Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, and Goofy have all gotten an uber-chic fashion makeover and plenty of people are not happy about it.
Barney's of New York is collaberating with Disney on a holiday window display and ad promotion called "Electric Holiday", featuring a dream sequence by Minnie in which she fantasizes about what it would be like if she and her friends were fashion models.
The 5'10, size 0 "Thin Minnie" will only appear in a video clip-- not as a part of the window display.
An online petition has been started aimed at stopping the planned display, claiming that the drastic change in Minnie Mouse can cause kids to develop body image issues.
Over 135,00 people have signed the petition demanding that Barney's not go through with the promotion and to return Minnie to her "normal figure." (It erroneously states that the Thin Minnie will be displayed in Barney's window during the holiday season.)
In actuality, the vision of Minnie as a supermodel is merely a 7-second clip of a 3 minute video, in which she dreams she is in Paris walking a runway in a fabulous Barney's dress, and then she wakes up (as her normal size) in the same dress she dreamed of.
Honestly? I don't think I see a huge issue.
Super models are tall and thin. If I were to draw anyone or anything as a super model, I would make them taller and impossibly thin. It's just the way the industry works. Do I think everyone should look like that? No way! But it's just how it is-- super models are tall and thin.
Do I think children and teens and women should look to these models as role models? Of course not! Some people are naturally tall and very thin. Some are not. I think it's important to teach kids and teens to be healthy, and to love their body no matter what they look like.
Awesome people come in all shapes and sizes.
However, do I think the petitioners are making too big a deal out of something that is not really that big of a deal?
I'm not entirely sure a lot of kids will see the 7 second clip. After all, Barney's isn't exactly on par with FAO Schwartz as far as kid appeal.
And of those who do happen to see the clip, how many will actually recognize Minnie? And make the connection that they should look like that?
My guess is-- not too many. And if a child does, well hey! There's your opening to have a discussion about body image and acceptance!
Besides, it's Barney's. They have always had, and always will have, tall, thin women in their ads. It's part of the fashion industry. If you're going to attack Barney's for Thin Minnie, then also attack the magazines that display photoshopped models on their covers everyday. After all, kids are much more likely to see those magazines on the rack at the grocey store than a 7 second, limited time, holiday-only ad promotion.
In other words-- Barney's is not the problem. It runs much, much deeper than that. And it's been going on for a long time. Attacking a promotion like this is not the way to go about fixing it.
Now that you know my opinion, what are your thoughts? Does this ad concern you? Do you think it sends the wrong message to kids? Or do you think the petitioners are overreacting?