An eight-year-old female Star Wars fan forced DISNEY to change its labelling policy after she complained her Darth Vader costume was marked “for boys”.
Izzy Cornthwaite was disappointed to find the distinctive outfit she wanted to wear was classed not for girls – so she wrote to the industry giant to complain.
Her concerns were so inspiring that the international company changed its policy, and now all outfits sold in the Disney Store are labelled as “for kids”.
Izzy’s mum Becky Heyes said: “All the Star Wars collection was for boys. There was no Princess Leia suit or anything to do with girls.
“A few weeks later, Disney told Izzy that they would change the description from “boys” to “kids”.
“We looked online and realised they had changed the entire website. It had gone not just from this particular item, but the whole thing had become gender neutral.”
Izzy, of Chorley, Lancs., first spotted the unfair labelling after visiting the Disney Store website to pick out something to spend her birthday money on.
“She said she wanted a Darth Vader suit but couldn’t have it because it was for boys,” said Becky.
“I said she could have it if she wanted it. “She ordered it and a lightsaber to go with it.”
But after receiving the item, Izzy quickly penned her thoughts directly to Disney, and was delighted to receive an email back notifying her of the change.
Her dad Jason Cornthwaite said he was “extremely proud” of her.
“She is a young girl who sent an email and for them to change things is extraordinary,” he added.
Izzy is now enjoying her Darth Vader costume – and also celebrating her success.
Becky was so pleased that she contacted Laura Bates, who is behind the Everyday Sexism campaign, to tell her about Izzy’s story.
Becky said: “Izzy does realise that it’s a big thing. We have talked to her about what she has done being a big thing for gender equality and that people have been campaigning for this for years.”
Izzy has kindly written back to Disney to thank them for the change – but she had one more request to make too.
Becky added: “She asked if it would be too much to ask for them to make a Princess Leia suit. There are no female Star Wars characters yet in the Disney merchandise. They haven’t replied, but probably thought we were pushing our luck!”
Izzy’s deputy headteacher, Nick Roden said: “It’s amazing that a child so young can manage to get a multi-national corporation to change their policy for the better. We are very proud of her.”