This Artist Draws Disney Princesses in Diverse Body Types to Advocate for 'Representation'

September 3, 2020

People come in all shapes and sizes, so why don’t Disney princesses?

Crystal Walters, a Wisconsin-based artist, has made it her passion to recreate beloved princesses with diverse body types.

Walters shares her drawings on her Instagram page @neoqlassicalart where she’s amassed over 25 thousand followers.

She told Insider that she sees herself as an “advocate for the representation of fat bodies.”

Her drawings include iconic characters from movies such as “Hercules,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Cinderella,” and “Aladdin.”

"The mediums have changed through the years, from crayon, to pen, to paint, and now to digital art, but the human variety has always been especially fascinating and beautiful to me," she told the publication, explaining that she’s been drawing since she was young.

Walters doesn't want the characters to look more “realistic,” but instead, wants to help young girls see role models who look like they do.

"When I was little, I had the fantasy in the back of my mind that I would grow up pretty and tall, and fall in love with the prince and live happily ever after," Walter said. "But in the Disney world, only the girls who look a certain way will get to have that beautiful outcome, and that takes root in the mind from an early age,” she added.

She told the publication she first felt “too fat” at a princess-themed birthday party when she was 8 years old because she couldn’t fit into any of the gowns.

"Everyone else found a pretty dress to wear fairly quickly," Walter said. "I ended up in an adult-sized dress that was ill-fitting, and I was heartbroken."

"I think that's the first time I really thought of my body as being too fat," she explained. "And in my mind, that meant that I would never be the princess I wanted to be when I grew up."

She added that no one looked like her even in animated movies: "I was a heavy child and saw no positive role models who looked like me in past or contemporary media, and that was very difficult growing up.”

As she struggled with her weight, she found happiness in art.

"Through my experience, I found that whatever size you are when you're living your most joyful, fulfilling life is the size you are meant to be at that time," she said.

Walters has faced criticism for “glorying obesity,” but she doesn’t see it that way.

"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," she explained.

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