Ursula and The Queen of Hearts' Merchandising Slim Down
So the new Designer Villian Collection dolls came out a little while ago. You can see the full set here if you like. They're lovely dolls, the set is designed by the same people who did the Princess set. But the thing that caught my eye right away was not the beautiful dresses, the great face sculpts, or even Mother Gothel's Bride of Frankenstein hair, but how skinny these two were.
That's the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland on the right and Urusla from The Little Mermaid on the left. Here's a little refresher if you can't remember what they looked like originally:
Now, Disney has never been the best at portraying women of different body types. All of their heroines have more or less the same figure depending on age. Occasionally there will be an older woman with a different body type, like Mrs.Potts (as a human, of course) from Beauty and the Beast or Mulan's mother and grandmother, but those are few and far between. However, they've never been particularly shy about giving villains a fuller figure, which is pretty problematic. Heroines have to be thin, young, and stereotypically pretty, but evil women? Sure, they can be fat. No problem! Or funny looking. Or green. Or have tentacles. Whatever.
But to change their looks for a series of (pretty expensive) dolls? It seems somehow even more insulting. They don't even look like themselves. If anything, Ursula looks like her sister from The Little Mermaid 2, and the Queen of Hearts looks like some other woman in a Queen of Hearts costume. It's frustrating when there's so few bigger women in Disney canon, but it's even more aggravating that they think it's acceptable to suddenly slim them down for the sake of a merchandising line.