Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
For its holiday windows this year, Barneys has enlisted the talent of a handful of Disney characters to appear in a short film titled "Electric Holiday." In it, everyone from Minnie Mouse to Daisy Duck and Goofy will wear custom designer outfits. However, to squeeze into them, their proportions will be altered to a very un-Disney standard: Minnie Mouse, for example, will be 5-foot-11 and a hell of a lot skinnier than normal.
When the news first broke, a handful of our commenters took offense to the idea that beloved children's characters were essentially about to transform into Karlie Kloss. Ragen Chastain, a LA-based dance teacher and positive body image activist, also has some complaints about the alterations—so much so that she's started a petition on Change.org, asking Barneys to "leave Minnie Mouse alone." As of now, it has 125,371 supporters.
The opening paragraph reads:
There is nothing wrong with tall thin women. There is something wrong with changing a beloved children's character's body so that it looks good in a dress that almost nobody looks good in—adding to the tremendous pressure on young girls and women to attain photoshop perfection. The problem isn't with Minnie's body, it's with a dress that only looks good on a woman who is 5'11 and a size zero.
After that, Ragen lists a number of statistics from studies cited on the National Association of Anorexia and Associated Eating Disorders website. The petition concludes with an appeal to Barneys (and perhaps indirectly, Alber Elbaz) to "give girls a chance to celebrate the actual bodies they have instead hating them for not fitting into a Lanvin dress. Then maybe enough girls will get together and demand dresses that look good on their actual, non-digitally altered bodies and designers will just have to become talented enough to design a dress that looks good on them."
· Barneys: Leave Minnie Mouse Alone [Change.org]
· Minnie Mouse Will Wear Lanvin at Barneys This Christmas [Racked NY]