It’s 2017 and an animated Snow White parody is promoting the message that fat = not beautiful.
The movie, titled Red Shoes and the 7 Dwarfs, came under fire for a body-shaming advertisement. The ad shows two versions of Snow Whit e– one skinny, with Disney princess-type features, and one fat. The writing next to them says “What if Snow White was no longer beautiful and the 7 Dwarfs not so short?”
The movie’s premise is that the dwarfs are cursed princes, and the only thing to break the spell is Snow White’s red shoes — but when she takes those shoes off, she reverts to her “ugly” self. This isn’t just one misguided ad — this is an entire movie saying that if you’re fat, you’re not beautiful.
What makes it worse is the trailers. The movie is marketed as a “family-friendly adventure”, but the trailers indicate otherwise. In the first trailer, two dwarfs hide as Snow White comes back from a night out. She takes off her jewelry and unzips her dress in a “seductive” shot as the dwarfs stare, enthralled. Then, she takes off her shoes, one by one. The first shoe drops and then a much larger leg does too, and once both shoes are off, Snow White relaxes, finally comfortable, and burps. This trailer not only sexualizes the protagonist when she’s thin but also makes it seem like fat girls can’t be sexy — even though no one should be “sexy” in a children’s movie. The second trailer depicts a dwarf who looks lustfully at a sleeping Snow White and then sets his eyes on her red heels. His actions are rife in slapstick comedy — he uses various tools, including a chainsaw, to try and get the shoe off. Desperate, he ends up picking her up and violently throwing her around. But the real kicker comes when she spits out the piece of the poison apple and realizes that he took one of her shoes — she kicks him in the face with her fat leg to get her shoe back. This normalizes violence, especially against women, and makes it “funny”.
Red Shoes stars Chloe Grace Moretz, who has come under fire for her own form of body-shaming. In March, she went after Kim Kardashian on Twitter after Kardashian posted a nude photo of herself. Moretz said that women with as much influence as Kardashian should be positive role models for young women — essentially saying that Kardashian embracing her sexuality is a negative thing.
This movie indicates multiple increasingly problematic things, like that fat women are not beautiful or sexy, that it’s better to be skinny than fat — as shown in Snow White’s insistence to keep her shoes on lest she reverts to her “ugly” form. As the fury about it grows louder, it can only be hoped that the film doesn’t make it to theaters in Summer 2018.