The Merida Controversy - Why Did Disney Need To Sex Her Up To Become A Princess?

by fitzcharming

Does every single Disney Princess have to be hot to trot? Good grief. Why couldn't they leave Merida alone? She was SUPPOSED to be different!

Have you seen Disney's movie Brave? It's one of my favorite Pixar animated films. Centered around a Scottish Highlands princess in Medieval times, it's a story of a rebellious and spirited girl who doesn't want to be married off to the strongest, handsomest, or richest guy in the kingdom. She wants to forge her own path to happiness and she doesn't need to be a skinny sexy waif to do it.

The problem is a few days ago, when Walt Disney Productions crowned her as their 11th Disney Princess, she got a mega-makeover to go with her ascension to the throne. Her dress now has an off the shoulder and plunging neckline, her waist is thinner, she's got sexy doe eyes, and a sultry smile. That's not the Merida I know and love.

Update: Various news reports have stated that Disney has reversed it's decision to change Merida's image for now. This is good news for Merida fans and it shows that even a large Corporation like Disney can admit a mistake when public opinion is so strong. Thank you Disney.

My Disney Merida Doll

The thumbnail photo at the top of this page is the Disney Store version of the Brave Merida doll. I own that doll.  I am a doll collector so I'm curious and watching closely to see if there will be a doll version of the new and more glamorous Merida look. 

There are already a lot of Merida dolls on the market made by various toy manufacturers, as well as party goods, costumes, room decor, etc. Doll molds are incredibly expensive so which companies are going to change their merchandise?  My bet is that if they change the look there will not only be a social backlash but they will lose sales as well. 

The Disney Merida website had a photo of the before and after Merida images right after the coronation of Merida but it has been taken down.  I find that interesting.   You can see a photo of the old vs new Princess Merida graphic that will be on the doll packaging here.  That link also takes you to the petition to keep Merida Brave on the website. 

Watch How Merida Reacts To A Challenge For Her Hand In Marriage

Does This Look LIke Something The New Disney Princess Would Do? Watch How She Rips Her Dress Seams Because They Are Tight - Shes NOT Skinny

The Creator Of Merida Is Appalled At Her New Look

There Is A Petition To Change Merida Back To Her Original Look

Brenda Chapman, the writer and co-director of the movie Brave isn't happy with the new look. She based the character after her own daughter so she not only has a professional interest in Merida, but a personal one as well. She does not want Merida to become a Babe, and she signed the petition that has gone viral.

Merida's character in the film is smart, strong willed, and confident.  She's an expert archer and loves to go riding on her horse Angus.  Her athletic skill easily matches that of any suitable husband.  She and her mother, Queen Elinor, are at opposite ends of the scale when it comes to Merida's royal obligation to marry a prince.  This is one of the primary reasons many moms, little girls, and fans love her.  She is struggling with her relationship with her mother, and she doesn't need a man to complete herself.  She is a Modern Medieval girl. 

Heres A Strong Merida Profile Tote Bag - Perfect For Hauling Around Your Disney Dolls

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Do You Have An Opinion On The Princess Merida Makeover?

Buy the Pixar Animated Brave Movie on DVD If You Want To Watch Meridas Story

I Love This Movie - It Won the Oscar and Golden Globe Awards For Best Animated Film of 2012
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Disney Says The Move Is To Make Merida More Like The Look Of Other Disney Princesses

It's true, the newer look does make Merida more in line with a Disney Princess likeness. On the banner with the other 10 Disney Princesses she fits in.  You can see the new Disney Princess Graphic here.  But the whole point of her being Brave in the movie was that she didn't conform to what everyone else did and wanted. 

Disney is a marketing machine and I'm sure they have done their research to determine what will sell. But just this time I wish they would consider the feelings of their target audience over the almighty dollar.  Maybe it's just me but I think if little girls want sexy there are plenty of other Disney Princesses to choose from. 

Watch the Live Coronation at Walt Disney World

Stick A Giant Merida Decal On Your Wall In Support Of Her Brave Look?

Okay Maybe Not But You Can Buy One For Your Daughters Bedroom Here
RoomMates RMK1937GM Disney Brave Meri...

Read More About Princess Merida

Here is a link to my Doll blog - get to know Princess Merida & read fun facts about Disney Princesses

Meet Princess Merida From The Movie Brave

Updated: 09/21/2013, fitzcharming
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What Do You Think of Merida? - New or Old Look Opinions Are Welcome

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fitzcharming on 06/26/2013

I agree MaggiePowell. Thanks for reading.

MaggiePowell on 06/26/2013

The whole sexy princess thing leaves me puzzled... so glad my girls are developing a strong sense of identity.

fitzcharming on 06/17/2013

I agree fanfreluche - I like that they have agreed to keep her that way for now.

fanfreluche on 06/17/2013

She is my favorite Disney girl character, mainly because she is unsexy.

fitzcharming on 05/31/2013

Me too, she's perfect just the way she is. Thanks JoHarrington.

JoHarrington on 05/31/2013

I didn't know about any of this. I'm glad that Disney backed down on it.

katiem2 on 05/23/2013

Indeed power to the people.

fitzcharming on 05/23/2013

Thats great katiem2. I had heard Disney was considering but didn't realize they decided to leave her as is. I am going to add a line at the top of the page so people know that yes, even Disney can be persuaded by the public. Thanks for letting me know.

katiem2 on 05/23/2013

Yes indeed, so glad to hear they are leaving her to the original image or so I heard on the news. It was due to public out cry and customer demand, and the good people like you who brought this to us otherwise busy hard working parents. Thanks

fitzcharming on 05/16/2013

Hi katiem2 - the media and organizers of the petition say its money motivated. I tend to believe them.

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