Because when you think of Merida, the self-assured, brave Scottish teenager, you think of glamour and sparkles, right?
Except, that's not the Merida from Brave I know. The Merida I know—the same one who was the first lead female character in a Pixar movie—can climb mountains, go head-to-head with bears and can split an arrow right down the middle with her own.
Soon to be crowned Disney's 11th princess, Merida will be the first digitally animated Pixar character to be crowned in a long line of hand-drawn animated girls. With that coronation, the Powers That Be at Disney decided Merida needed a makeover to be deserving of her crown. It seems the digital animation done by Pixar wasn't good enough to fit in with the other princesses like Cinderella, Belle, Ariel and Tiana.
The other 10 Disney princesses dress in sparkles, have hair that never musses and live with one goal in mind: snagging the perfect prince.
The hand-drawn animated girl Disney has presented for coronation is a glittery, too-skinny, perfectly-coiffed woman wearing a dress that is cut too low for a teen girl.
When I learned of her upcoming crowning, I was glad to hear that there would finally be a headstrong young lady whom my own daughters could look up to. Granted she's a bit on the testy side when it comes to her attitude towards her mother, but what teenage girl does everything her parents tell her to?
Merida is athletic, strong-willed, and independent. Her hair is a mess, her period dress is simple, and her ever-present bow and arrow are at the ready. The hand-drawn animated girl Disney has presented for coronation is a glittery, too skinny, perfectly-coiffed woman wearing a dress that is cut too low for a teen girl. And it seems her loyal fans would agree. A recent petition started by female empowerment website A Mighty Girl on Change.org has already received over 38,000 signatures to try and convince Disney to say no to the Merida makeover. The petition reads:
We write to you on behalf of all the young girls who embraced Merida as a role model, who learned from her that they too could go off on an adventure and save the day; that it's not how you look that matters but who you are. For them and for all the children -- both girls and boys -- who benefit from seeing depictions of strong, courageous, and independent-minded girls and women that are so scarce in animated movies, we ask you to return to the original Merida that we all know and love. We ask you to keep Merida Brave!
Is the original Merida not good enough for a Disney princess crown? I get that the animators had to make her look more like her hand-drawn sister princesses for consistency's sake. But did they have to take away her innocence along with her bow and arrow?