Disney’s ‘Moana’ And Obesity: Critics Questioned Offensive Portrayal Of Maui; Find Out What Creators Have To Say

By Dustin Lee, Parent Herald November 22, 06:25 am

"Moana," a Polynesian inspired animated film from Walt Disney, has faced criticisms in the past months because of how the character Maui was illustrated. Disney's portrayal of Maui, a strong Polynesian demigod, seemed to be obese and an offensive perpetuation of Polynesians as overweight according to some critics.

Disney, however, came to the film "Moana's" defense and revealed that it has a research team that formed a group called Oceanic Story Trust. The members of the group pushed for a bigger portrayal of Maui based on their interviews with people across the South Pacific who specialized in ancient navigation as well as traditional dances and fishing skills.

"They were telling us that he needs to be a hero, almost like Superman," the movie's head of story David Pimentel explained according to a report from The New York Times. "Moana's" producer Osnat Shurer, on the other hand, implied that Disney wanted the audience to quickly grasp the idea that Maui is stronger than anybody through his visual representation.

But what is obesity and is it something that people should be offended of? Obesity is a health condition wherein an individual's weight is higher than what is considered as a healthy weight for a given height according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There are people who relate being huge or fat as being obese but a Body Mass Index or BMI is usually the main screening tool to check obesity and not an individual's appearance. Being overweight could be offending to some but fortunately, there are organizations and groups that aim to help individuals battle obesity.

In a report from AAFP, the partners behind National Obesity Care Week (NOCW) have rolled out a Take 5 Challenge that will help medical practitioners understand obesity better. This could help them connect with their patients to let them openly talk about their weight which in turn will allow medical professionals to give them the comprehensive care they need.

Obesity, additionally, can be managed through proper approaches such as diet, behavioral modification, and exercise. Individuals who suffer from the condition are advised to seek medical attention as early as possible get proper treatment and to prevent further complications.

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