Update since I began writing this: yesterday Disney quietly pulled Merchandise Merida from its website, replacing her with the original Movie Merida. Do I dare have hope that Disney can be brave?

. . . . . .

Last Saturday, Disney crowned Merida its 11th official princess. She received quite the makeover for this special event. I’m not particularly happy with the changes they made to my daughter’s heroine and neither is she: “Did they take away her sword, too?”

Movie Merida, as we are now calling her, taught my daughter being brave is…

…courageous
…loyal
…adventurous
…truth
…standing tall
…facing fears
…love
…friendship
…admitting mistakes
…defiant
…shooting for the bullseye
…strong
…righting wrongs
…daring
…confident
…standing up to evil
…independent
…fighting for what’s right
…creative
…stubborn
…bold
…steadfast

The new Merida, on the other hand, has taught us a lot about corporate greed. Disney had a princess that was making millions, probably even billions, just the way she was. Why did Disney have to mess with her? Why did it have to bend and twist her into the same old stereotypical princess?

The real money is in the merchandising.

Disney turned a plucky teenager into a sexy adult. It gave her eyeliner and took away her freckles. It gave her bigger breasts and took from her waist. It added sparkles to her dress and took away her bow and quiver (and sword!).

However, there is one thing that Disney can’t take away. It’s what Movie Merida has already taught my girl, and millions of others, about being brave. In fact, it’s precisely because of Movie Merida that Merchandise Merida can teach us the most important lesson of all:

Disney is not brave.

recommend reading: There are so many thoughtful articles written about the new Merida, I can’t possibly link to them all. Here are just a few:

‘Brave’ creator blasts Disney for ‘blatant sexism’ in princess makeover.
Seriously, Disney, I’m Trying to Take a Little Break Here – MUST YOU?
Disney faces backlash over new “sexy” Merida; pulls new image from web site as a result.

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One Response to some thoughts on being brave

  1. Dear Julie-k,
    Thank you so much for your beautifully written post. You and your daughter give me hope that I did put the right message out there in bringing Merida to life. Despite Merchandise Merida – you will always have Movie Merida… it’s too expensive for Disney to go back into the movie and change her. :)
    All the best to you and thank you so much, again!
    Brenda