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Does Fashion Minnie Mouse Send Wrong Message about Body Image?

Disney’s Minnie Mouse (left) and Barneys New York’s fashion runway fantasy depiction of Minnie. Photo courtesy of Radio 720 WGN Chicago.

National Association of Social Workers member Judith Matz, MSW, LCSW, and others are commenting on Barneys New York stores decision to use a thinner version of Disney’s Minnie Mouse in holiday windows.

Matz is director of the Chicago Center for Overcoming Overeating, Inc. and co-author of “The Diet Survivor’s Handbook: 60 Lessons in Eating, Acceptance and Self-Care” ($12.95, Sourcebooks Inc.).

Matz was quoted in this article from Radio 720 WGN in Chicago.

The article said the Barneys New York display, which features an emaciated Minnie in a fantasy runway video, will send the wrong message to young people and especially girls that thinner is better.

However Matz said parents have more influence over their children’s attitude towards weight.

“What parents can do is not comment on their own body size, not talk about diets in front of children, not say ‘so-and-so looks great because she lost weight’ or keep magazines around the house that say ‘Lose 20 pounds in 2 days!'” Matz said in the article.

For more information on how social workers help consumers live healthier lifestyles, visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” Health and Wellness Web page by clicking here.

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