False Alarm: Disney Still Keeping Sexualized Version Of “Brave”‘s Princess Merida

Last week, I wrote about how bummed I was that the heroine of Disney’s “Brave” is undergoing a makeover before she becomes an official Disney Princess. Her unruly hair is tamed, her figure is slimmed and the Scottish Princess is a much sexier version of the character millions grew to love.

I was only one voice in the outrage over this sex-ing up.  Writer and co-director of “Brave,” Brenda Chapman, who was the first woman to win an Academy Award for this animated feature film, wrote the Marin Independent Journal in an email:

“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 … They have been handed an opportunity on a silver platter to give their consumers something of more substance and quality — THAT WILL STILL SELL — and they have a total disregard for it in the name of their narrow minded view of what will make money.”

Change.org brought the issue to my attention and garnered the signatures of at least 200,000 people.  When looking at Merida’s swank new Disney Princess page, which uses the original Disney-Pixar animated character, it looked as if the outraged public had won.

Alas!  Not quite true …

According to a statement made to Yahoo! Shine, made-over Merida is here to stay — although they claim she was just redrawn in order to celebrate becoming a new Disney Princess: “This rendition of Merida in her party dress was a special one-time effort to commemorate her coronation.” A Disney rep added to the blog Inside The Magic that Merida’s new look is only for a “limited line of products.”

While in the movie the “Brave” star is her same Pixar animated self — wide-eyed, spunky, bow and arrow clad — girls will also see the more sexed-up version of Merida in conjunction with Princess products. I guess the sick reality is that sex sells — even to an eight-year-old.  I, for one, am still disappointed.  Girls deserve a relatable, role model whose confidence doesn’t rest on outward appearance.

[Marin Independent Journal]
[Rebecca Hains]
[Yahoo! Shine]

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