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Body Diversity In Cartoons

Posted by zippedlips from Cardiff - Published on 10/06/2012 at 08:55
2 comments » - Tagged as Culture, Health, People

  • Skeleton

Yn Gymraeg

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.

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2 CommentsPost a comment

BethanTheBarmy

BethanTheBarmy

Commented 47 months ago - 11th June 2012 - 23:38pm

I couldn't agree more. It's particularly prominent in anime, where I've not seen one female character whose body proportions would not deem them as severely underweight in real life.

You would struggle to find a decent number of kids TV shows with a female protagonist of an average weight, and if any of the characters aren't particularly thin they are either weird or bad guys.

You know, I've never really thought about that before. It really makes you think that we can't blame the celebrities and paparazzi alone for teenage eating disorders, when it's been subliminally drummed into them from a much earlier age.

zippedlips

zippedlips

Commented 47 months ago - 12th June 2012 - 07:40am

I haven't been that exposed to much anime but of what I have seen I have seen some pretty bizarre and unrealistic proportions so I definitely agree.The only cartoon female protagonist I remember right now is Pepper Ann,in which predominately the characters were drawn thin.I'm glad this has got you thinking :)

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