For those not in the know, the newest Disney princess is Merida, the medieval Scottish heroine of the recent film Brave. Merida is not your prototypical Disney princess. She's a tomboy who's a crack shot with a bow and arrow. She's stubborn, independent, and NOT obsessed with finding a husband. In fact, when her parents hold an archery contest with marriage to her as the prize, she strides onto the field and says proudly, "I am Merida. And I'll be shooting for my OWN hand!"
But just as you think she's someone real girls can actually relate to, Disney decided she needs a "makeover" for their marketing campaign (no clue why, since the film was a success). So they've made her thinner, wider-eyed and smoothed out her wild hair. They've dressed her in the gown she flatly refused to wear in the film. And they've lost the bow that was practically a permanent attachment to her arm. Apparently Disney feels that nobody will relate to a lively tomboy.
So why am I incensed over the remaking of a cartoon character? Because they feel the need to reduce one of (IMHO) Disney's best characters to vacuous arm-candy. The message they're sending to little girls who love Merida is that she wasn't acceptable as she was. Consciously or not, they're reinforcing the idea that girls should be polished, pretty and not as spirited. Personally, I'd far rather see little girls emulate the original Merida's independence and spunk.
The link to the article is below. Tell me what you think:
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