Boy Meets World was a cultural phenomenon for my generation. In fact, I’m willing to bet you’ll find very few millennials who won’t join in a rousing chorus of “feeehhheeeeehhhhheeeehhhheeeny!” The show, which ran for seven seasons, was part of ABC’s TGIF line-up of family-friendly Friday night programming.
Boy Meets World was a coming-of-age show that followed Cory Mathews from 6th grade all the way through college. Cory, along with his high school sweetheart (and eventual wife) Topanga and best friend Shawn, navigated the challenges of growing up and figuring yourself out. The show was lighthearted and funny but wasn’t afraid to tackle some of growing up’s toughest situations.
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Behind the scenes, the show creators and studio weren’t learning the lessons they put on our screens every week. Despite the wholesome nature of the show, one star is speaking out against the traumatic sexualization she experienced at the hands of the studio. Maitland Ward, who played Rachel in the college years, says Disney treated the girls “like meat.”
She said that the girls were expected to be virginal and sexual and that an emphasis was placed on sexual. “The issues mainly came from Disney, and that it wasn’t so much with the cast members,” she said. “It was more the whole Disney machine back then, especially back in the late ’90s and early 2000s when the girls were treated like meat.”
Though she remembers it as “an innocent time,” she didn’t hold back when leveling some pretty serious accusations against show producers. She stated in her memoir that the producers would ask her to try on lingerie for them and model it. “Yes, it was uncomfortable and odd, and I wasn’t sure why I needed to be doing this,” she recently told Fox News Digital. “I thought it was my job to behave and be a professional, or whatever I thought that was at the time. But it was very uncomfortable and made me feel exposed and gawked at.”
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She stated that the “official” reasoning was for wardrobe selection but that there was an expectation that she was supposed to put on a show for them. “Even Michael commented that he was so embarrassed about this because I’m so much like a daughter to him [that it] felt weird. I never understood why we didn’t just take pictures of everything in wardrobe and choose from there. Why did I have to put on a show?”
Ward went on to say that she feels this is a problem of the past and doesn’t happen anymore. My confidence was low with my body.” Ward said. “I was young, impressionable, and thought, this is what you do. It would never happen today because somebody would get called out on it.”
Related: Bella Thorn Says Disney Sexualizes Young Girls
Former Disney child stars Bella Thorne, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, and Cole Sprouse would likely disagree with that statement. All have accused Disney of sexualizing young girls in recent years. Lovato even said a former Disney costar raped her, and Disney did nothing about it.