• Wed, Dec 28 2011

Demi Lovato Says Disney Teens Have Gotten Thinner; You Be The Judge

I think it’s pretty awesome that former Disney Channel star Demi Lovato is calling the network out for using eating disorder jokes on its shows. The 19-year-old took to Twitter last week to complain about a joke on the TV show Shake It Up in which a character says, “I could just eat you up—well, if I ate.” She followed with a tweet saying:

Disney’s PR team responded quickly, promising to pull the Shake It Up episode and an episode of another show, So Random, that contained an eating disorder joke. “We hear you & are pulling both episodes as quickly as possible & reevaluating them … It’s NEVER our intention to make light of eating disorders!” the Disney media relations twitter account tweeted back to Lovato. Case closed? I guess. But Lovato’s tweet about That’s So Raven and Lizzie McGuire got me wondering: Have Disney’s teen stars gotten thinner over the years?

So I rounded up photos of some of some of Disney’s most famous teen stars—starting with Mouseketeer prototype Annette Funicello and going up through the girls of Shake It Up. It’s kind of hard to tell because teen styles were so different (and less revealing) back in the day, but it doesn’t seem to me like Disney teens of yore were significantly bigger or differently-shaped than today’s teen-girl stars. The network’s pubescent actresses—from Haley Mills to Keri Russell to Miley Cyrus—have always been fairly thin, yet healthy looking. But see for yourself (and let us know your thoughts in the comments!).

Photo: OriginalMMC.com

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  • alexandra

    I dunno, the Disney stars have seemed really thin to me lately. And I think part of the problem is lines like that, rather than the actual size of the actresses. It’s fine to put thin kids on TV as long as they are portrayed as growing, healthy children. I think making light of children’s eating disorders is absolutely unforgivable, Disney reaches too many adolescents to be so careless about the message they send.

    • Kelsie.

      Yes. They’ve gotten much thinner. I also miss the days of That’s so Raven. The programe was so inspiring. The character Raven in one of the series had said ”People come in all shapes and sizes and are all beautiful” We no longer get that from disney channel. Seeing so many thin people on Disney will encourage young children that you have to be thin to reach your dreams but this…is untrue. Everybody is beautiful in their own way.

    • Hanna Brooks Olsen

      Word. Agreed about healthy-looking kids. I think, aside from the weight, Disney’s stars have gotten freakishly adult-looking (Miley Cyrus and Haley Mills are a far cry from one another), which is concerning.

      Also, I miss Lizzie McGuire. There was one “very special episode” where Miranda didn’t eat for like, a day, and everyone got worried and then she was fine. Which wasn’t exactly perfect, but at least they weren’t making light of it.

    • Elizabeth Nolan Brown

      I agree, too—it’s not so much that they’ve gotten *thinner,* but they do look more adult than in the past …

  • Hannah

    They do look older and like they’re trying to look like 20 year old models. Selena Gomez seems thin for a child network star. I think Nickelodeon should take a look at the image it’s promoting with actresses like Victoria justice and the girl on iCarly.

  • Tyler

    I agree. Demi is beautiful but Disney is going to far.

  • Bob

    Think about it raven was what 18-17 when she began on Disney and Hillary 16ishh then the miley and selena turned up being 14ish now zendaya Bella and china starting at 13 next thing we no there gonna be 5! :/

  • Good Christian Woman

    I find it appalling that Demi Lovato is actually sticking up for something! Doesn’t she know that her position as a good christian woman is to stay behind a counter and tend to her husband? She has no business at all stating opinions about things she knows nothing about. I mean eating disorders are NOT a disease. Despite the fact that there are TONS of scientific research out there that has been PROVEN that eating disorders has some kind of genetic benefactors to them. Psh! Science! You can prove anything with science these days! Who do these doctors think they are finding new medical breakthroughs at every given moment?! Demi Lovato really needs to re-evaluate herself as a christian woman! She needs to know her place in the world and cook for her man and tend to her babies. Who does she think she is?!

