The Scooby-Doo franchise—a consistent presence on TV since its first (and most iconic) series, 1969′s Scooby Doo, Where Are You?—has seen its fair share of ups and downs. But a new direct-to-DVD movie, Scooby-Doo: Frankencreepy, out this week, has an especially troubling conceit in the middle of its kid-friendly hijinks: the idea that not being thin is one of the worst punishments you can inflict on a girl.
First spotted by The Good Men Project and subsequently written about by The Huffington Post and the blog Mommyish, the movie involves the gang getting cursed and losing what means the most to them. For Daphne, that means her good looks. Here’s the scene in question:
On its own, this does seem awfully fat-shaming. As many other publications note, Daphne is plunged into despair having gone from “a size 2 to a size 8.” WebMD states that the average American woman stands 5’4″, has a waist size of 34 to 35 inches, weighs between 140 and 150 lbs., and wears a dress size of 12-14—so, with that in mind, it seems fair to say the clip offers a pretty nasty misrepresentation of “normal” and “overweight” bodies.
The movie does have a moral: Daphne learns a lesson about the (non-)importance of looks when Fred tells her that he hasn’t noticed anything different about her at all. It’s a nice sentiment, but poorly handled—especially when children, and girls in particular, are regularly criticized for having perfectly normal bodies. While there may be a good message at the heart of Frankencreepy, it’s severely undermined by one fact: The curse is eventually lifted, and Daphne gets to wear her size 2 dress once more.