Saturday, January 09, 2010

Shrek movies - do they really promote size awareness

On the surface, the Shrek series of animated movies seems to promote size acceptance. The so called hero of these movies is a fat green troll who is as noble as he is ugly. The lady he marries who first looks like a typical model type is actually a troll herself and turns into one when they get married. Like her husband, she's fat also.

There was always something which niggled me about these movies and after watching Shrek III, I thought it through.

I realized that not only is Shrek ugly looking but he's more than a bit uncouth (he IS a troll after all).

Everyone else in the movie is either a cute animal or very slim, nice looking humans - Shrek and wife are the only fat trolls.

Considering that, under the surface, Shrek does the opposite of what one might think. On an unconscious level, it connects "fat" with not only "ugly" but "uncouth" as well and it's pouring these connections into the unconscious minds of the viewers, the most pernicious type of brain washing and especially into the impressionable minds of kids.

I suspect if I had small kids I might not encourage them to watch these movies - more fat-a-phobia and negative connotations of people of size, we do not need.


Artifact Junkie said...

And see what always bugged me is that the princess had to take on Shrek's form in the end. She was given true love's form, not her own. Or her own choice.

SueW said...

Well, the story is that the princess WAS a troll to begin with - that WAS her natural form...


I don’t know… I kind of like how Shrek operates on his own terms – his being uncouth is kind of endearing and just shows that he’s just being himself, as opposed to holding back according to social constraints. I’ve also always liked that the princess winds up chubby and green like him and it’s OK. You don’t have to be a model to get your man. (And also, your man doesn’t have to be Brad Pitt to be worthwhile).