Film Corner: Disney's Fairy Mary

[Content Note: Invisibility of Fat Bodies]

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Disney and I don't always get on well when it comes to fat acceptance. Their heroines are uniformly thin, which means that I've spent a lifetime enjoying Disney movies without having anyone among their starring cast who looks like me. And the women in Disney who are fat are usually either evil (see The Little Mermaid) or inept (see Brave).

So I was pleasantly startled to meet Fairy Mary in one of the Tinkerbell fairy movies (specifically Secret of the Wings) who is both fat (though admittedly not "too" fat) and is neither evil nor mean nor inept nor stupid. She appears to be both competent at her job and possessing a sense of humor and a wide array of facial expressions:

Now. Obviously Mary is not very fat, but she is fat. And obviously Mary is older and therefore a "safer" fat than if Disney would make one of Tink's young (and obviously meant to be pretty/sexy) fairy friends fat. (And I really wish they would make one of them fat because fat people can also be young and pretty and sexy.) And it probably goes without saying (sigh) that Mary only has about three solid minutes of screentime in an hour+ movie. So those aren't things to write home about.

But still. She's a fat fairy. She's fat and she's not evil-inept-mean-awful-stupid and she flies. She is a fat woman who flies on the same gossamer tiny-sized wings that Tink and the rest fly on. She flies just like the other fairies and her being fat doesn't make a damned bit of difference to the artists. They didn't do some bullshit give-her-beefy-wings-because-fat-people-are-so-heavy crap.

I want more of this. Of all ages, of greater sizes.

But in the meantime I'm just relieved to see a fat woman who isn't awful. So that's nice.


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