Disney destroys Brave’s Merida with sexy makeover #NotBuyingIt

From the Mary Sue:

“On May 11th Brave‘s Merida will be officially crowned as the 11th Disney Princess, the impact of which is that Disney will be selling more stuff with her on it, I guess? Anyway. Along with the “coronation ceremony,” to be held at Walt Disney World, Merida’s gotten a new redesign…”

A great summary from Toward the Stars:

towardthestars

Here’s one of my favorite pre-botox, pre-makeover Merida expressions.

merida_

Pithy analysis from Peggy Orenstein on the eventual fate of way too many of Disney’s female characters:

Because, in the end, it wasn’t about being brave after all. It was about being pretty…I’m especially creeped out by Belle who appears to have had major surgery… In addition to everything else, they’re pushing the brown girls slowly but surely to the edges…

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.

The disease of homogeneous, anorexic, botoxed, generic females has spread worldwide, through these kinds of images. Did you see the Reddit story about the Korean beauty queens: “Has plastic surgery made these beauty queens all look the same? Koreans complain about pageant clones.” Talk about creepy.

beautyqueens

One commenter wrote:

‘The surgery takes away their individuality and uniqueness and its sad. Most are beautiful without it but telling them that their Korean ethnic features are in fact lovely is as effective as screaming at a brick wall.

‘They wont believe you because they’ve been brainwashed to think westernization of their features is superior, I don’t think they want to look white, but a mix of white and Asian and definitely less Korean.’

This is how one “beauty” queen describes herself:

The student revealed her plastic surgery secret after photos emerged of her looking very different at school, but she said she hadn’t misled anyone.

But she defended her crown telling the Korean media: ‘I never said I was born beautiful.’

 

So sad because this generic look has absolutely nothing to do with “beauty” and everything to do with power, Westernization, capitalism, and status. TV host Stephen Colbert explained it well when he jokingly asked teen writer/ phenom Tavi Gevinson: “But if girls feel good about themselves, how will we sell them things they don’t need?”

How indeed? I was a huge Merida fan, as were my kids, and I bought my three young daughters several figures, books, and posters featuring her because she was cool. Here’s a framed poster over my four year old daughter’s bed so she can see her when she goes to sleep at night, along with her favorite Merida book.

Mposter

Like Merida, my daughter, Rose, has wild, curly hair that she hates to have brushed.

rose

I hope my daughter never feels that she has to look generic and homogeneous in order to be “beautiful.” I hope she always knows that her beauty comes from her spirit. That’s not some meaningless cliche. There’s nothing “attractive” about frozen-faced clones. Disney’s new, madeover Merida has absolutely nothing to offer my kids. I won’t be buying ANY merchandise with this awful, new image.

Reel Girl rates the new Merida ***SSS*** for major stereotyping.

Please Tweet @Disney We want Merida brave, not botoxed. New, madeover Merida is bad for kids #NotBuyingIt

 

 

14 thoughts on “Disney destroys Brave’s Merida with sexy makeover #NotBuyingIt

  1. Pingback: Merida's Makeover and Character Continuity - The Animation Anomaly

  2. Pingback: Beyond Merida: Toy Industry Complicity in Marketing Vapid Values - Shaping Youth

  3. Great post! Thank you. I’m so over the need for girls and women to fit into an ideal mold. Crossing fingers that we get to keep the prettier Merida that we already have!

  4. Thanks for continuing to be on top of these issues. (And a funny side note: my 5 and a half year old daughter’s name is Merida. Yes, we named her well before the movie, thinking it was a beautiful name and would be rather unusual. We’ll see if people start naming their children Merida now.)

  5. Awful that they take such a positive character and destroy her individuality. Incorporating some vapid idealised pose of simpering girlishness. 🙁

  6. Do not forget that Mulan has received the same treatment before! Her story was never about marrying, she was strong, independent and able to fight anyone or anything coming her way. Now all her merchandise is about her looking pretty in Chinese costumes, not kicking Huns’ asses.

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