An advocacy group called ProjectKnow took it upon itself to do some “reverse photoshopping” of classic cartoon characters so that fat kids will feel better about being fat.
“The average American’s body type has changed substantially over the past 40 years, especially teenagers’ bodies . . . But in many ways, teenage cartoon characters are stuck in the past,” a the project’s website explains.
“Their body shapes have drifted further away from an image that most people can relate to: They idealize a body type that’s increasingly unattainable for many,” it continues.
Now, maybe I’m missing something, but it seems to me that the body of any cartoon character would be “unattainable” — seeing as they are, you know, not real. But this small detail apparently did not phase ProjectKnow. Far from it – it considered fictional characters’ fictional physiques to be so problematic that it was worth the time to remake six of them.
Among the remade characters was Shaggy from Scooby Doo, because his “slim frame is far from a typical teenager’s body.”
(Hey, you know what else is not “typical”? Spending your life riding around in a psychedelic van solving mysteries and communicating with a dog.)
Also on the list: Some Dragonball-Z character named “Gohan,” who, according to ProjectKnow, is problematic because even though he “is clearly a teen . . . teens are unlikely to see their physique being reflected in his defined chest and arms that ripple with muscles.”
That’s definitely true, however, teens are also “unlikely” to spend their days fighting monsters or warriors or whatever it is that anime characters fight. From what I understand, fighting is physically taxing, and a person engaging in combat all day is probably going to have a little more muscle on him than the average kid who spends the day sitting in class.
#share#What’s more, according to ProjectKnow, it’s not just those fictional characters with big fictional muscles that have the power to hurt real-life boys. In fact, ProjectKnow also has a problem with Batman’s Robin — because even though he is “a slight and not particularly muscular boy . . . his lanky form, thin legs, and wiry arms don’t bear much resemblance to a typical teen today.”
Again: A “typical teen today” is also not running across rooftops and fighting an evil penguin with a buddy in a bat suit. In fact, as Heat Street’s William Hicks seems to suggest, it would be more unrealistic for someone with his lifestyle to be overweight:
#related#“Robin [is a] character that literally spends his nights running across roof tops, fighting bad guys and training with Batman in the Bat Cave. So how dare he shame us with his slim physique!”
Clearly, this whole thing is ridiculous. Cartoons are cartoons. They’re not meant to be “realistic.” In fact, animation is the antithesis of realistic — that’s the beauty of it. Can we please all chill out and not ruin it with this garbage?