The Lorax

6 Mar

A little departure from the ordinary, but it all ties in, I promise.

I went to see the movie The Lorax this past Friday. It’s a heartwarming cartoon about the environment – based on the book of the same name by Dr. Seuss.

Great story, great message, great animation. Whether or not you have kids it’s a worthwhile way to spend $13 and a couple of hours.

But that’s not what I want to write about.

A few things struck me, diversity-wise (see, it ties in).

Firstly. All the black people had Afros! A welcome change from the straight flowing hair we sometimes see on people of colour in the movies. It’s a cartoon, but still.

Secondly, and what bothered me enough to blog about it: Why is it necessary to have a character we laugh at, just because of who they are? A character whose sole purpose is entertainment at their own expense. This time it was a large character. A bear, to be exact. But he fit the damaging and hurtful stereotypes of people who are of larger size: he ate the most marshmallows, he was the slowest, and he could never keep up. It made me sad that in a movie with such a great theme (and meant for kids), “the fat kid” had to be the one to add some laughs – for all the wrong reasons.

And just like that, someone gets put aside for who they are – and the rest of us have one more opportunity to reinforce the stereotypes.


See more.

copyright 2012 Annemarie Shrouder
author, speaker and facilitator on issues of diversity & inclusion


One Response to “The Lorax”

  1. Liz Reynolds March 6, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    I completely agree. Fat phobia is one of those still remaining types of prejudice that runs mostly unchecked in the media. After being hit constantly with images of these stereotypes it’s very hard to remember ourselves let alone teach our children that different sized bodies can be beautiful.

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