Disney has crowned Merida, the heroine of the 2012 Disney/Pixar movie Brave, as the 11th official "Disney Princess" In the process, Merida has undergone an image makeover to better fit in with the group. Her dress has been upgraded, her waist thinned, she now wears makeup, and her hair looks less wild and more, um, "expensive." Brenda Chapman, the creator and co-director of Brave, does not like the makeover one bit.
Chapman fumed. "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."
Chapman, the first woman to win an Academy Award for an animated feature, said she has added her name to a petition with more than 50,000 signatures that has gone viral on the female empowerment website "A Mighty Girl," joining other mothers outraged by Disney's sexualization of her headstrong young Scottish heroine, an expert archer with a head of wild, curly red hair and a mind of her own.