Just in time for Merida, the main character of ‘Brave’s’ official coronation ceremony into the official line of Disney princesses, Disney has decided to give her an air-brushed-esq style makeover complete with a slimmer waste, a bustier physique, doey eyes, voluptuous hair and more makeup. Did I mention the off-the-shoulder and cleavage bearing neckline? And in most of her new promo shots she is depicted without her weapon. I thought the whole premise of Merida’s character was that she wasn’t the typical helpless and over-sexed princess, but instead strong, brave and more undone and normal looking.
Apparently Disney thinks that young girls need to be appealed to by sexier, glitterier characters, instead of the strong female character that Merida represented, and the only thing that needs to be undone is her blouse.. Even ‘Brave” Director, Brenda Chapman who wrote the movie and earned an Academy Award and Golden Globe, calls the new makeover, “atrocious” and “a blatantly sexist marketing move based on money… appalling for women and young girls.” She goes further to say, “when little girls say they like [the makeover] because it’s sparkly, that’s all fine and good, but subconsciously, they are soaking in the ‘come hither’ look and the skinny aspect of the new version. It’s horrible- Merida was created to break that mold- to give young girls a better, stronger role model, a more attainable role model, something of substance, not just a pretty face that waits around for romance.”
I’m not sure how that’s going to work out for Disney, because welcome to the backlash fools. I once was excited about the less sexy character, and now I realize how silly I was to put faith in Disney’s efforts, which are clearly marketing driven.
And it’s not like I don’t believe feminine women are ‘Brave,’ but it’s that they felt the need to sex-up and make-over the not as feminine girl to something that she isn’t, or wasn’t before. I even said in a recent blog post that people need to lay off Barbie dolls, but this is something completely different. And as far as we think we’ve come with female characters, it’s clear that we really haven’t gone very far at all. Merida isn’t the only female we’ve seen made-over: the modern-day Dora and Strawberry Shortcake are just a few of the childhood characters that have been given slimmer, older looking makeovers. This isn’t even actually the first Disney Princess makeover that we’ve seen; even Cinderella and Snow White were once made over to show more cleavage, more makeup and more of a come-hither seductive look.
I’m not the only fan to take issue with the new made over look, angry fans have created a petition and over 125,000 people have already signed it. They are looking to get 25,000 more signatures, which I don’t think will be too hard based on my first gut reaction of outrage. Spread the word, and let’s get Merida to look more like Merida, a beautiful princess, and not just because of her sex-appeal.