Merida Reverts to Original Form

Disney has quietly reversed its decision to give Merida from the movie Brave a new look as she joins the group known as the Disney Princesses. The official Princess website has replaced the newer artwork with images of Merida as seen in the Pixar film.

The new design made her thinner, bustier, older, and hotter, and put her in a slinkier, lower-cut version of the dress she loathed from the film. The new look may have been designed to bring Merida in line with the other princesses on Disney's princess site, all of whom are canonically older and, well, hot. But it was also a move that undid everything the character fought against in her own movie.

After Chapman herself wrote an angry open letter on May 11 addressing the sexualization of the character and the message it sent to teenage girls everywhere, the floodgates opened on an Internet backlash. A petition started by the media watch website A Mighty Girl received over 200,000 signatures in a couple of days.

Earlier today, just as quietly as it had unveiled Merida's new look, Disney substituted an image of Merida from the film on its princess website, and removed all of the images of the new doll from the website.

Disney might not always make the right decisions, but they can tell which way the wind is blowing. Link

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I haven't seen the movie, but here's what I get. Merida doesn't need to be saved, and can stand on her own two feet. But at the same time, it is sad that all the men around her seem to be goons. Children shouldn't be discouraged from seeking love in a partner when they are grown; they should only be discouraged from being totally dependent on a mate for happiness or support.
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When Brave came out a while ago, my wife and I were quite excited to have a heroine that portrayed strength and independence to our daughter. By chance, my wife walked past a group of women (Latina) who complained that they hated Brave - not because Merida wasn't beautiful - but because, unlike other Disney movies, there was no prince to save her. Call it cultural stereotypes or whatever, but that seems to be a popular consensus among some.
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