What if Snow White was a little healthier and the dwarves were less perverted?

Published: June 20, 2017

Yes, it is wrong to say that because Snow White is fat in this movie hence she is not beautiful. But it is also wrong to let yourself be perturbed by everything that you see out in the world. PHOTO: TWITTER

“What if Snow White was a little healthier and the dwarves were less perverted?” is perhaps what the poster for the new Snow White film should have said. Instead it said,

“What if Snow White was no longer beautiful and the seven dwarfs not so short?”

What if the marketing team of the South Korean children’s movie, Red Shoes & the 7 Dwarfs had more sense? The movie seems to have taken a rather strong and suggestive tone regarding breaking stereotypes, showing a version of Snow White that is a heavier girl unperturbed by the notion of “proper” behaviour that is commonly expected of girls.

However, even the poster received massive criticism for suggesting that fat means “no longer beautiful”. What should have gotten even more attention was the fact that in a kid’s movie, two perverted dwarves hid under the sofa watching a woman undress. It is equally outrageous as the fat-shaming poster of the movie.

With an increase in the number of platforms for people to scrutinise every tiny detail of all viewable content available out there, it becomes almost impossible to release a non-controversial movie. Creative direction becomes a herculean task. Anything and everything is being watched, criticised and judged. The producers of the movie realised the opposite impact that this campaign had on their movie promotions while the actual storyline is not depicted correctly in the poster or most trailers. They have apologised profusely for its impact on the impressionable young audience.

All Disney movies have plenty wrong with them by the current standards of women empowerment, objectification and various beauty criteria. But it is also true that those movies are product of a time long gone. Our values have changed drastically overtime. While we have to make sure our children watch content that is more appropriate to their contemporary societal norms, we also need to make sure we are not raising overly sensitive and critical people who criticise thin air.

Body-shaming is not despicable only when the targets are obese. It also applies to skinny people or short people or brown people or black or albinos or big-boned people. The list goes on. Every single physical feature in any human being can be subjected to ridicule. Beauty standards are the biggest lie ever told and sold. Every single person defines beauty differently. There may be certain features that get partial attention from a larger group of people but it takes just one contradictory or negative opinion to shatter someone’s self-esteem. And this precisely is what needs to be fixed; the utterly bitter self-esteem that we nurse these days.

People are worried that this new Snow White movie can cast wrong impressions on children’s minds, which is true to some extent but have we also considered the possibility of teaching our kids to have a stauncher outlook on life than this? Why not teach our kids tolerance along with acceptance of what is different? The weirdest thing is that as contemporary society becomes more and more critical and aggressive, the children we raise are becoming more and more intolerant and goaded.

Why is it so easy for one ridiculous movie plot to make us sweat? Why are social networking websites our only tool for gracious approval about our physical appearance, opinions and actions? While we fund anti-bullying campaigns, we also should pour money into finding out why we are letting ourselves be bullied. It’s high time that we take a moment to shake off the impact of ridiculous movie plots and tell our children to toughen up.

Being impressionable gets you much needed depth and perception but it also makes you vulnerable to the negative comments of every Tom, Dick and Harry. Yes, it is wrong to say that because Snow White is fat in this movie hence she is not beautiful. But it is also wrong to let yourself be perturbed by everything that you see out in the world. When we start unravelling this thread of open-ended criticism, we get caught up in a never-ending whirlpool of wrongs that plague the world. While it is noble to fight them, it is also important to be well-rounded enough to bounce this negative energy off of you.

Fatima Raza

Fatima Raza

The author is a Biosciences graduate and a student of MPhil International Relations. She aspires to be an accomplished writer someday.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Ahmar

    I have not argued against letting people choose what they do to their bodies. And I suppose people might have different standards of beauty. So, I kinda agree with most of what you wrote.

    What I do take issue with, is the idea of not passing judgment, and keeping quiet about it…in the name of tolerance. For instance, a person may think it cute to mutilate their body and cut off their nose coz they think it makes them beautiful. Others may find it attractive and say as much. But if I find that unattractive and hideous, why should I not say so?Recommend