Body Diversity In Cartoons
I was looking at the magazine section of my local supermarket the other day.
Amongst all the pink magazines aimed at young girls (Note: there is nothing wrong with there being pink magazines for girls, there is something wrong with there being only pink magazines for girls), I noticed a magazine called Monster High, a magazine that is aimed at young alternative girls. I thought it was great that there was something different.
However, when I looked through the magazine, I was appalled to see that all the characters body shapes were exactly the same. So, I started to look through all the magazines and noticed very few characters that weren't thin. Again, there is nothing wrong with there being thin characters but there is something wrong with there being only thin characters.
Even as I look back at cartoons and do see some body diversity, they collide certain body types with certain personalities, which creates stereotypes. In the cartoon Recess, the only big girls I remember are Kirst the Worst and Miss Finister. They are both tough with soft sides. In the Weekenders cartoon, anyone who wasn't thin appeared to be depicted as dumb or weird. I know these are only a few examples. So I'll let you think of more or challenge me.
People wonder why an increasing amount of young girls are dieting. There is your answer; they have created certain body shapes as undesirable so they feel bad about themselves. I don't think children should be forbidden from reading magazines; I think parents/guardians should look through the magazines and have a discussion about any issues with their child to get them thinking, noticing and challenging.
Be aware of the media's impact.
- Only Skin Deep
- You're Beautiful
- The Body Obsession
- Be Positive, Beautiful
- Should We Ban Disney?
- Unachievable Summer Look
- Beauty And The Proverbial Beast
IMAGE: Karen Roe