Study: On Screen, Girls’ Bodies are Changing

Child molds princess bodies out of clay.
Child molds princess bodies out of clay. (Pexels)

A doctoral student at UConn has published a study finding that female characters in animated films may affect the body image of young girls who watch them in a more complex way than previously thought.

Rebecca Rowe, a specialist in children’s literature, says while scholars have studied body image in animated films – particularly in so-called “princess” characters – they have focused primarily on body size issues rather than body shapes.

In her paper titled, “Shaping Girls: Analyzing Animated Female Body Shapes,” published in the journal Animation, Rowe says that body shapes in animated characters have changed over the last two decades.

Rowe recently sat down with Ken Best of UConn 360 to discuss the changes.