Saturday, May 11, 2013
It seems that Disney in its infinite wisdom has decided that Princess Merida needs a makeover. I’ll say right here right now I disagree!
Merida, as her character was created for the movie Brave is a redheaded wild child. She is a tomboy with innocence and a childlike look at life. She is not fancy. She just does not care if her hair is brushed or if it is a tangled mess. The look in her eyes shows innocence, awe and wonder of the world around her. There is a determination to be herself and not be defined by her culture or her parent’s goals for her life.
The updated, “new and improved” Merida is too concerned with her looks. She has more makeup and her hair is more controlled in the concept drawings. The dress is more in the style of the type of confining dress that Merida of the movie rejected.
Now some are calling her new makeover a sexualization of the character. I would not go quite that far. Yes she is a little more provocative and sultry but I would not call the new makeover overly sexy or inappropriate.
Another problem I have with the new Merida is the significant weight loss. Once again Disney is telling young girls that if they have any meat on their bones or do not fit into a size 0-4 they are not beautiful. ”You can’t be a Princess if you are not skinny.” I’m sorry I don’t find this healthy for young children, boy or girl.
Disney has sold out in my opinion. Merida no longer stands by her conviction to not be defined by the rules, culture and family want to hold her to. Instead she is been redefined to fit into the super skinny, supermodel view of what society thinks woman should look like.
In the past Disney has been accused of being insensitive to women and showing women as weak, always in need of being saved, and unable to take care of themselves. Merida of the movie most definitely could take care of herself and stand up for what she wanted. I feel this change of Merida reduces her credibility as a role model for children.