    • Lily

      ……………………PHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAXD
      This comment made me literally ROFL , Im glad that Demi got help so she can be strong enough to surpass comments like your’s, If your ranting about how a 19 year singer needs to “re-evaluate herself as a good christian women”. In the bible it talks about Jesus having the best character and that his children should slander no one, and to be peaceable and considerate.I think you should go re-evaluate your life.

    • Taylor Swift and Demi Lovato fan :)

      That must be a joke. Seriously. Demi is a beautiful young lady who has the right to voice her opinion. And she doesn’t have a husband, shes what 19?20? You need to re-evalute your life honey.

    • Diana

      My guess is that you’re a troll. If you’re not a troll, then I have to wonder how you have time to post on websites if you’re so big about cooking for your man and tending to your babies. I agree with Lily: you need to go reevaluate your life.

    • MaggieMae

      Does this comment have to be in sarcastic font to be understood as such? The name itself gave it away. Thank you, Good Christian Woman for providing the satirical conservative viewpoint. Eating disorders are diseases, and should be taken seriously. Good on Demi and good on you.

    • Alinha89

      Well it seems like the “Good Christian Woman” knows it all! SIKE!! If you took a second to actually see that the U.S.A has many woman of all different faiths that do not believe in a male-dominant marriage..many ppl look for equality and some women like myself and Demi Lovato work for a living. This is 2011..not in Coloniel Times where women stayed at home w the kids and took care of things as the housewife! Maybe you yourself do..but that is just you! Demi Lovato is a strong and independent woman..the girl suffered from an eating disorder..she knows what she is talking about!! And well, if you do not think that fighting against eating disorders is a problem..then guess again!! PEOPLE DIE FROM EATING DISORDERS!! READ THESE FOR A FEW EXAMPLES:

      Karen Carpenter (musician): Went on a water diet to lose weight and, as she put it, to appear more attractive. Continued to diet even after losing 20 lbs, until her death at the age of 32. She died of cardiac arrest due to anorexia.

      Ana Carolina Reston: Brazilian model, starved herself to death in 2006.

      Christy Henrich (gymnast): In 1988, Christy was told by a U.S. judge that she had to lose weight in order to make the Olympic team. She died of multiple organ failure, as a result of anorexia, at the age of 22.

      Paula Abdul: Dancer, choreograph and singer Paula Abdul (American Idol Judge) battled bulimia and decided to check herself in a clinic, back in 1994. Her negative feelings about her own body image came as early as seven years old when she began dancing, but “it didn’t manifest into a full-blown eating disorder until I was in high school.” Today Paula Abdul is a spokesperson for the National Eating Disorders Association. Paula courageously speaks out about her own past battles, in hopes of encouraging young women to take the scary, but necessary, steps to seek help. “It is one of the toughest things to talk about, bar none, and it is one of the hardest disorders to deal with because it’s not black or white. Eating disorders really have nothing to do with food, it’s about feelings.”

      So, you are saying genetics? Well, obviously not for most people! Do some more research!

      All Demi Lovato was doing was trying to keep kids, teens/young adults away from the “sight” that people on Disney Channel shows were trying to make a joke out of Anorexia. Anorexia and other eating disorders are not a laughing matter. Christians are supposed to put forth and stand up for what they believe is right..that is exactly what Demi is doing.

      How would you feel if you found out when it was too late..that one of your own children was secretly suffering from an eating disorder?

      Eating disorders can start at any second of any day..all it takes is not being happy with yourself or how you look!

      All it takes is for one person to say, “Wow! You’re fat!” or “Lay off the doughnuts!”

      Models are always seen as super skinny/ripped and that is how some young men and women think they have to look to be seen as beautiful in society! But it is not!

      Demi Lovato was once told that she would look better if she was thinner (I am thinking that was Disney Channel, but do not know for certain). However, Demi did exactly that..she got herself to the point where she was so depressed and unhealthy that she needed help..n she got it. Now, Demi Lovato is stronger, happier, and healthier.

