Eight-year-old Darth Vader fan Izzy forces Disney change

Izzy Cornthwaite celebrates with her schoolmates after winning an intergalactic battle with Disney
Izzy Cornthwaite celebrates with her schoolmates after winning an intergalactic battle with Disney

Eight-year-old Izzy Cornthwaite certainly proved the force was with her when she wanted to buy a Darth Vader costume.

The St Joseph’s Primary School pupil chose the outfit from the Disney Store, but was disappointed to find it was labelled for boys.

Izzy Cornthwaite celebrates with her schoolmates after winning an intergalactic battle with Disney

Izzy Cornthwaite celebrates with her schoolmates after winning an intergalactic battle with Disney

So she wrote to Disney to complain - and inspired the international company to change its policy.

Izzy’s mum Becky Heyes, of Weldbank Lane, Chorley, said: “Izzy had a birthday and she saved her birthday money to go to the Disney Store and be let loose.

“Unfortunately I wasn’t able to take her to the Trafford Centre so I suggested she go on the Disney Store website to see what she wanted.

“She said she wanted a Darth Vader suit but couldn’t have it because it was for boys.

Izzy had a birthday and she saved her birthday money to go to the Disney Store and be let loose.

Becky Heyes

“I said she could have it if she wanted it.

“She ordered it and a lightsaber to go with it.”

Izzy decided to write to Disney to ask them to change the label so that other girls could also buy the costume.

Becky said: “All the Star Wars collection was for boys. There was no Princess Leia suit or anything to do with girls.”

And a few weeks later, Disney told Izzy that they would change the description from “boys” to “kids”.

Becky said: “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.”

They were delighted that Disney had made the change and Becky said she and partner Jason Cornthwaite are “extremely proud” of Izzy.

“She is a young girl who sent an email and for them to change things is extraordinary,” she said.

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. 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.”

After getting the news that the change would be made, Izzy wrote to Disney to say thank you - and made one more request.

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 success was highlighted in an assembly at St Joseph’s Primary School.

Nick Roden, deputy headteacher, 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.”