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An artist imagines what Disney princesses would look like with diverse body types



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Walter, who shares her drawings on her Instagram page @neoqlassicalart, has been an artist since she was little, and she's always loved drawing people.
"The mediums have changed through the years, from crayon, to pen, to paint, and now to digital art, but the human variety has always been especially fascinating and beautiful to me," Walter told Insider.
"When I was little, I had the fantasy in the back of my mind that I would grow up pretty and tall, and fall in love with the prince and live happily ever after," Walter said. "But in the Disney world, only the girls who look a certain way will get to have that beautiful outcome, and that takes root in the mind from an early age."
Walter recalled attending a princess-themed birthday party when she was 8 years old. As part of the festivities, attendees got to pick a princess gown to wear for the party, but Walter remembered struggling to find one that fit.
"Everyone else found a pretty dress to wear fairly quickly," Walter said. "I ended up in an adult-sized dress that was ill-fitting, and I was heartbroken."
"I think that's the first time I really thought of my body as being too fat," she continued. "And in my mind, that meant that I would never be the princess I wanted to be when I grew up."
"I was a heavy child and saw no positive role models who looked like me in past or contemporary media, and that was very difficult growing up," Walter said.
"As a young adult, I went through severe depression and was at one of the lowest points of my life and not wanting to live. During this time, I was doing an intermittent fasting diet and walking miles every day to escape my home life, and I'd lost some weight," Walter said.
She added that she felt conflicted when family and friends would congratulate her on her weight loss, as she still didn't feel happy.
"Through my experience, I found that whatever size you are when you're living your most joyful, fulfilling life is the size you are meant to be at that time," she said.
Walter said that she thinks her rendition of Ariel aligns with the character's story line in "The Little Mermaid."
"Ariel has a real independent spirit and a mind of her own, and I think that gives her a lot of relatability with people," she said.
Walter told Insider that she's moved away from connecting her drawings to the idea of "body positivity," as she personally doesn't agree with the direction the movement has taken.
Instead, she sees herself as an "advocate for the representation of fat bodies," and her drawings of iconic Disney characters — from movies like "Hercules," "Sleeping Beauty," "Brave," and more — help her express that.
Walter wants people to know that her drawings are meant to be relatable to a wide range of audiences in comparison to the body proportions of the original animated characters.
"The reason I draw them fat is not to make them 'realistic.' It's to see myself in them and to help other fat folks see themselves in them," she said.
Walter said that in her opinion, Disney princes "tend to be drawn with an exaggerated shoulder-to-hip ratio" and body proportions that she thinks are promoted as being masculine.
"There is no perfect body type for anyone of any gender," Walter said.
"I hear from people who cry happy tears because they finally feel like they can relate to these characters they've loved their whole lives," Walter said.
She said that other fans of her work express a range of emotions.
"There are people who are sad for their inner child who needed this growing up," she said.
"I've never told anyone to get more fat, or that being fat is more desirable than being thin — simply that fat lives are equal and just as worth living as any other," Walter said.
Find more of Walter's work on Instagram.
 

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