      Demi Lovato is now standing up for millions of other young people! She is telling the world that it is okay to get help and that you do not have to be skinny and unhealthy to be beautiful. Demi Lovato is the perfect role model and you have no right treating her the way you did in your comment. You call yourself Christian, but you put a lot of hate into someone for standing up for a good cause.

      Leave Demi Lovato alone! Be the “Good Christian Woman” that you think you are and continue on with serving your kids and husband. Your place is not here. Demi Lovato is a good Christian woman, but not in a stereotypical way (as you put it). She is 19, independent, and not a mother. You don’t know her at all!

      So, I stand with all of my fellow Lovatics when I say, “Back off! Because, if you don’t have something nice to say..don’t say anything at all!”

      And to answer your question, “Who does she think she is?” Umm, well, let me introduce her to you, she is Miss Demetria Lovato; a powerful 19 yr old girl that stands up for what she believes is right. A young woman who doesn’t need a man to tie her down. Get your life and facts straight before you start picking on people like Demi Lovato.

      I guess you live under a rock..but news flash..many woman today..do not live the way you just described! Demi Lovato is just one of them. Women can do or be anything they want, if they put their heart and mind into it.

    • Seriously?

      Who do you think you are?
      You obviously don’t know a thing about a “good Christian woman.” She has the right to say that and it’s true! The Disney actresses are getting ridiculously skinny which is influencing young girls.

    • Hahahaha!

      Geez. Twelve year olds can’t recognize sarcasm these days! Hahahahahahahahaha!

    • Jo

      Oh my gosh, all of you people who replied to the “Good Christian Woman” comment, that’s so sad. It’s clearly sarcasm.
      “I find it appalling that Demi Lovato is standing up for something?”
      “Doesn’t she know her place as a good Christian woman is behind the counter?”
      “Science can’t prove anything these days?”
      You have to be stupid not to realize the sarcasm.

  • anne

    i REALLY HOPE THAT FIRST COMMENT WAS JUST SOMEONE TROLLING

  • Irene

    Personally, I think an industry that has the power to influence so many youth about their self-image, should be mindful about the type of media they produce, especially those who’s demographics are so specific. Everything is created with a purpose & a message.

    As for Demi, freedom of speech applies to ALL, not just for those with a microphone & camera. She is free to express her concern, granted her position was established on that very platform she developed the problem standing on. I could see how she could be viewed as sensitive, but she has every reason. I think her reaction is just, as normal person, one is the business, and as a christian.

  • lulu

    yes yes yes yes yes they have gotten thinner i noticed that ages ago! even my brother who doesnt give 2 thoughts about things like this agrees with Demi. my cousin whos 12 is always complaining that she “needs to be skinny to look pretty like the ones on Disney” i miss raven and lizzie atleast they were normal sized. they also give bad roles to bigger people dont cha think? theyre always ‘dumb’ or ‘bullied’ where the thinner ones are always ‘popular’ or ‘smart’ its stupid and pathetic. i miss the old disney where they didnt make jokes about peoples weight and they didnt have extremely skinny people on their shows!

  • @lec 20

    I agree, too . Disney is my life & i’m disney fan 4 ever .

  • Summer R

    Wow, ‘Good Christian Woman’sure gave me a good laugh. How can you be so cruel? Eating disorders, depression, ARE real. What the hell are you talking about tending her husband?! She’s 19 for crying out loud! Your advice is targeted to the wrong person. It takes awhole lot more than ‘tending your man and children’ to be a good Christian woman. Geese get
    a grip of yourself! I would say people like you are the reason many feel in the kind of state, but no you’re just an idiot who doesn’t have a clue about what is going on with the youth and your own religious values.
    I as well miss the old Disney shows where they actually taught real life lessons and image wasn’t such a huge matter.

  • Ashley

    I totally agree with Demi and many of the people’s views on this. We have lost so much of the magic in Disney over the years, people such as Raven, Lizzie McGuire etc reached out to so many people, all different shapes, sizes and different backgrounds. Characters you see nowadays have become very slim, which shows their healthy children but also doesn’t apply to those children who are maybe above the desired weight, who may feel intimidated by this.
    Also the amount of make up these CHILDREN are wearing? Yes CHILDREN, not 20 year olds, they are trying to come across as being older than they are which should not be the case.
    Personally I’d rather see raven and Lizzie McGuire on my screen than some of the programs that are on today. I get more enjoyment out of watching them and feel they send a good message.

