Artist Creates Plus-Sized Versions Of Disney Princesses And It’s Sparked A Debate

Wide waists and double chins are some of the physical attributes that society has, for generations, demeaned and scorned. We’ve been conditioned to think that Disney princesses and the It Girls are the standard of beauty. However, this “norm” has caused most, if not all, young girls and young women to grow up unhappy and insecure. Crystal Walter, a digital portrait artist behind the controversially popular Instagram account Neoqlassic Art, was one of those little girls.

Crystal Walter creates unapologetic portraits of fat princesses and other iconic slim characters like Jessica Rabbit. Her body positive art has attracted both praise and contempt from the world. Many, who’ve been searching for something they can relate to, are overjoyed to finally be artistically represented. However, there are still those who insist on raining on other people’s parades. So it’s a good thing that Crystal’s always got an umbrella of positivity to block out their negativity!

 

 

 

 

Crystal Walter redraws slim icons like Disney Princesses with plus-size bodies

Even though her art works celebrating fat bodies are widely admired, others are criticizing Crystal. Instead of perceiving her work in a positive light, her critics have instead hurled accusations against her, saying that she is merely “glorifying obesity” and endorsing an unhealthy lifestyle. This of course, is not what Crystal wants to convey through her work. In fact, the only thing she wants to do give plus-sized women proper and beautiful representation. This mission of hers stems from the fact that she struggled to find a role model she could relate with in terms of body image during her younger years. In a statement, she said,

“Growing up I couldn’t find any positive fat role models in the media. Historically, fat people have been demonized, or used for comedic effect or to visibly show that a character is less intelligent than their slimmer, more cunning counterparts.”

 

 

View this post on Instagram

“I just don’t understand how a world that makes such wonderful things could be bad…” ? ? {EDIT, just to say that I found out @colormecourtney has been doing a #colormemermaid challenge, so if you want to see some amazing and diverse merbabes, check that hashtag out!}? ? I’ve been having a hard time lately, and don’t feel comfortable sharing much about it here. But I will say that I find it disheartening that the only people who check in to make sure I’m okay lately are… how can I phrase it… men with dubious intentions?? ? I know there are a lot of people who care. And to be fair, I don’t reach out for support when I need it either. Because everyone is going through something right now, and I don’t want to add to their stress. ? ? Just let this be a reminder to you to check up on the people you love. Whoever is coming to mind right now. No excuses. ??? ? Anyhow!? Enjoy some fresh Ariel art, and some amazing Ariel cosplays. ? ? ?????? ? #disneyfanart #fatactivism #arielcosplay #bodypositiveart #littlemermaidfanart #fatjoy #plussizecosplay #fatliberation #illustratorsofinstagram #neoqlassicalart

A post shared by Neoqlassical Art (@neoqlassicalart) on

 

 

View this post on Instagram

You are lovable at any size! ?? ? If a person will not have you because you don’t meet some arbitrary weight standard, then you don’t want them anyway! Period! ? ? This goes for anyone who pushes their agenda onto you, not just romantic partners, because you don’t need that kind of energy in your life! ? ? You are beautiful, you are worthy of love and respect, and you don’t have to change yourself to please someone else. ? ? When drawing this, I thought about also making Prince Eric fat, but reconsidered because I preferred to show a couple who didn’t “match” in size. ? So many people I know have a hard time believing they could be genuinely loved or desired by someone who is considered more “attractive” by our culture’s standards. ? ? Sweetheart, that person would be LUCKY to have you. ? ? ? ???? ? Also, commissions are open for anyone looking for a confidence boost or for a unique gift! Let me draw you… ask about prices! ?? ? #trueloveselflove #selfloveisnotselfish #plussize #plussizefashion #bodypositiveart #plussizeart #disneyfanart #princeeric #illustrationartist

A post shared by Neoqlassical Art (@neoqlassicalart) on

 

“This is hideously damaging to a developing child, and like many others, it led to me despising my own body. I could not physically relate to the characters I loved, like the Disney princesses I’ve re-drawn.”

 

 

 

She chose to redraw Disney Princesses so big children can relate to their favorite characters better

Since there were no plus-sized role models for Crystal to look up to as a young girl, she found it hard to accept the way she looked. She often retells anecdotes of her struggle towards accepting and owning the body that she has on Instagram. In one post, she recalled how, at 11 or 12, she would constantly measure herself using a fabric measuring tape and get more and more upset because “the numbers looked too big”.

