Barney’s starves Disney characters for the holidays

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A group of evil villains at Barney’s decided that they want to use creepy, anorexic versions of Minnie, Mickey, Daisy and Goofy in their holiday ad campaign because the regular versions of these beloved characters are too fat for designer clothes.

Barney’s Creative Director Dennis Freedman reportedly said, “The standard Minnie Mouse will not look so good in a Lanvin dress.” So he decided to make Minnie 5’11” and a size 0. He continued, “When you see Goofy, Minnie and Mickey, they are runway models.” He also said, “The important thing to me was always that it had to be authentic.” In fairness, the word “authentic” might have a different meaning in the fashion world. It might mean the opposite of authentic. Regardless, I imagine he was stroking a cat that sat purring in his lap while he said these things.

Picture this delightful field trip (from WWD):

In mid-March, six Barneys New York executives traveled out West for a fun day at Disneyland. The group — including chief executive officer Mark Lee, creative director Dennis Freedman and senior vice president Charlotte Blechman, as well as executives from communications and visual — toured Walt Disney’s apartment and went on rides like It’s a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain and Captain EO.

I bet they could barely get into the rides in their overly formal clothes and spent most of their time alternately glaring at chubby park goers and scanning Gilt Group for coats made out of dalmatians on their smart phones. Did it even occur to these people that if the clothes and the characters’ bodies don’t mesh, it’s the clothes that need to change and not the characters’ bodies??? I know that Barney’s isn’t exactly the Women’s Media Center, but COME ON.

Oh! And apparently Barney’s is going to donate 25 percent of its sales from this mess to “a charity it will disclose at a later date.” Please let it be an eating disorder charity. 

This reads like an article on The Onion, but this is the world we live in. Here is a petition that I and over 75,000 other people have signed. Hopefully it will stop one of the worst marketing ideas in the history of retail.

Cross-posted at

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

Michelle Haimoff is a writer, blogger and activist. Her writing has appeared in, The Huffington Post and The Los Angeles Times. She is a founding member of NOW’s Young Feminist Task Force and blogs about First World Feminism at

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