The Skinny Minnie Controversy !

Here is one famous star I would have never expected to stir up a controversy in the tabloids: Disney’s Minnie Mouse !

In a collaboration with Disney, Barneys New York has recently unveiled a sneak peak into this year’s holiday window display titled Eclectic Holiday and featuring a  3-D light show and moving art video. The 3-minute video features a dream sequence in which an unusually tall, skinny-looking Minnie Mouse walks a Paris runway in a Lanvin dress before awakening as her usual self, wearing the same designer dress she wore in her dream.

Barneys holiday display also features an equally slimmed down Daisy Duck and Goofy (who has always looked rather gaunt to begin with) and the whole concept has drawn a lot of criticism from celebrities, concerned parents, fashion industry insiders and online media as well as New Yorkers.

Ragan Chastain, a blogger, dancer, choreographer, speaker and writer of  The Owners Manual – Navigating a Thin-Obsessed World with Your Health, Happiness and Sense of Humor Intact has started a petition on change.org which has garnered more than 138,000 supporters and is asking Barneys to rethink their altered Minnie and the message their display conveys to young girls.

Barneys of course defends it’s holiday display, stating on its website “We assure you Minnie is empowered throughout the video…” and  “We are confident our lighthearted holiday project along with the video’s positive message will be embraced by not only the fashion world, but Disney fans alike.” Really, Barneys ??

I can only wholeheartedly agree with Ragan Chastain and the many, many other critics – so many of our beloved childhood characters and toys have gone through quite the makeover in recent years, making them sexier, skinnier and all around less fun… Do we really need or want a new, skinny Minnie Mouse for our kids ?

How sad is it, that apparently the only dream for Minnie which Barneys and Disney could come up with, is to be tall, skinny and a model ?! I want my daughter to aspire to so much more and ideally grow up in a world where she is encouraged to become her best self instead of a very narrow, stereotypical, socially constructed version of her true self…

Well, I guess I am the dreamer here… Let me know what you think about the new skinny Minnie in the comments section below – I’d really love to hear your thoughts on this !

(images: barneys)