Love Your Selfie

Zoinks! New Scooby-Doo movie 'curses' Daphne by making her 'fat'

Aug. 21, 2014 at 9:03 AM ET

Want to curse a woman? In the "Scooby-Doo" universe, apparently all you have to do is plump her up a few sizes. At least, that's the message of "Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy," the latest direct-to-video offering in the long-running, beloved mystery series for kids.

A loose reworking of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," in "Frankencreepy" the Scooby gang head to Pennsylvania where Velma has inherited a distant relative's cursed castle. Once there, strange things begin happening ... and Daphne's vanity over her size 2 figure leads her to be "cursed" by becoming a size 8.

The problems with this as a plot device are both obvious and subtle. First of all, a size 8 is aspirational for most women; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the average woman in America is about 5'4" and weighs 166 pounds — well above a size 8. 

See: What the 'perfect' body really looks like for men and women.

Secondly, the notion that the only way to get at Daphne's narcissism was to inflate her body — rather than give her face monster-like proportions, which would have been in the spirit of the series — suggests a certain tone-deafness from the script writer.

And finally, the image of Daphne's new shape does not depict a size 8. As Tom Burns writes on his The Good Men Project blog, "'Fat Daphne' is drawn like she's Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka, like she's puffed up like a balloon." Later, he adds, "It's sad to think that my daughter can’t even watch a cartoon about a dog solving mysteries without negative body stereotypes being thrown in her face."

Still, the movie, which was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on Aug. 19, has a nearly five-star rating on Amazon right now. And at least one commenter notes that the film is trying to do the right thing rather than fat-shame Daphne.

"I actually have to defend the writers here because Daphne realized she was being superficial throughout that story arc, it added to the story in a meaningful way (it allows her to evade iron face) and the most importantly: Fred didn't notice/care and said that she 'always looked good to him'," writes D. Davidson. "I would say it was more about acceptance and not being superficial than anything."

Follow Randee Dawn on Google+ and Twitter

TOP