When you think of someone being cursed by a ghost you usually think of being haunted or serious deformation like an extra eye or werewolf fangs. In the newest
straight to DVD animated film, "Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy," Daphne receives the horrible curse of -- going from a size 2 to a size 8?
That's right. When the usually slender redhead encounters the creepy villain in the new film, her horrible fate is to be plumped up three dress sizes -- though the animation
makes a size 8 look obese
. However, the real problem here is that an animated movie directed at young children is teaching little girls that the thing they should fear the most is gaining weight.
The average women's dress size in the US is a
, meaning that Daphne's curse still puts her three sizes below the national average. Warner Brothers, the studio that produced the film, released a statement to
the Huffington Post
trying to defend the choice.
"The loss of Daphne's regular appearance is proven to be a superficial thing, and not what actually matters the most to her," says Warner Bros.
If only they had stopped there. Instead the statement goes on to say that Daphne's weight curse also doesn't matter because her boyfriend Fred doesn't even notice, proving the weight gain makes no difference to him. Translation: It doesn't matter how much weight you gain as long as a man still finds you attractive! This is the message we're sending to little girls. It's no wonder they have started dieting by
Adding insult to injury is the fact that a staple of the show is Shaggy and Scooby's pathological binge eating sessions. A constant joke in the cartoon since its inception in 1969 is that the two have bottomless stomachs and their constant need to satiate their appetites often gets the gang into trouble. Why is it that the two male protagonists of the series can eat as much as they want without worry, but Daphne has to be
cursed with an expanded waistline? Seriously? It's 2014.
In this day and age we have a responsibility to promote good self-esteem and a healthy body image for young people, especially young girls who are still consistently judged by their outer appearance rather than their skills or character. Cartoons are supposed to teach valuable lessons of integrity and caring about others through an entertaining medium -- not re-enforce the negative ideas already perpetuated by adult media.
Becoming a size 8 is not the worst thing that could happen to Daphne, or to anyone. Using weight even as a fictional punishment is unacceptable.
Young girls deserve so much better than this.