Disney must create a ‘disabled princess’: Woman starts online petition to garner support
Diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth, 23-year-old Hannah Diviney is hoping the Walt Disney Company will create a princess with disabilities for all to see.
And she’s spearheading a campaign that so far has endorsements from Reese Witherspoon, Jamila Jamil and Mark Hamill, according to Reuters.
Diviney, of Sydney, Australia, said she believes her life, and her journey toward self-love and acceptance, would have been very different if she had seen positive representations of people with disabilities in movies while growing up, Reuters said.
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“The campaign is really to create a disabled Disney princess and the reason for that specifically is that Disney princesses are the ones that get the most visibility,” Diviney told Reuters in an interview.
He added, “They’re the ones you see on beds and toys and books and birthday parties and Halloween costumes and all that.”
He also said, “So [I] Wanted to go there for maximum visibility with my choice.”
Fox News Digital reached out to Hannah Diviney for comment.
“This campaign is about making a childhood dream concrete and real,” he said in an emailed response on Friday, March 3.
She added, “Representation matters to me because I’ve never had it — and in 2023, I no longer think it’s good enough.”
On her website, she writes that “a physical disability … affects my fine and gross motor skills. It means I use a wheelchair to navigate the world.”
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She also noted, in a message aimed directly at Disney, “I am writing this message to you as a young woman who has always loved Disney movies but never saw myself in them.”
“You will also be providing a powerful reference point for non-disabled children to understand us and our lives.”
She continued in the message, “Creating a princess with a disability (we know how powerful those characters are) will give millions of children around the world a priceless opportunity to see themselves as the heroes of their own stories, adventures, and full lives.” I am working to overcome the painful idea that many children unconsciously assume life with a disability means a life without joy, adventure, friendship or love.
She adds, “Furthermore, you will also be providing a powerful reference point for non-disabled children to understand us and our lives. You will be a model of tolerance, acceptance, compassion and understanding to replace fear, confusion and confusion.” will be creating culture. The seeds of bigotry that are often unwittingly sown when we encounter something different that is difficult to understand.”
The petition has 64,000 signatures to date
Divini launched an online campaign for Disney to create a princess character with disabilities in 2020, Reuters reported.
The petition has received 64,000 signatures so far.
According to the campaign, she is aiming for at least 75,000.
She said it was difficult to feel different from other children.
The 23-year-old, who is the editor of an online news platform for women and recently starred in an Australian TV series called “Latecomers,” said it was difficult for her as she grew up and felt different from other children.
Last year, Divinity took to Twitter to call out Beyoncé and Lizzo for using “spaz,” a derogatory term for spastic diplegia, in their songs.
Both artists later removed the slur — and re-recorded the song — after Devinee’s tweets went viral, Reuters reported.
On her website, Hanne Diviney describes herself as “a leading author, disability and women’s rights advocate in Sydney, Australia”.
Cerebral palsy explained
Cerebral palsy (CP) affects a person’s ability to move and maintain posture.
It refers to a group of disorders affecting brain and nervous system functions, including muscle tone, motor skills, cognitive function, vision, hearing and speech.
It’s a lifelong disability with no cure, as Fox News Digital previously reported.
Symptoms are often seen between birth and three years of age, as children with cerebral palsy often miss important developmental milestones.
Brain injury often occurs while the baby is still in the womb.
However, injuries can occur during birth or in the early stages of brain development after birth.
Parents and doctors usually notice signs and symptoms between birth and three years of age, as children with cerebral palsy often miss important developmental milestones.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that an average of one in 345 children in the United States has the disease.
Children with CP can be educated in either a general education classroom or a special education classroom based on individual needs.
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Children often receive occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy through early intervention services and throughout their school years.
Reuters noted CP is the most common type of spastic diplegia, which Diviney has.
“‘Spazz’ has been popularized as a kind of slang or cultural shorthand that means someone loses control or becomes irrational or has no control over their emotions,” he said.
“It was definitely a word that kids used on the playground, sometimes at me, sometimes around me,” he told Reuters.
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Reuters contributed to the reporting of this article.