  • Alinha89

    Well it seems like the “Good Christian Woman” knows it all! SIKE!! If you took a second to actually see that the U.S.A has many woman of all different faiths that do not believe in a male-dominant marriage..many ppl look for equality and some women like myself and Demi Lovato work for a living. This is 2011..not in Coloniel Times where women stayed at home w the kids and took care of things as the housewife! Maybe you yourself do..but that is just you! Demi Lovato is a strong and independent woman..the girl suffered from an eating disorder..she knows what she is talking about!! And well, if you do not think that fighting against eating disorders is a problem..then guess again!! PEOPLE DIE FROM EATING DISORDERS!! READ THESE FOR A FEW EXAMPLES:

    Karen Carpenter (musician): Went on a water diet to lose weight and, as she put it, to appear more attractive. Continued to diet even after losing 20 lbs, until her death at the age of 32. She died of cardiac arrest due to anorexia.

    Ana Carolina Reston: Brazilian model, starved herself to death in 2006.

    Christy Henrich (gymnast): In 1988, Christy was told by a U.S. judge that she had to lose weight in order to make the Olympic team. She died of multiple organ failure, as a result of anorexia, at the age of 22.

    Paula Abdul: Dancer, choreograph and singer Paula Abdul (American Idol Judge) battled bulimia and decided to check herself in a clinic, back in 1994. Her negative feelings about her own body image came as early as seven years old when she began dancing, but “it didn’t manifest into a full-blown eating disorder until I was in high school.” Today Paula Abdul is a spokesperson for the National Eating Disorders Association. Paula courageously speaks out about her own past battles, in hopes of encouraging young women to take the scary, but necessary, steps to seek help. “It is one of the toughest things to talk about, bar none, and it is one of the hardest disorders to deal with because it’s not black or white. Eating disorders really have nothing to do with food, it’s about feelings.”

    So, you are saying genetics? Well, obviously not for most people! Do some more research!

    All Demi Lovato was doing was trying to keep kids, teens/young adults away from the “sight” that people on Disney Channel shows were trying to make a joke out of Anorexia. Anorexia and other eating disorders are not a laughing matter. Christians are supposed to put forth and stand up for what they believe is right..that is exactly what Demi is doing.

    How would you feel if you found out when it was too late..that one of your own children was secretly suffering from an eating disorder?

    Eating disorders can start at any second of any day..all it takes is not being happy with yourself or how you look!

    All it takes is for one person to say, “Wow! You’re fat!” or “Lay off the doughnuts!”

    Models are always seen as super skinny/ripped and that is how some young men and women think they have to look to be seen as beautiful in society! But it is not!

    Demi Lovato was once told that she would look better if she was thinner (I am thinking that was Disney Channel, but do not know for certain). However, Demi did exactly that..she got herself to the point where she was so depressed and unhealthy that she needed help..n she got it. Now, Demi Lovato is stronger, happier, and healthier.

    Demi Lovato is now standing up for millions of other young people! She is telling the world that it is okay to get help and that you do not have to be skinny and unhealthy to be beautiful. Demi Lovato is the perfect role model and you have no right treating her the way you did in your comment. You call yourself Christian, but you put a lot of hate into someone for standing up for a good cause.

    Leave Demi Lovato alone! Be the “Good Christian Woman” that you think you are and continue on with serving your kids and husband. Your place is not here. Demi Lovato is a good Christian woman, but not in a stereotypical way (as you put it).

    So, I stand with all of my fellow Lovatics when I say, “Back off! Because, if you don’t have something nice to say..don’t say anything at all!”

  • maria

    Yes disney has really thin healthy actresses, but i was happy to see that chubby girl in the new Austin and alley :) I was so happy to see her on ther