October 12, 2009, - 4:04 pm

Tinkerbell Gone Butch: Disney Revamps Glamorous Nymph Into Tomboy

By Debbie Schlussel

Either Disney is trying to appease “modest” Muslims or they’ve gone the way of the rest of Hollywood and are trying to make their feminine characters more masculine.


Old Tinkerbell; New & Unimproved Masculine Tinkerbell

Either way, the new and unimproved uniform and image of Tinker Bell leaves a lot to be desired from the formerly cute and feminine minidress clad nymph.  The new image is butch and silly.  Moreover, it’s not that different from Peter Pan.  Gone is the cute strapless green dress, the magic wand, and very visible angel wings.  Gone are the girly shoes, and now, instead, there are lace up boots reminiscent of the Jolly Green Giant, Robin Hood, or an elf.  No, your mother doesn’t wear hiking boots.  Your Tinker Bell does.

Oh, and now, there’s this stupid-looking visor/hat contraption, which I predict will, someday in the future, morph into a hijab.  Disney said it wanted to give “Tink” a tomboyish look.  Uh, talk about overdoing it.  The new Tinker Bell could be dating Rosie O’Donnell.  Hey, maybe now she/he/it can “run” the Department of Homeland Security.

Yes, Disney claims that it’s new Tinker Bell release, “Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure,” out on DVD on October 27th takes place in the fall when weather is cooler, but the weather has never affected Tinker Bell couture before. It’s a cartoon character, not a weather dependent human.

The whole thing is ridiculous.  Late last year, Disney was talking to porn star Paris Hilton about playing Tinkerbell.  Now, it’s done a stupid if-it-ain’t-broke, ruin-it move.  There’s nothing wrong with rebranding something to keep up with the times, but turning a charming, cute girly character into some masculine, butch action star is stupid.  Unless your audience is strictly WNBA.  And that’s called mass-market suicide.

If you’re a parent who thinks the new covered up version is a welcome change in a sexualized world, think again.  Tinker Bell has been wearing a skimpy dress for decades (watch the slide show).  That’s what nymphs who fly around with magic wands do.  This isn’t about modesty, or she’d be wearing baggy clothes and they wouldn’t have been in talks with a porn star to play her.

I can’t imagine Disney redoing the cast of “The Lion King” and dressing them for the North Pole.  This is akin to that.  And it’s dumb.  This isn’t about putting your girls in a less sexually-saturated world.  It’s about putting them in a more emasculated one, where the men are girls and the Tinker Bells are men.

And that’s never a good thing.  As I always say, matriarchical societies die.  They simply don’t have staying power.  Butch Disney characters for girls is not a positive development.

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72 Responses

This quote made me laugh: “The new image is butch and silly. Moreover, it’s not that different from Peter Pan.”

Um. Peter Pan isn’t exactly what I would call “butch”. Lol!

This is probably the dumbest thing I have ever read.
Tinkerbell’s signature look will ALWAYS be her tiny green dress. Just because she has on clothes for ONE MOVIE, doesn’t mean she’s become “butch”. God forbid she wears pants for once! That MUST mean she’s become a man!
Honestly. I got nothing from reading this.

Thanks for wasting everyone’s time, Debbie Schlussel, whoever the hell you are.

Jenny on December 20, 2009 at 2:35 pm

just cuz she’s wearing differnt clothes, doesnt mean she’s a different character. have you SEEN the movie? she’s the same adventure-seeking, overly jelous, yet still amusing and lovable character she was in PP, but with a slightly different waredrobe. GIRLS CAN WEAR PANTS!! ITS NORMAL!! what if you had a daoughter who grew up wearing skirts and dresses all her life, then suddenly decided she wanted pants? would you calll her “butch,” or would you just buy the pants? its not big deal, plus, pants make more sense for an adventure than a skimpy dress, dont you think?

Mickey (shut up) on February 6, 2010 at 3:25 pm

wow, i think tinkerbell still looks feminine and sticks with Disney’s story line of her being Peter’s assistant. Women and girls who are fully dressed and not wearing theatrical makeup are beautiful too. and women who are gay are human beings and deserve respect. but i am with ya on the Paris Hilton thing, talentless and dumb!

Lisa on February 20, 2010 at 2:10 pm

you are totally inconsiderate. just because disney chooses to cover up their characters doesn’t make them butch! tinker doesn’t even look like a dude!

Shaylin on July 27, 2010 at 10:48 pm

WOW! First Tinkerbell is not a nymph shes a fairy. There’s a big difference. Next those don’t even look like pants they look like tights. And as far as not being weather dependent, sure a cartoon character wouldn’t be, but the viewers needs to relate to her and it makes more sense to wear more than one outfit. I don’t know about you but I don’t wear the same clothes everyday. And I have to point out that in the Peter Pan movies she never had a magic wand because she didn’t need one and she still doesn’t need one. They only gave her the wand for the Disney intro. I’m not sure you really know what butch is because there’s no way someone could mistake Tinkerbell, even in “pants”, for a guy.

KD on September 23, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Anyone who would really believe this trash has to be someone who wears tiny miniskirts, tight tops with way to much cleavage, and 5 in heels everyday. Weather their gardening, jogging, washing the car, or just visiting the in-laws.

KD on September 23, 2010 at 10:50 pm

1950’s mentality for sure.

Damian DelaRosa on March 14, 2011 at 9:36 am

To be honest you look like a butch yourself, your biker mama leather vest for example.

DS on April 9, 2011 at 9:32 am

“Disney said it wanted to give “Tink” a tomboyish look.”Is that to appeal to a larger demographic, or to allow a blurring of the character to mimic the society we are confronted with? Feminize the men, encourage the women to become more masculine. Remember who played Peter Pan those years ago on Broadway, Mary Martin?
Just what is a “50’s” mentality? What does that imply?

Dad on December 7, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Honestly I think the new look makes her much cuter than before. Tomboyish does not mean looks like a boy, but rather means wears similar styles to male fashion, and takes on activities stereotypically considered boyish. Adventuring would fall under this category, and so would adventuring appropriate attire. Honestly the only reason you didn’t see a lot more than a G ratting would allow of her is clever camera angles. Yes in animation it is still a camera angle for those thinking “what camera”

Ryokoryu on June 15, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Wow this post kind of came out of nowhere–internet and pop culture speaking. Here I’ve been reading all kinds of posts about the sexualisation of little girls; outrage over the sexying up of the princess in Brave, and the new teenage “Dora” look; artist’s renditions of female Marvel superheros wearing actually practical superhero clothes like their male counterparts; famous comedians posing in the ridiculous poses they put women in; etc. You name it, I’ve seen it ALL over the place. I didn’t realize there were people out there who would actually act appalled at the DE-sexualisation of a children’s cartoon character. This post is SO left-field. Who are you??? My assumption was that this look was strictly for the second half of the new Tinkerbell movie–you know, to change it up a bit. I HOPE what you’re suggesting is right, and they transition to this look permanently. Honestly, not even in Tinkerbell’s fairy world is there a more painted on dress than hers!

Jacqui on July 2, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Obviously this person has never seen this or any of the other Disney Fairies movies. Tink wears her trade mark strapless mini for a good portion of the movie. The only time she wears this (or something similar) is when she goes into colder weather (movie with her sister). And as previous commenters stated, in a world where everyone is trying to sexualize little girls why would you complain about this?

Jennie on August 19, 2015 at 5:24 pm

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Kururin on December 19, 2018 at 5:42 am

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