Childhood obesity is a very serious problem, and one that is affecting more and more kids all around the world. So, when Disney took up the cause to educate kids about the condition and try to bring about changes in their lifestyles, they probably didn’t quite expect the outraged reaction that they received. Disney’s Habit Heroes exhibit opened unofficially in Epcot last month, and was all set to open officially on March 5th. However, at the last minute, following outraged protests by concerned parents and other activists, they have indefinitely postponed the opening citing “improving and refining.” The major protestors are the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance. They are not against the message in theory, but are appalled at the way Disney is “villainizing” children of size. There are many different reasons why children are becoming obese, like hereditary, and children of all sizes indulge in unhealthy eating habits equally. However, by making it seem that the obese children had been just lazy and wrong, they were indulging in the culture of bullying, and stereotypical profiling.
The Disney Habit Heroes exhibit and games feature svelte heroes, “Callie Stenics” and “Will Power,” combating fat and misshapen villains with names like “Lead Bottom,” “Sweet tooth” and “The Snacker.” The exhibit associates all the bad habits only with the fat villains, which is quite unfair.