Later, when Crystal became a teenager, she developed unhealthy habits in her pursuit of “normal” body. She exercised way too much, fasted intermittently, or skipped eating altogether. But the weight loss was always just temporary. This cycle made Crystal utterly miserable, so she eventually decided to just stop trying to shrink herself for the sake of fitting in.

 

 

 

 

 

Her drawings of plus-size princesses have sparked a discussion among observers

 

“I’ve never told anyone to get more fat, or that being fat is more desirable than being thin. Simply that fat lives are equal, and just as worth living as any other.”

Every little girl adores the Disney princesses for their sparkly gowns, wide-eyed enthusiasm and magical lives. In other words, the fictional lives of the princesses are every little girl’s dream. But this is unhealthy and unattainable. Their appearances aren’t, in any way realistic at all which makes it hard for their young audience to fully relate to them. And that’s what Crystal hopes to change with her re-imagined illustrations.

 

 

 

“The way our culture is designed to constantly provide the means of gaining fat, while simultaneously living in crippling fear of the result, and shaming people who do get heavier.”

 

 

View this post on Instagram

A MESSAGE: Yesterday, I was featured in an article on Scary Mommy, and today, this article has been pushed onto Yahoo, which is cool and all, because I love when people reach out to hear and share my message and my art.? ? The trouble is that the way the article was titled and worded, came across as sounding like I think being fat is better than being thin, and that being thin is unrealistic. My stance has always been that all bodies should be seen as equal. No one body shape is better than any other, and nobody is a better person than any other based on what they are or are not able to physically do. ? ? It is true that the original art of these characters I've redrawn was unrealistic, in that their waists are all, without any exceptions, narrower than their heads. But all physical human bodies are realistic, regardless of slimness or fatness, because… they are real. ? ? I focus on making these characters fat simply because I know the struggle of growing up fat, so I can relate, and it helps me. I needed to see the heroes of my favorite stories look more like me, rather than only physically relating to villains or comic relief characters. Good people come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and that needs to be more apparent. ? ? I feel like sharing something personal, and I'll put it in the comments below. TW for talk of eating disorders and suicidal ideation. ?

A post shared by Neoqlassical Art (@neoqlassicalart) on

 

 

The princesses are re-drawn with fat bodies so people can see themselves in the pop culture characters

 

“It’s true that the Disney characters I draw were unrealistic, to begin with, in that their waists were all smaller than their heads,” the artist explained. “But the reason I draw them fat is not to make them ‘realistic’, it’s to see myself in them. To help other fat folks see themselves in them.”

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

Fat people move. ? ? Fat people run, fat people dance, fat people do yoga, fat people swim… you may not see us represented in the media, or even in public because we’ve been shamed into doing physical activities in private for so many years. ? ? But we do these things. ? ? Obviously not every person can do everything, and even if they aren’t able they’re still worthy of respect and representation and love. ? Even if they don’t engage in much physical activity they’re still worthy of respect and representation and love. ? It’s nobody else’s business why they make that choice. ? ? Now, perhaps it shouldn’t, but it DOES take a huge amount of bravery for fat people to share their physical journeys online, so here’s a few of my favorite active fat folks on Instagram: ? ? @roblympian ? @300poundsandrunning ? @crazycurvy_yoga ? @mynameisjessamyn ? @plussizescuba? @deadlifts_and_redlips? ? …Also, It took me a long time to decide to redraw my Pocahontas, mostly because the first version I drew of her early last year is still one of my own favorite things I’ve ever made. ? ? ? ?? ? #fatactivism #plussize #fatjoy #illustration #disneyfanart #plussizeart #plussizefitness #losehatenotweight #dietculturedropout #bodypositiveart #fatart

A post shared by Neoqlassical Art (@neoqlassicalart) on

However, even though she’s championing the plus-size body type, Crystal clarified that she is in no way, putting down thin bodies as well. In fact, she thinks that every body type should be accepted without prejudice! For Crystal, everyone deserves to be respected and accepted, no matter how big or small or capable they are. Overweight people are “just people – not people-in-waiting”, she said. They are not lesser beings for taking up more space and most certainly do not deserve to be made fun of or viewed “with fear, disgust, or pity”. After all, weren’t we all taught to never judge a book by its cover? Everyone’s got something to offer beyond their appearance!

