idolized by tons of little girls – and photoshops her within an inch of her life, that’s troubling.

I don’t expect perfect media from a company like Disney, but I do expect better than this. By publishing this ad, Disney is saying to young women, this is what you are supposed to look like. This is a troubling and unrealistic expectation – when even someone as lovely as Lily James has to have several inches sliced off in a photo editor, what does that say about the rest of us? All the courage and kindness in the world isn’t going to Photoshop your waist down to the proportions they’re idealizing here.

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