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Old 30th October 2011   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: January 2010
Posts: 188
Default Katrina van Tassel - the plus-size Disney princess

I love this discussion. Thank you to Tamika for her amazing post. Katrina has instantly become my favourite animated character.

People have been calling for a "plus-size Disney princess" for years, little knowing that one already exists. In fact, in this thread on the forum, I myself posted a graphic that I found online of a proposed plus-size Disney princess, which someone had created as fan art. But when you compare their facial features and arms, Katrina -- the real Disney character -- is actually fuller-figured than the fan-art proposal. She's more beautiful too.

In fact, it's a melancholy thought that not only could Washington Irving describe Katrina as being "plump" and "universally famed for her beauty" in the 19th century, but as recently as 1949, when this film was made, Disney could still do likewise, not only depicting a "plump" character, but even calling her that in the narration, still using the word "plump" a term of praise, and still expecting (rightly) that the audience would recognize Katrina as being drop-dead gorgeous.

We have fallen so far as a culture, even from the time that this film was made. As recently as 1949, Disney could create a de facto "plus-size princess" in designing Katrina, simply because that was recognized as the ideal shape of feminine attractiveness. The full-figured Katrina didn't represent "a different kind of beauty" to the animators. She was beauty itself. Period.

This is the most important point in Tamika's post:

Originally Posted by Tamika
The differing views of Katrina revealed in the comments, however, are actually quite revealing. Opinions of her vary from "most gorgeous toon ever" to some calling her "chubby." This is, in fact, encouraging: it confirms the fact that she is curvy enough to be somewhat confronting to those who usually cannot reconcile "full-figured" with "beautiful princess". She is visibly plump enough to be noticeable, but the favourable comments about her prove that she's also undeniably attractive. Katrina is the animated embodiment of what this site has previously called ‘the paradox of the plus-size model’. Modern culture presents ‘plus-size’ and ‘beautiful’ as mutually exclusive. Katrina, by nature of her very existence, destroys this false conditioning, prompting the public to break free of their thin-supremacist indoctrination and recognise Katrina as a plump, curvaceous goddess, an ideal of beauty.

Exactly. It's when people realize that they need to reconcile these two reactions that they are compelled to acknowledge the existence, and even the superiority, of plus-size beauty. When they discover that Katrina is "chubby" and the "most gorgeous toon ever," they are forced to reject anti-plus media brainwashing. Ultimately, they are even compelled to come to the stunning realization that Katrina is the "most gorgeous toon ever" partly because she is "chubby" (by anorexic modern standards), and that's when the real enlightenment begins and the timeless ideal is restored.

I also think Katrina looks ravishing in this image, which showcases her big, china-blue, doll-like eyes and voluptuous curves.

This is so sweet as to be like a dream, with Katrina, "herself a blossoming flower" (as Tamika writes), taking in the scent of a full-blown rose.

And when I viewed this shot in the film, I immediately thought of Shannon Marie and her famous over-the-shoulder Mode image.

Katrina is very much like Shannon, Kelsey, Katherine Roll, and the other loveliest Judgment of Paris favourites. And since she does resemble these ideal full-figured models so closely, she really must be considered the one, true, plus-size Disney princess.
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