In completely baffling and disturbing news, Disney has decided to make Brave heroine, Merida into their 11th Disney Princess.
On May 11th, Merida will join the other Disney princesses in a royal coronation. Of course this change comes with giving regular girl Merida a glamorous Disney princess makeover. The whole point of why we loved Merida was because she broke the Disney princess mold. It's so depressing that every girl who comes out of a Disney film has to be remade into this unrealistic looking girl. And Merida is not even a Disney character. She's a Pixar character. But Disney owns Pixar. I guarantee that they would never make one of their male Pixar characters into a Disney Prince because we all know there is no large scale promotion that pushes princes, because boys are not forced into being princes, they are allowed to be boys. Girls have to get put into the princess box. It's all about marketing and it is disgusting.
Disney should be ashamed of themselves.
As they should be, people are pissed. Author Peggy Orenstein commented on Merida's new princess role on her blog.
I've always said that it's not about the movies. It's about the bait-and-switch that happens in the merchandise, and the way the characters have evolved and proliferated off-screen. Maybe the problem is partly that these characters are designed in Hollywood, where real women are altering their appearance so regularly that animators, and certainly studio execs, think it's normal.
Ok, you know what? I'm so tired. Someone else take over here and make some pithy, salient points about the impact on girls of being bombarded with skinny, pretty, sexy messages and endless consumer products that tell them from the earliest ages that how they look is who they are, ok?
I'll just leave you with that moment of promise, the trailer from Brave when we thought maybe Disney was showing some leadership and ethics not only in how they made their products, but the actual products they made.
Orenstein gets it spot on. Brave seemed to signify a change that Disney was going to give us some female characters with more substance, characters that little girls could look up to and now they've completely negated that image by turning Merida into a princess.
We are waiting to her what Brave writer and co-director, Brenda Chapman has to say about this.
A Mighty Girl has started a petition to keep Merida from getting the Disney princess treatment. Make sure to sign it.
Seriously, Disney, I'm Trying to Take a Little Break Here-- MUST YOU? (Peggy Orenstein)