“Skinny Minnie” Controversy

Nicole Jelinek, Entertainment Editor

High-end fashion department store, Barneys’ new holiday campaign for the store has an element to it that is causing quite a stir all over and especially for body-image activists: Skinny Minnie.

Barneys holiday campaign features a 3-D light show and moving art video. The video is a 3 minute “dream sequence” that features a stick-thin, 5 foot 11 Minnie Mouse walking down a Paris runway in a high fashion, ruffled, Lavin mini dress. As Minnie wakes up she is her normal self again, wearing the same dress as she had on the Paris catwalk. The display is called, “Electric Holiday.” 

Now, the gaunt-looking Minnie has people outraged. Many say that the super thin model is sending out horrible messages to girls and teens. Chontl Reynolds, a body-image activist, stated, “It gives them the idea that Minnie’s supposed to be skinny and anorexic looking, but I don’t know. I think the old Minnie is the best Minnie.”

Currently, there is a petition on Change.org called “Leave Minnie Alone,” and more than 133,000 are supporting it including actresses Virginia Madsen and True Blood’s Kristen Bauer. Regan Chastain’s petition calls for the Madison Avenue department store to remove the image of Minnie from the display.

In a joint statement from Disney and Barneys, they defended their skinny Minnie saying, “We are saddened that activists have repeatedly tried to distort a lighthearted holiday project in order to draw media attention to themselves.” The display is set to premiere on November 14th, 4 days before the famous mouse’s birthday.