Get Moana a one-piece suit. Find Princess Jasmine a sweater to tie around her waist. And King Triton really needs to give his poor daughters a clothing budget so they don’t have to be swimming in the void all the time. At least that’s what some of the famous Disney princesses would demand if they wanted to go to Walt Disney World.
The viral TikTok video of a woman who broke the Florida park’s dress code has reopened a long-running debate: Is it fair that the House of Mouse requires its guests to wear certain clothes, given what its characters wear carry the screen? And how does anyone, even the world’s best known provider of family entertainment, define “family friendly” at this point in history?
The relevant portion of Disney’s dress code prohibits “clothing that inherently exposes excessive portions of the skin that may be considered inappropriate for a family setting.” By that standard, it’s not entirely shocking that the guest in question was asked to cover up. While her shirt had long sleeves, it was also tied in the middle so it was clear she wasn’t wearing a bra.
But how can a clear line be drawn between a tie front and what Disney shows on its screens or sells in its stores? The lewd shirt is no more overtly sexual than the heaving breasts of a generation of Disney princesses.
The screen version of Jasmine (Aladdin) gets high in some kind of bra and harem pants while Ariel (The little mermaid) is almost naked. (Moana, to be fair, has been dressing more and more for cultural specifics and functions.) The costumes for the women who play these princesses in the park seem to hint at that tension.
Some Disney World Ariels sport fishtails and bikini tops, the purple shells are reinforced with flesh-colored mesh. Jasmine roamed the grounds dressed for years like their animated counterpart, until 2016 when they were covered in a high collar and long sleeves.
That paragraph may well cause groans of embarrassment in a decade when my daughter is a teenager, but I was stumped trying to substitute her own beloved Moiana one-piece on the ShopDisney website.
The only option was a two-piece, one of 11 styles for girls as young as two that are either two-piece or one-piece with side cutouts.
There are many parents who would take a bikini on a preschooler just as a reminder to buy extra sunscreen.
But that’s the point: what is family-friendly depends on the values of an individual family, and needs vary based on the ages and needs of the children in that family.
Pixar’s latest movie, To redden, about a 13-year-old for whom the onset of puberty includes the ability to transform into a red panda is probably not suitable for young children. It’s full of incipient lust and chilling menstrual euphemisms.
And yet, in its depiction of how emerging sexual awareness and physical maturation drive wedges between mothers and daughters before fostering new intimacy, it’s one of the most useful films I’ve seen for families.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/naked-hypocrisy-of-disney-world-cover-up-rules-for-park-visitors-41484921.html Blatant hypocrisy of Disney World’s “cover-up” rules for park-goers