Disney Shatters Body Image Stereotypes with “Moana”
February 1, 2017
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Throughout the years, The Walt Disney Company has kept up their infamous, unrealistic portrayal of heroine princesses.
Unlike the average young woman, their stereotypes consist of slender necks, defined waists, and small, dainty feet. However, the typical Disney depiction of the damsel in distress disintegrates with their new film, “Moana.”
This Thanksgiving, Walt Disney Productions came out with a strong season opener. Surpassing their last large-scale ‘princess’ film “Frozen” in the box-office sales, their new film “Moana” centers on a young Polynesian girl who embarks on a mission to save her home island.
With an unsurprisingly beat-catching soundtrack, the film still stays true to the company’s unending theme of empowering the younger generation along with the occasional parent(s) that come along with them to the theater but this time while putting a halt to the on-going body image issue that they’ve set up throughout the years.
Moana, daughter and heir of a chief on the small island of Motunui, has a more realistic body type that younger girls can identify with, instead of the stereotypical image that could be considered damaging to a young girl’s discovery of her own positive self/body-image.
Diverging from the familiar Disney definition of a princess, Moana becomes a new role model that young girls can be more comfortable paralleling with as they grow older. With a strong build and an appearance that shows her capability to hold her own, she is the Disney princess action hero, says Buzzfeed Entertainment.
Moana creates a universal message in the younger audiences’ mind that you don’t need to be a certain size to be a princess.
The obvious success of the film has come from, I think, the empowering meaning behind the storyline. I believe that delivering this long-overdue body positive message is a new step for Disney.
While simultaneously kicking some serious butt alongside demigod, Maui, Disney is also taking a giant step forward in its prevalent diversity issue as Moana claims the title as the company’s first ever Polynesian princess.
This new image that Moana has brought to life not only sets an inspiring example for children watching the movie as it’s released but also for many more generations who will grow up alongside and grow old with the movie just as many today do with numerous legendary Disney films.