“Plus Size Princess Project” Shows More Diverse Vision Of Disney Princesses

No matter what you think about Disney princesses, there’s definitely at least one way to make them more inclusive for everyone: offer a plus-size princess! While Disney princesses have been slowly — and I mean slowly — movings towards agency, they still remain mostly white and all of them are thin. One Instagram influencer is trying to change that with her Plus-Size Princess Project. 

Natasha Polis has a huge Instagram following, and she decided she was going to use it to promote the idea that Disney princesses should be available for all people. Over three months, Polis gathered a group of plus-size influencers to create a photo series showing women with larger bodies portraying classic princesses like Belle, Ariel, and Elsa. She also made sure to include non-princess characters so she could show a more diverse cast. 

Polis spoke to Insider and said that while growing up in Orange County, Disney became “embedded” in her life, and she frequently visited Disneyland. 

“I love to emphasize plus-size fashion and show characters in larger bodies,” Polis said. “I really wanted to create a project that would show people that we want inclusivity and diversity in our Disney princesses, and that we can do it — regardless of body shape, size, skin color, or background.”

“I started reaching out to people in August because I wanted them to have time to make or buy their own costumes,” Polis said. “I laid out these guidelines for them and said, ‘We want this to be as accurate as possible. If you need my help finding costumes, reach out to me.”
 
Polis reached out to models like Hunter McGrady, who were excited to participate. 

“How amazing would it have been to see a plus-size princess growing up?” Hunter wrote on Instagram. “It’s incredible how much is ingrained in us at such a young age.”

“The princesses I grew up seeing were all thin and white and for the most part saved by a man,” she continued. “I hope we continue to see growth in this area so that one day when I have children no matter their size, they see representation.”

Unfortunately, sometimes it was difficult to find costumes in their sizes — so participants had to get creative. 

“I think a lot of girls were thinking it was going to be easy to find a costume, but with my experience as a plus-size person, trying to find princess dresses in my size that don’t look cheap and not cute, it’s a difficult search,” Polis said.

“It ended up being that people were choosing costumes or outfits based on their own style instead of being accurate,” she continued. One such model, Rosey Blair, chose to channel Cinderella by wearing a blue sundress and a black choker. 

Another model Becca Ashmon, posed as Ariel. She wore athleisure for the photo and explained on Instagram that she was passionate about the character because “racism JUMPED OUT” when Halle Bailey was cast as Ariel in the upcoming live-action film. 

Polis told Insider that she “wishes” she could have sewn “every single gown.” Still, she was able to create at least two: her Belle costume, and Aurora’s pink dress from “Sleeping Beauty.”

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