 

 

 

 

 

She re-draws the plump-figured princesses to make them more relatable to plus-sized audiences

 

 

 

“Glorifying anything that is constantly shamed by the rest of the world is not the same as encouragement to be more of that thing. It’s just recognition that the thing does not make you a bad person, or any less of a human being. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.”

 

 

Despite being attacked by naysayers, Crystal remains upbeat thanks to the positive reactions that her fat drawings get. A lot of her fans reach out to her, thanking for creating content that ‘finally’ represents them. “They show these drawings to their kids who may be on the big side,” Crystal shared. “And they love them as well.” The most common reasons of childhood bullying are prejudice against the child’s weight and size.

And the scarcity of positive representation in popular culture and media certainly don’t help the plight of the bullied overweight youth. So we can only imagine how comforting it is for kids to see their favorite Disney princesses with a similar figure.

 

 

 

 

She hopes to help change the attitude of society towards fat people through her unapologetic illustrations of bigger princesses

Despite her celebration of the fat body, Crystal is aware that obesity is a very real and very serious issue that needs to be addressed in a better way. Getting in shape is no walk in the park. In fact, it causes more stress to the person involved. So, she has come up with several suggestions that could possibly help improve the situation. According to Crystal, those who are currently going through the tough process of dealing with their weight problem need a special type of place:

“One that provides more nutritious options in places where there are none. One that encourages fun activity, and safe places to do those activities. One that’s closer to nature and is based on kindness. One that encourages bigger people to get out and live life, not to lose weight, but just to thrive as they are.”

 

 

 

 

Crystal is a part of the ever-growing art community that celebrates diversity and inclusivity

 

“When I was a kid, I would usually answer, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ with ‘An artist’. And if not that, then a rock star. I wen through a brief phase in 8th grade where I dressed in boys clothes and thought I could be a rapper, but didn’t we all? But through it all, being an artist of some sort of was the goal, and what do you know, I made it!”

 

 

 

“Find a cause that hits home for you, and something that people need, and work for that. If your subject inspires you, that will give you the fuel to keep going when you’re not yet receiving great feedback or monetary compensation. And never be afraid to ask for what you want, that’s a powerful tool that gets shamed out us early in life.”

 

 

View this post on Instagram

Hey Disney Ladies fans! As a big thank you for your love and support over the last month, all of the series so far is available to download in full size from the link in my profile! Feel free to use them as phone or desktop backgrounds or profile pictures, etc… but I ask that you give credit/links to my instagram if you share them, and pretty please don’t remove my signature or alter the images in any other way. . If you wish to offer additional support for my art, please commission something of your own to cherish forever, or donate to my PayPal tip jar also linked in my profile! . THANK YOU ALL. ? . . #plussizeart #illustratorsoninstagram #illustration #bodypositivity #plussizefashion #disneyfanart #bodypositiveart #bodypositive #neoqlassicalart

A post shared by Neoqlassical Art (@neoqlassicalart) on

 

The drawings drew criticism from skeptics

comment on fat disney princesses - critic

 

comment on fat disney princesses - mermaids would have strong cores

 

comment on fat disney princesses - unrealistic for little mermaid

 

comment on fat disney princesses-not everything has to be realistic

 

comment on fat disney princesses-this is ridiculous

 

On the other hand, others loved the message behind Walter’s work

supportive comment about crystal walter's fat disney princesses-proportions

 

supportive comment about crystal walter's fat disney princesses-fat people are people too

 

supportive comment about crystal walter's fat disney princesses-a personal statement

 

supportive comment about crystal walter's fat disney princesses

We certainly appreciate Crystal’s mission of giving plus-size youth proper representation. It’s so important for the vulnerable and impressionable to be treated with kindness. So if a drawing of their favorite princess with a plumper figure helps ease their anxiety and insecurity, then what’s not to love? What do you think of Crystal Walter’s unapologetic celebration of the bigger body? Tell us in the comment section below!

Source: Instagram | NeoqlassicalArt.com