Red Shoes and the 7 Dwarfs is an upcoming South Korean animated movie, with a movie poster and teaser trailer already released. It’s being described on IMDB as “a parody with a twist”. Well, the “twist” here probably isn’t what anybody would expect, sort of like an M. Night Shyamalan movie, but the difference is that people might actually want to watch this film, unlike any of his famously dire films, even though the film in question is already under close scrutiny.
Yes, the Red Shoes and 7 Dwarfs’ marketing campaign has received some serious backlash over the animated body shaming of big women. The film’s story will follow seven princes who have been turned into dwarfs and must find a particular pair of red shoes to break the curse. The red shoes belong to Snow White, who’s only beautiful when she wears the shoes. So, you can see where this is already going. Just take a look at the poster itself.
With a short, plump version of Snow White, along with the “What if Snow White was no longer beautiful?”, you can see the obvious problem with this film. This ad gives young children, especially females, the message that big = ugly.
Plus sized model Tess Holliday was the first to call out this film on Twitter, also tagging Chloe Grace Moretz, who voices Snow White in the film.
Chloe eventually responded to the tweets, also appalled by the message of this film.
“I am just as appalled and angry as everyone else, this wasn’t approved by me or my team,” Chloe commented. “The actual story is powerful for young women and resonated with me. I am sorry for the offence that was beyond my creative control.”
However, there is more to the film’s story other than what’s been shown by the terrible campaign. Let’s get into it. The plot follows Snow White living in a world where your appearance defines your status. Snow White wears the red shoes that changes her chubby appearance to one that is tall and slim, in order to be accepted by society. However, it is through the journey to find her father that Snow White learns to accept her true self.
Despite this, it’s the film’s poor marketing that has caused controversy, which could have been avoided if the actual message and point of the film was revealed, which is to ignore societal prejudice over beauty standards and to simply be happy with yourself. It’s a message that was supposed to be empowering for this release, but came out the completely opposite way.
The poster isn’t the only part of the campaign that has been slammed either. There is also a teaser trailer that has been released. The trailer starts with two dwarfs excitingly watching Snow White in her “beautiful” persona undress. It purely focuses on Snow White’s beauty. However, the mood quickly changes when Snow White removes her shoes, transforming back into her bigger body. The dwarfs are now horrified. From watching the trailer alone, there’s no way you’d think any of this was meant to be about body image acceptance. Once again, it completely missed the mark of the film’s message and mindlessly stereotypes large women. Just watch!
Female producer Sujin Hwang issued an apology for the advertisement. Sujin claimed that it had the opposite effect on what the studio were aiming for, which was meant to be body positivity, as she stated,
“Locus Corporation wishes to apologize regarding the first elements of our marketing campaign (in the form of a Cannes billboard and a trailer) which we realize has had the opposite effect from that which was intended. That advertising campaign is being terminated.”
But wait, there’s more explaining to be done here.
“Our film, a family comedy, carries a message designed to challenge social prejudices related to standards of physical beauty in society by emphasizing the importance of inner beauty. We appreciate and are grateful for the constructive criticism of those who brought this to our attention. We sincerely regret any embarrassment or dissatisfaction this mistaken advertising has caused to any of the individual artists or companies involved with the production or future distribution of our film, none of whom had any involvement with creating or approving the now discontinued advertising campaign.”
Hopefully, with any future trailers and advertising, this problem won’t happen again. Also, if the film is meant to focus on body positivity, hopefully this time it will actually show it, rather than have such a complete opposite marketing campaign to promote the film.
We suppose that we will only have to wait to see what the full film is really all about, but with no official release date seemingly set yet, it looks like we will have to keep on guessing until then.
<Story by Emily Clarke>
Featured Photo Credit: Seventeen.com