For years and years, Disney princesses have had to fit the same format: pale skin; petite frame; a demure, feminine attitude, and happy-ever-after endings. In recent years, Disney has tried to increase the general diversity of their princesses, but there are unquestionably still issues which have got to be addressed.
First of all, there is STILL no plus size princess. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, so why can’t Disney show that in their films? Thankfully, with the release of Moana, and Merida in Brave, Disney bodies have become a little more lifelike, but even that change isn’t particularly drastic. In fact, a little after Brave was made, Disney released a doll of Merida and modified her to be slimmer, and slightly more mature in appearance. This caused an outrage amongst the public, horrified at how Merida’s original, more teenage shape wasn’t good enough to market. This caused the creator of the film, Brenda Chapman, to speak up and say that “Disney has completely missed the point”, and have lost the essence of the film by glamming up the doll.
Another problem is facial imperfections on Disney characters. Notice how none of these princesses, even the culturally diverse ones, have glasses, or scars, or scratches, or acne? This is simply not realistic, and younger kids who watch these films may grow up never believing they’re enough to be worthy, like a Disney princess, just because they wear they have impaired eyesight or a birthmark.
I strongly believe that we shouldn’t let the films that the younger generation watch have such a strong influence over shaping what they believe makes a popular protagonist, because it’s these opinions which will shape them to be the people that they become.