Disney unveil their first plus-size heroine in ’emotional’ film about body dysmorphia


Disney unveils its first plus-size heroine in ’emotional’ film about body dysmorphia that leaves fans in tears

  • Reflect follows a young plus-size ballet dancer with body dysmorphia 
  • The short film left fans in tears as Disney has never featured a plus-size heroine
  • Reflect is available to watch on Disney+

Disney have created their first plus-size protagonist for a powerful short film about body dysmorphia. 

In the company’s 85-year history of making movies, plus-size characters have only ever featured in the roles of villains or extras, with fans praising the change. 

The film, entitled Reflect, follows the story of a young plus-size ballet dancer ‘who battles her own reflection, overcoming doubt and fear by channeling her inner strength, grace and power.’ 

One to watch: Disney have created their first plus-size protagonist for a powerful short film about body dysmorphia entitled Reflect 

Directed by Hillary Bradfield, the film is is part of the second series of Short Circuit – a series of experimental short films.

The animation has left fans in tears, with one viewer penning that she wished the film had been made when she was a child. 

They tweeted: ‘16 year old me needed this Disney short before I quit ballet because I didn’t want to be the fat girl in class anymore. I’m glad little ones will have this. 10/10 for Reflect!’ 

Powerful: The film follows the story of a young plus-size ballet dancer 'who battles her own reflection, overcoming doubt and fear by channeling her inner strength, grace and power'

Powerful: The film follows the story of a young plus-size ballet dancer ‘who battles her own reflection, overcoming doubt and fear by channeling her inner strength, grace and power’

New move: In the company's 85-year history of making movies, plus-size characters have only ever featured in the roles of villain's or extras, with fans praising the change

New move: In the company’s 85-year history of making movies, plus-size characters have only ever featured in the roles of villain’s or extras, with fans praising the change

Other viewers shared: ‘I saw this Disney short called Reflect and it emotionally tore me up. It’s about a little plus size girl doing ballet and the mirrors start to swallow her up because of her body insecurity but she destroys them by dancing anyway.’; 

‘THIS IS NOT A DRILL! Disney+ FINALLY made a short with a Plus Size lead! It’s called Reflect and it’s part of the Short Circuit short series. Let’s just say I was SOBBING.’  

Reflect is available to watch on Disney+. 

Sweet: The animation has left fans in tears, with one viewer penning that she wished the film had been made when she was a child

Sweet: The animation has left fans in tears, with one viewer penning that she wished the film had been made when she was a child

Disney fans have long called on the corporation to create plus-size princesses, with a post in 2015 that showed Disney characters given plus-size makeovers going viral. 

Last year, Disney was accused of pushing ‘unrealistic beauty standards’ on children after including a character with exaggerated proportions in the short film Inner Workings. 

The animated short, which was initially released in 2016, tells the story of an office worker named Paul who has to tame his desire to break out of his dull routine and have fun.  

Unusual: Last year, Disney was accused of pushing 'unrealistic beauty standards' on children after including a character with exaggerated proportions in the short film Inner Workings

Unusual: Last year, Disney was accused of pushing ‘unrealistic beauty standards’ on children after including a character with exaggerated proportions in the short film Inner Workings 

But it is Paul’s love interest Kate that has sparked outrage online, thanks to her enormous derriere, stick thin arms and tiny waist that is barely bigger than her neck. 

Dozens of social media users blasted the unrealistic depiction of Kate’s body after screenshots of the cartoon were shared online by US-based Twitter user Glitch, who shared them with the caption: ‘In no world did [Disney] need to do this.’   

The post, which included an image of Kate, sparked fresh criticism online, with users accusing Disney of setting ‘unrealistic’ body standards for its young audiences.  

Body dysmorphia: Mental health condition that sees sufferers obsess over flaws in their appearance

Body dysmorphia is a mental health condition where a person obsessively worries about flaws in their physical appearance.

Sufferers develop compulsive behaviours and routines, such as excessive use of mirrors or avoiding them completely.

These obsessions and behaviours cause emotional distress and have a significant impact on people’s ability to carry on with their day-to-day life. 

In this way, the condition is closely related to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

BDD can vary in severity from person-to-person and from day-to-day.

For some people, concerns around appearance may make it difficult for them to go out in public or see other people.

For others, they need to uphold what they perceive as a perfect look.  

BDD may also cause other problems such as feelings of shame, guilt and loneliness.

People with the condition may isolate themselves to avoid situations where their appearance may cause them anxiety or awkwardness. 

  



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