Two men break into a young woman’s apartment. They find a picture of the girl and confirm: this is the place. But then — a sound! She’s home! They quickly hide themselves under a table and watch from their hiding spot as their target enters, happily unaware of their presence.
Then, she starts to undress.
First, she drops her cloak to the floor. The two men exchange leery glances, one of them grinning with visible excitement. Next, she slowly…slowly…pulls down her zipper, glancing over her shoulder with a coy smile, hyper-arching her back as she does so (you know, that porn-star pose that all women do when undressing alone). She slips one thin strap off her shoulder…the men are watching anxiously, tantalized, frantic for more…
She drops the dress to the ground, and the men gasp with delight.
What’s this? Is it a trailer for the latest stalker film? A psychological thriller in which a deranged pair of men hunt the woman they lust for?
Of course not, silly! It’s the latest animated kids’ film, Red Shoes & The 7 Dwarfs.
What? You don’t think it comes across as the next children’s classic? I dunno, maybe it’s drawing from the original Grimm’s fairy tales (those things were creepy). That’s the only explanation I can think of that would make even a tiny bit of sense as to why THIS TRAILER IS SO EFFING GROSS.
And that’s not the end of the trailer, either. It gets worse — SO MUCH worse. This lovely lady (who we can assume to be Snow White) takes off her magical red heels and suddenly morphs from tall and slim…to short and round. The gaze of the watching men shifts noticeably from delight to disgust (okay, they’re dwarves, but they are still adults and have no excuse). Snow White then burps and says, “Ah…now I can breathe!”
No. No I am not joking.
On top of it all, the film recently released (and promptly pulled) a marketing campaign that showed the tall, slim Snow White next to the short, round one, saying, “What if Snow White was no longer beautiful and the 7 Dwarfs not so short?”
Three guesses as to which girl they’re not-so-subtly implying is ‘no longer beautiful.’
SERIOUSLY? Are we seriously using a children’s film to reinforce the hurtful notion that weight defines beauty? Even the actress who plays Snow White in the film, Chloé Grace Moretz, called out the marketing team about it. And, thankfully, they pulled the ad. But I still have serious trust issues with this movie.
The body-shaming was only half the problem. What the hell is going on in the first part of that trailer?! Is it supposed to be funny, or cute, or something, that these creepy dwarves willingly watched a woman undress without her consent? Why was this scene so sexualized? I realize this sounds dramatic, but the truth is this: When you make sexual harassment a punchline, it just teaches little girls to expect it — and little boys to embrace it. Because remember: this is a children’s movie.
According to the studio, Red Shoes is supposed to be about acceptance and body positivity. If that’s really what it is, I will rejoice. I mean, I love Chloé Grace Moretz. I love a good twist on traditional fairy tales. I really, really want to love this movie, so I will try to hold out hope that this was just a marketing blunder — not a reflection of the actual film. Please, Locus, don’t let this be a reflection of the actual film!
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.