Barney’s New York is Fat-Shaming

Disney has been trying to break into the high-end market for years now. I remember countless press previews where Disney execs would tour me and a bunch of other editors around to show us how up market Disney could be. It seemed to only appeal to die-hard Disney fans so it’s no surprise that to reel in the fashionable set, Disney would lend out its most famous faces. My problem? They forgot to include their bodies.

Barney’s “Electric Holiday 2012” is set to include collaborative looks and products featuring Minnie Mouse and friends Goofy, Daisy, Mickey, etc. in their window installations, a 3D light show, and a short film walking the Parisian runways dressed in Lanvin, Balenciaga, Balmain and more. I have to admit, it’s really hard to back this kind of collaboration when my childhood mainstays are completely bastardized. The message too clearly says: to be high-fashion, you must look like a skeleton. 

I would love to see Minnie in Lanvin. In fact, I couldn’t think of a better house to dress her and her plumpy belly. Alber Elbaz is amazing at draping and fitting and hiding and protecting the body and does it in ways no one else can do. Couldn’t marketing see the value in transforming a girl with a gut into one thats trim, healthy and chic? I think brands need to be more careful in the way they portray their models.

I understand that fashion sketches usually do disproportionally elongate a body, but since Minnie IS a sketch, since her very origins were as a cartoon,  it just seems wrong to completely stray from who she is. The sketches are pretty, I’m not in any way arguing that. I’m just disappointed at how a brand that should be accepting of body types is choosing to turn a blind eye for the sake of “fashion” and WORSE, profit.