I had to look it up. The word “spandrel” was originally an architectural term, then was adopted by biologists to describe just what the comic says.
Evolutionary biology uses the term spandrel for features of an organism arising as byproducts, rather than adaptations, that have no clear benefit for the organism’s fitness and survival. In response to the position that spandrels are just small, unimportant byproducts, Gould and Lewontin argue that “we must not recognize that small means unimportant. Spandrels can be as prominent as primary adaptions”. A main…
Children’s movies hold a special place in our hearts, but we’ve long questioned what they teach young girls; and a new release isn’t doing anything to help matters. An upcoming Snow White spoof has been accused of body-shaming, and one look at the film’s promotional poster makes it easy to see why.
Bustle reached out to Locus Studios, and received a reply from Sujin Hwang, one of the film’s producers:
Red Shoes and the 7 Dwarfs has a chance to take the Snow White classic and redefine it a bit with less stereotypical gender expectations than children’s movies have typically placed on little girls; but judging on the trailer along, it falls horribly short. On Tuesday, body-positive model Tess Holliday tweeted a picture of the poster, which features one slender Snow White next to a fuller-figured Snow White. The problem is in the text: “What if Snow White was no longer beautiful and the 7 dwarfs not so short?” it reads. The implication here is clear, as tweeted by Holliday: “no longer beautiful” and “fat” are one in the same. Snow White loses her desirable appeal once she packs on a few pounds. It implies that the woman who was seconds before exciting and pleasing to the eye, suddenly becomes displeasing and ugly — all because of her size and shape. Is this a message we want to teach young, impressionable children?
Things only get worse with the film’s trailer. In it, two dwarfs are seen watching Snow White undress without her knowledge (which, dear God, is a whole new problem in and of itself), eagerly awaiting the moment she takes it all off. But when she does, her true appearance is revealed: a plumper, curvier version of the same woman. The dwarfs appear disgusted, and the message is clear: fat is ugly.
It’s a scary idea that we continue to battle — that a woman’s worth is reduced to unrealistic, damaging standards, like that skinny is preferable to fat. That body size has any indication on our attractiveness or inherent worth as human beings. That no woman can be attractive if she’s not super svelte, the way Snow White used to…