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New viral “princess diet” is dangerous, according to a health expert

This Tuesday, April 3, 2018 photo shows a closeup of a beam scale in New York. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison)


This Tuesday, April 3, 2018 photo shows a closeup of a beam scale in New York. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison)

Heidi Wagenbach, Staff writer

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I was introduced to the “dangerous new viral ‘Princess Diet’” this weekend while watching an episode of the Doctors on YouTube. Doing further research into this topic, I found the actual list of daily items to eat based on your favorite Disney princesses on myproana.com, written by user Guest_A Little Deer_*. This post consisted of copying the fictional, animated characters’ “diets”, including Ariel, whose day is nothing but a water fast, or Snow White, whose day is nothing but three to six apples. What was so frightening about this website was seeing all of the other likes and people wanting to try this.

The other princesses featured were Mulan, with tea in the morning, one cup of rice midday and a can of tuna or salmon for dinner, and Rapunzel, who can only eat 500 calories throughout the day, after consuming a tablespoon of honey, to represent the “golden flower” found in the film that ironically has healing powers.

The “Cinderella weight” is trending in Japan, but is gaining a lot of recognition. This diet requires a BMI of 18, which is scarily below the healthy number. However, BMI is also an odd concept, since it doesn’t factor in fat vs. muscle, rather simply recording height and weight then determining BMI from those two elements.

Dietician Lyndi Cohen said in her interview with the Daily Mail: “ Restricting your diet to achieve this low weight is dangerous and you may feel lethargic, experience extreme mood swings, grow unwanted body hair, find it hard to socialize, be at risk of fainting and lose your period.”

Tweets are expressing people’s disbelief with this new fad, claiming they would have to drop tens of pounds to achieve this goal. Twitter user Love, Andrea stated: “ What worries me about this trend particularly is how romanticised it is by calling it ‘Cinderella’! Life and your self value shouldn’t be so focussed [on] one’s weight. After all, princesses are shown to be kind, loving, adventurous, strong willed, etc. Never focussed on their weight.”

Women, I say women because this diet is specifically focussed on Disney princesses but men could follow this diet, and it would be just as dangerous, have always been fascinated with the girls’ bodies. Buzzfeed, a few years ago, recorded women’s reactions to Disney’s unrealistic waists that the professionals draw on their gals.

People need to understand that Disney makes the girls so skinny because that’s the artists’ style. Of course they’re not going to be realistic; they’re cartoon characters!

Watching Disney movies as a kid, I was never focused on how skinny Cinderella or Jasmine were, rather loving the story, the magic, and laughing alongside the more comedic moments with Genie from “Aladdin” or the gargoyles in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

With times changing, Disney is evolving too. Elsa from Frozen is a controversial character, with possibilities of her being a lesbian and having a female love interest in the upcoming sequel. But her waistline is still the same as the girls before her.

Disney isn’t the only cartoon that has unrealistic expectations when it comes to women’s bodies. Sony Picture Animation, Dreamworks or even the Batman cartoons could be accused of making young women too skinny, too reliant on men and not addressing the feminist issues that Disney has addressed more recently, such as Moana, who has a more average body and isn’t obsessed with finding a prince to sweep her off her feet.

In the end, movies do take a toll on our everyday lives, influencing us deeply without really knowing it. When we meet new people, the interests that are normally brought up reflect television shows and films. Our favorite characters, scenes, even quotes play a part with whom we are and what we’re exposed to.

The line needs to be drawn, and young girls need to be taught when exposed to Disney or other kids movies that these princesses and villains are CARTOONS and don’t blame them for these issues later on. Blame society for photoshopping and not addressing eating disorders instead, because I know from experience, little girls aren’t focused on their waists but rather the songs, the romance, the comedy and the overall story. They dress up like princesses because they’re good role models, not because five-year-olds are already looking to lose weight.

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New viral “princess diet” is dangerous, according to a health expert