You wouldn’t think so, would you? But look at what Disney has done to tomboy Princess Merida of “Brave,” who just wanted to ride her horse and shoot arrows off into the sunset:
On the left, we have the actual Merida of the movie. On the right, the sexed-up version that Disney decided was necessary before inducting her into the Disney Princess collection (and its clothes, toys, sheets, towels, and collectibles which will now be sold to the huddled 12-year-old masses). That image of an older, sexier woman in a tight dress is what countless little girls are going to get when they ask their parents for a Merida t-shirt.
Seriously, Disney. Merida’s mane of bouncing red curls wasn’t good enough? No, you had to make it twice as thick, several inches longer, and blow it back with a fan. Then you added at least five years to her face and body, a cup size or two to her breasts, and a bunch of makeup to her face, while subtracting several inches from her waist. Worst of all, you stuffed her into a ridiculous tight dress like the one she hated in the movie. She complained endlessly about having to wear a dress like that! And when she was forced to anyway, she intentionally tore it straight down the back and in the arm and shoulder seams so that she could shoot her bow. This glammed-up creature in your collection couldn’t even lift a bow, much less pull it.
“Brave” was a movie about a tomboy who didn’t conform to girly expectations, who butted heads with her mother about those expectations, and who had a marvelous, scary adventure because she was too independent to give in. This is the princess little girls the world over loved — and little boys, too. We took our 11-year-old son to see the film and he thought it was great. So great, in fact, that when it became available for renting on our cable provider, he wanted to watch it again. I sincerely doubt he’d be interested in watching a sexpot version.
So thanks, Disney, for yanking away the sorely-needed role model for millions of little girls, and replacing her with yet another image they cannot measure up to. “Brave” was about being true to yourself, liking who you are, and not conforming. Disney is about feeling bad about yourself and hating your inadequate body so that a megacorporation can make even more money.
The worst thing is that it was so unnecessary.
To get the bad taste out of our mouths, let’s watch Princess Merida tear that damn dress apart so she can show the world that she, a freckled redheaded girl, is the best freakin’ archer in Scotland.
(Watch it fullscreen for maximum seam-tearing enjoyment.)