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Merida – Change or No?

by Maxine Davis

 Recognize her?  It’s Merida.  At least the one on the left is.  I didn’t see the movie Brave, but from the   clips on television, I liked the (cartoon) star, a brave, confident young girl that really was a young girl.  A normal girl.  Well, a normal Brave girl who fights and wins. She was someone any little girl could like and imitate. That was then.

Know what Disney did?  They changed her into a princess – a big boobs, tiny waist, more makeup, more (and fancier) hair, and a dress that shows what she really looks like.  They made Merida a Disney Princess May 11.   I’ve always questioned why they all have to be called “princesses,” but that’s another conversation.

Many criticized Merida’s sexy new look, including Brenda Chapman, the writer and former director of Brave. “I think it’s atrocious what they have done to Merida,” she wrote in an email to the Independent Journal. “When little girls say they like it because it’s more sparkly, that’s all fine and good but, subconsciously, they are soaking in the sexy ‘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.”

How do you feel about Disney changing Merida?  And it seems all the Disney princesses “grew up.”  See Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Mulan, Pocahontas, and Snow White.  Your opinion, please.







Mary Preston - June 27, 2013 - 4:40 am

I loved the feisty, ‘take me as I am’ Merida in the movie. For shame Disney.

Marilyn Baron - June 27, 2013 - 5:24 am

I’m sorry but I’m not familiar with the Merida character at all although I’ve seen all the other characters you mentioned. So I haven’t seen the transition but it seems that they should stay true to the original character.

Pam Asberry - June 27, 2013 - 5:34 am

I loved the movie “Brave” and am appalled at the changes in the Disney princess version of Merida. What Mary said.

Chris Bailey - June 27, 2013 - 9:13 am

I have to remember that both characters are fictional! I prefer the spunky-not-sexy Merida. And yet I can imagine a focus group of little girls indicating to a marketing team that they prefer a sparklier dress. And yes, garish make-up and more hair. After all, they’ve been conditioned by the Disney Channel. But do little girls really choose cleavage?

Maxine - June 27, 2013 - 2:57 pm

Mary, Hooray, I, too say “for shame, Disney.”

Maxine - June 27, 2013 - 2:58 pm

Marilyn, I agree. Stay true to characters!! Thank you!

Maxine - June 27, 2013 - 2:59 pm

Pam, I wanted to see the movie before my blog appeared, but didn’t happen. I AM going to get it, though, and watch it – and write Disney.

Maxine - June 27, 2013 - 3:01 pm

Chris, I know. I don’t know why I got so worked up over cartoon characters, but I knew what it was like to be a young kid that looked nothing like the princesses, but wanting to–because of how they were presented. Thank you for commenting.

Carol Burnside / Annie Rayburn - June 28, 2013 - 2:46 am

I guess I’m behind times. I had no idea who Merida was until I read this. Still, it seems silly to change the look of the character when it doesn’t fit the personality or lifestyle of the character in the story.

Maxine - June 28, 2013 - 8:48 am

Carol, what you hear is the big Amen corner here! Thanks for commenting.

Sandra Elzie - June 28, 2013 - 11:49 am

I agree with Shame on Disney…but they’re just following the crowd. If you have reason to watch children’s channels…including Disney…you’ll see a huge change from cartoons & children’s movies over the past decade.

Little girls like to play dress up, BUT we should be encouraging them to stay little girls as long as possible. Reminds me of a time long ago when Barbie was not anatomically correct….when “she” was more like a little girl than a hormone-driven teenager on the hunt. Too harsh? Sorry, but I’m tired of television and toy makers brainwashing our kids to grow up fast. I say let them stay as innocent as possible for as long as possible. Okay, I’m now off the soapbox. :-)

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