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Wed Jun 29, 2016, 12:22 PM

 

Critics Are Calling Out Disney for Fat-Shaming Polynesians With ‘Moana’ Character



When Moana is released on November 23, 2016, the title character will be the first Disney princess of Polynesian descent. However, the look of the heroine’s sidekick, the demigod Maui, is creating a firestorm of criticism months before the film’s release.

According to New Zealand politician Jenny Salesa, the body shape of Maui is cause for concern. “When we look at photos of Polynesian men and women from the last 100-200 years, most of our people were not overweight and this negative stereotype of Maui is just not acceptable,” she writes on Facebook. “No thanks to Disney.”

Salesa calls Maui’s depiction “obese,” and thinks children might get the wrong message about their bodies. “The environment our kids grow up in and what they are exposed to have a role to play. Disney movies are very influential on our children. It is great that Moana is the lead. However, it is disappointing that Maui, one of our beloved historical ancestors from hundreds of years ago, who was a very strong man [and] a skilled navigator, is depicted to be so overweight in this kids’ movie.”

The parliament member’s comments have created a whir of debate. One Facebook user said, “I agree and am surprised that they still didn’t change the image even though voiced by Dwayne Johnson, who I hope raised issues about it. Still looking forward to seeing it.” Another did not agree with Salesa’s sentiments in the slightest. “It’s not a negative stereotype,” she wrote. “All people come in different sizes and shapes. They are just showing a different body type that some Polynesians do have. Sorry it is not the stereotypical one you dream up … not all of them can be that perfectly chiseled. Maui can be strong and bigger.”

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Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
Reply Critics Are Calling Out Disney for Fat-Shaming Polynesians With ‘Moana’ Character (Original post)
Just reading posts Jun 2016 OP
Nye Bevan Jun 2016 #1
scscholar Jun 2016 #7
Svafa Jun 2016 #28
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Jun 2016 #31
haele Jun 2016 #17
1939 Jun 2016 #2
Brother Buzz Jun 2016 #10
1939 Jun 2016 #24
Brother Buzz Jun 2016 #26
B2G Jun 2016 #3
closeupready Jun 2016 #5
B2G Jun 2016 #6
closeupready Jun 2016 #20
LanternWaste Jun 2016 #23
arcane1 Jun 2016 #4
dembotoz Jun 2016 #8
Just reading posts Jun 2016 #13
Oneironaut Jun 2016 #9
sufrommich Jun 2016 #11
whatthehey Jun 2016 #12
Archae Jun 2016 #14
B2G Jun 2016 #15
melman Jun 2016 #16
leeroysphitz Jun 2016 #18
Just reading posts Jun 2016 #21
Adrahil Jun 2016 #19
snooper2 Jun 2016 #22
romanic Jun 2016 #25
HassleCat Jun 2016 #27
jberryhill Jun 2016 #29
Odin2005 Jun 2016 #30
geek tragedy Jun 2016 #32

Response to Just reading posts (Original post)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 12:32 PM

1. Depicting a larger sized person who is comfortable in her own skin?

Whatever is wrong with that? Are the critics suggesting that all cartoon characters should be skinny?

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 12:45 PM

7. Exactly. Giving people a role model is good.

 

Well, if someone else did it. Disney's motives are hateful.

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Response to scscholar (Reply #7)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 04:29 PM

28. I am a huge proponent of body acceptance and love,

but I can understand the criticism of it as promoting racial/ethnic stereotypes.

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Response to scscholar (Reply #7)

Thu Jun 30, 2016, 09:42 AM

31. I give you credit

Your gimmick is far more honed than philo.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 01:17 PM

17. Yes - The "OMG, a healthy size XL person in a cartoon? How dare that be acceptable?" reaction.

As it is, active, oversized male figures are common in cartoons. And sometimes they're an intregal part of a hero journey, if not the hero.

All I can see is that instead of complaining about the goof-ball Genie in Aladdin or Gru in the "Despicable Me" franchise (face it, as drawn, if Gru was a normal person, he'd be around 6'2" and 270 lbs...that's borderline obese), they're complaining maybe because Maui is Polynesian, and it's a "politically correct" concern because he's a humorous sidekick figure?

Just - errr. It's a cartoon. With (admittedly stereotypical) Polynesian archetypes as focus of the story.

Haele

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Response to Just reading posts (Original post)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 12:32 PM

2. Probably not typical of the Maori in New Zealand

but that body shape would not be hard to find in Samoa as typified by a number of Samoan players in the NFL.

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Response to 1939 (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 12:53 PM

10. You'd be hard pressed to find Samoan rugby or NFL players with feet that small

My very unscientific study finds the average Samoan player wears at least size fifteen shoe; size 22 being the median.

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Response to Brother Buzz (Reply #10)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 04:09 PM

24. Cartoon license

Just like most cartoon figures have three fingers and a thumb.

Larger feet would seem awkward as depicted unless you want to emphasize that part of the character like Disney's Goofy.

Supplying boots to the ARVN in Vietnam, their boot sizes were out of proportion to their stature being much larger than you would expect for 60" to 64" men.

