Merida is the 11th princess to be inducted as an official princess, thanks to Disney. Many young girls and families have admired the fact that Merida is not the princess to chase after a prince to gain royalty and a crown, but be herself for her own self-acceptance and pride, even if it means competing in a sport, archery.
Merida was given a new look, pictured below, for the May 11th for the induction ceremony. Disney made her thinner and more refined than in the film. Granted, this image sends a wrong signal to many people, and a petition to Disney’s chief, Robert Iger, has been started and as of May 12th, had more than 19,000 signatures. Robert declared that there would not be a make-over to re-establish the princess to her original self.
The petition reads: “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.”
Former director, Brenda Chapman, who was fired by Disney, spoke out with Marin Independent Journal: “There is an irresponsibility to this decision that is appalling for women and young girls. Disney marketing and the powers that be that allow them to do such things should be ashamed of themselves.”
Brenda continues, “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,” said Chapman. “I forget that Disney’s goal is to make money without concern for integrity. Silly me.”
The only remark that the studio had to make was, “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.”
Although Brenda was fired from the project, and is also the first woman to direct a Pixar film, she was amazing enough to share the prestigious award “Oscar for Best Animated film” with the replacer, Mark Andrews.
This sounds like a total mess! What are your thoughts on Merida’s sudden womanly changes?