Melissa May’s Dear Ursula explores the issue of industries (specifically Disney in argument) slimming down and maintaining this “thin agenda” when it comes to the bodies of female characters. Melissa really hits home on this point that as larger girls / women there was only really, Ursula to look up to and relate to. She, unlike the Red Queen was a larger woman who was happy and confident in her body. She was not mocked for it and for the bigger girls (myself included) Ursula made you feel happy about your figure. Although the point was to ostracise her for being fat it always felt like Ursula was in control. And Disney, when creating the “designer villain dolls” took away that sense of control and body confidence when they slimmed her out. It was as if they where almost saying, “You can’t be fat and beautiful.”
What Melissa did was call them out on this, she as a feminist called them out on their nonsense and sexism of trying to make every female character, whether good or bad thin and “attractive”. Her words are the modern day equivalent of cutting someone down with a sword. She is speaking for the women who say the image of the “new” Ursula and felt bad about themselves. She isn’t standing for this misogynistic rubbish and it’s this kind of no-nonsense woman speaking her mind that emulates modern day feminism.
Emma Gray hits on this point of them slimming down Ursula to make her aspirational for younger women. And honestly it disgusting, this trend of slimming down children’s toys so that young girls are continuously bombarded with the idea that they have to be thin, they must aspire to thinness at all cost. As Bella sugar said “Ursula forced to go on a crash diet so she could model for beauty products? Because that’s bullsh*t.”