.

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Response to 1939 (Reply #24)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 04:19 PM

26. I wonder if Vietnamese workers laugh when stamping out size fifteen flip-flops?

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Response to Just reading posts (Original post)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 12:38 PM

3. OMFG

 

Will this perpetual outrage never end?

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Response to B2G (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 12:40 PM

5. People will always need to make small talk.

 

For example, the thread last week about former reality star Tila Tequila, lol.

So, in essence, that's a 'no'.

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Response to closeupready (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 12:43 PM

6. Well they need to quit turning 'small talk' into actual news.

 

It's beyond ridiculous these days.

Anyone with a stupid gripe gets a national platform. We have become a nation of the perpetually offended and it's getting to be embarrassing.

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Response to B2G (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 01:30 PM

20. Absolutely agree with you. 100%. Too many bored people out there.

 

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Response to B2G (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 03:36 PM

23. It's as though people were simply looking for racism in places where none exists.

Exactly. It's as though people were simply looking for racism in places where none exists.





The nerve of anyone having a problem with this is best dealt simply by dismissing the concern, pretending a difference in degrees is an absolute difference, calling it perpetual outrage and pretending the real problem is with everyone but ourselves...

Now... back to the convenient bubble (with a quick justification to better validate your biases).

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Response to Just reading posts (Original post)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 12:39 PM

4. Is Disney being shamed for depicting the body type, or are people with the body type being shamed?

 

I can't keep up anymore.

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Response to Just reading posts (Original post)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 12:48 PM

8. always thought bugs bunny was way to thin....promote anorexia?

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Response to dembotoz (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 12:54 PM

13. I'm not so sure about that....there are definately some curves there.

 

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Response to Just reading posts (Original post)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 12:50 PM

9. How do people have time to care about such a thing?

I mean, who cares? Every Disney / Pixar movie is existence is full of gigantic stereotypes. Most of the time it comes down to the art style as well.

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Response to Just reading posts (Original post)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 12:54 PM

11. He doesn't really look fat though,he just looks huge.nt

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Response to Just reading posts (Original post)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 12:54 PM

12. Hell that's my body shape, in caricature of course

Even the neck(lessness), although not the feet. Ever seen a bunch of top class weightlifters? If you want to picture a legendary "very strong man", remarkably few real ones have tiny waists and six-packs. And whiuch idiot seeks body image from exaggerated cartoons?

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Response to Just reading posts (Original post)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 01:00 PM

14. Apparently they are going after those who can turn into birds, too.

The big guy in one trailer turns into a bird at one point.

This is FANTASY, you jerks with your "political correctness!"

In old comedies, what are overweight people usually depicted as?
Jovial, and humorous.

And before anyone jumps on me, shit. I'M overweight.

Most notably I've got a larger than normal gut.

Because I love to eat!

I'm not on the latest freak show on TLC "I'm 600 Pounds And I don't Give A Shit," but I am able to keep my weight about 200 pounds (at 6 feet tall,) since I ride my bicycle a lot.

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Response to Just reading posts (Original post)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 01:06 PM

15. And if Disney apologies, I shall throw up. nt

 

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Response to Just reading posts (Original post)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 01:13 PM

16. Make him skinny

 

and then they'd complain about that. That's how it works.

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Response to Just reading posts (Original post)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 01:20 PM

18. I think he looks pretty bad-ass. Just sayin' n/t

 

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Response to leeroysphitz (Reply #18)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 01:39 PM

21. Here's the teaser trailer:

 

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Response to Just reading posts (Original post)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 01:22 PM

19. What? Maui looks like a bad-ass! NT

 

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Response to Just reading posts (Original post)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 01:40 PM

22. I would say New Zealand politician Jenny Salesa needs to find a hobby LOL

 

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Response to Just reading posts (Original post)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 04:12 PM

25. *rolls my eyes*

There are much more pressing issues to worry about than a freaking Disney character.

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Response to Just reading posts (Original post)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 04:22 PM

27. He ain't fat.

 

Who is Salesa? Is she from Hawaii? Hawaiians and Samoans are big people, really big people. That gold statue of Kamhameha in rotunda of the US capitol? That's life sized. Go stand next to it sometime. Or under it would be a better way to put it. If there is an excitement here, it should be about the pint-sized princess I see in the picture, not Maui. He's not fat, and not even close to "obese?" Obese? Are you kidding me?

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Response to Just reading posts (Original post)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 04:35 PM

29. Are they banning recordings of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

 

The character appears to call to mind one of the most revered Hawaiian cultural figures.

Given that they named him "Maui", that's probably exactly what they are aiming for.





I never saw him criticized for "promoting negative stereotypes".

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Response to Just reading posts (Original post)

Thu Jun 30, 2016, 09:23 AM

30. He doesn't look stereotypically fat at all, just super-muscular.

More like an NFL lineman than a couch potato.

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Response to Just reading posts (Original post)

Thu Jun 30, 2016, 09:47 AM

32. I wouldn't go so far as to call the brother fat. I mean he's got a weight problem ... nt

 

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