Let’s see—what’s the best way I can start teaching my daughter to be self-conscious about her body at the earliest age possible? Oh! Use her favorite Disney classic tale to trick and shame her! *Collective eye roll*
Enter Red Shoes and the 7 Dwarfs, a parody of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Body shaming is basically what this movie, coming out in 2018, is promoting, based on a promotional billboard that reads, “What if Snow White was no longer beautiful and the 7 Dwarfs not so short?”
You can see in the picture that Snow White goes from the “beautiful” version of herself, tall and skinny and wearing red heels, to the “ugly” version of herself, obviously shorter and heavier and holding the red heels in her hands. The idea, based off the horrible trailer for the movie, is that while she is wearing the shoes, she gets to fit in with the rich and beautiful, hiding her true fat self like she’s ashamed of who she is. Watch it below.
If this isn’t the epitome of body shaming, I don’t know what is. Apparently, she is on a journey to find her lost father and learns “not only to accept herself, but to celebrate who she is, inside and out.” But that sure is a hard message to uncover from just this billboard, which seems to promote the opposite!
As if the poster and odd message weren’t enough to ruffle my feathers, I searched for a movie trailer for Red Shoes and the 7 Dwarfs and it just gets worse. Basically, two male characters hide under a table and watch Snow White undress, getting more and more physically excited. No way am I letting my daughter (or son) watch that!
I had to do a second search to see if this really was supposed to be a family friendly movie (or if it was more along the lines of the animated but strictly mature Sausage Party type movie). Unfortunately, South Korea’s Locus Creative Studios does intend this to be directed towards families and children as a comedy and self-discovery journey.
Obviously, people are outraged. Sure, we could give the studio the benefit of the doubt and try to look past this, assuming it’s all a big misunderstanding and the film is supposed to challenge the exact stigma the poster is promoting. But I don’t think it is a mistake. Our culture is so focused on outward beauty and physical appearance, it’s no wonder this movie’s version of “ugly” is a shorter woman with some extra meat on her bones.
If they were going for the whole “snow white isn’t beautiful” angle, why not make the ugly version of her have a hump back, snot all over her face, missing an eye, green skin—basically look like a fictional witch? Why not exaggerate and make it obvious they don’t mean to target any specific body type?
And the cherry on the cake is the fact that they used a beloved Disney character to get this message across. Because how else can you reach into the innocent minds of a 3 year old and successfully plant a deadly seed of self-hatred? Through a princess she looks up to and pretends to be during dress-ups and pretend play!
YOU CAN’T MAKE A BODY SHAMING MOVIE WITH PEEPING TOMS, LABEL IT SATIRE AND EXPECT THAT TO MAKE IT ALL OKAY! You can’t use the whole “she learns to accept herself and celebrate who she is” excuse when you put advertisement like this out into the world of sensitive parents and easily swayed children.
If you ask me, this all just seems like the billboard was a advertising tactic to rile people up and make them talk about the movie. By doing so, the movie gets more exposure and people’s anger creates more curiosity for the film. After all, aren’t there many people out there who will want to go see it now, just to prove they were right about how terrible of a message it portrays? Thus, putting more money into the pockets of all involved in its creation.
Nicely played, Locus Creative Studios. But don’t think for a second I believe your apology, issued on Wednesday to Page Six. You knew what you were doing, and I bet now you’ll do everything you can to promote the “real” and pure storyline intention. But the damage is done for many parents who will not be taking their kids to see this parody. Myself included.
What do you think about this billboard and movie?