On May 11th, Brave’s beloved Merida was inducted as Disney’s official 11th princess. Only it’s not quite the quirky, fierce redhead that we all fell in love with because she ran away from her Prince Charming. It’s the Bride of Wildenstein.
A noticeably thinner, sleeker Merida has emerged from the airbrush, and fans are in an uproar.
Creator and co-director of Brave, Brenda Chapman, has slammed Disney over the changes.
There is an irresponsibility to this decision that is appalling for women and young girls,” she said, writing from Chile, where she has been on business. “Disney marketing and the powers that be that allow them to do such things should be ashamed of themselves.
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.
The redesign of Merida in advance of her official induction to the Disney Princess collection does a tremendous disservice to the millions of children for whom Merida is an empowering role model who speaks to girls’ capacity to be change agents in the world rather than just trophies to be admired. Moreover, by making her skinnier, sexier and more mature in appearance, you are sending a message to girls that the original, realistic, teenage-appearing version of Merida is inferior; that for girls and women to have value — to be recognized as true princesses — they must conform to a narrow definition of beauty.
Disney defended their decision, insisting it’s the same old Merida.
“Merida exemplifies what it means to be a Disney Princess through being brave, passionate, and confident and she remains the same strong and determined Merida from the movie whose inner qualities have inspired moms and daughters around the world.”
No word on exactly what was wrong with Merida’s “outer qualities”.
You can sign the petition to Keep Our Hero Brave here.