Barney's, the New York high-end fashion retailer, announced in August that it would give famous Disney characters skinny makeovers, but as the store's famous holiday windows draw nearer, the idea has come under fire.
Barney’s revision instantly drew controversy, as the holiday ad campaign portrays Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck as fashion-forward-dressed stick figures.
The well-dressed figures now resemble sticks; they’ve been practically stretched out to be six feet tall creatures that would wear a size zero if they were human.
Barney’s ad promotion, called Electric Holiday, is an attempt to drum up attention for the 2012 holiday season. Women's Wear Daily reported that Minnie Mouse is in a dream where she fantasizes what it would be like if she and her friends were fashion models.
Dreaming of being a fashion model is typical for most girls, except that in Minnie’s dream she is skinner than Olive Oyl.
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According to Barney’s executives who spoke to Women’s Wear Daily, it was imperative to make Minnie and the other characters skinny.
Creative director Dennis Freedman said, "When we got to the moment when all Disney characters walk on the runway, there was a discussion. The standard Minnie Mouse will not look so good in a Lanvin dress. There was a real moment of silence, because these characters don't change. I said, 'If we're going to make this work, we have to have a 5-foot-11 Minnie,' and they agreed. When you see Goofy, Minnie and Mickey, they are runway models."
Women like Academy Award-nominated actress Virginia Madsen and Disney heiress Abigail Disney have joined the outrage over giving the characters skinny makeovers, TV Guide reported.
Madsen tweeted: "Barney's : Leave Minnie Mouse Alone" with a link to a petition. More than 125,000 people have signed it at Change.org.
The petition demands Barney's desist with its holiday window plan and instead “return Minnie Mouse to her normal figure."
Ragen Chastain, the author of the petition, wrote: "There is nothing wrong with tall, thin women. There is something wrong with changing a beloved children's character's body so that it looks good in a dress that almost nobody looks good in -- adding to the tremendous pressure on young girls and women to attain Photoshop perfection."
But Barney’s will not pull their holiday window plans. In a press release they wrote: "Minnie and Mickey are transported into a fantasy world where they are transformed from their traditional Disney form into dream-like fashion-forward runway models, and are joined on the Paris runway by five other models evocative of other iconic Disney personalities: Goofy, Daisy Duck, Snow White, Princess Tiana and Cruella de Vil."