Say No to Merida Makeover to Disney Princess

https://www.change.org/petitions/disney-say-no-to-the-merida-makeover-keep-our-hero-brave?utm_campaign=share_button_action_box&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition

 

Merida Makeover

This is what the parents of my grandniece Mina have to say:

Merida is awesome just the way she is! When my daughter was young, we avoided any attention on the Disney Princesses. Keep Merida real.

Keep Merida Real IMO more correctly identifies the issue than the Change.org Petition to Keep Merida Brave.  Do we want the role model for young girls to carry the message that they must be warriors and use male weapons to survive in a patriarchal world? I am reminded of Audre Lorde’s (1984) declaration: The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House (from Sister Outsider, The Crossing Press Feminist Series). Here is the text of the Petition, which you can sign by clicking on the link. 

Merida was the princess that countless girls and their parents were waiting for — a strong, confident, self-rescuing princess ready to set off on her next adventure with her bow at the ready. She was a princess who looked like a real girl, complete with the ‘imperfections’ that all people have.

The redesign of Merida in advance of her official induction to the Disney Princess collection does a tremendous disservice to the millions of children for whom Merida is an empowering role model who speaks to girls’ capacity to be change agents in the world rather than just trophies to be admired. Moreover, by making her skinnier, sexier and more mature in appearance, you are sending a message to girls that the original, realistic, teenage-appearing version of Merida is inferior; that for girls and women to have value — to be recognized as true princesses — they must conform to a narrow definition of beauty.

In an interview with Pixar Portal, “Brave” writer and co-director Brenda Chapman stated, “Because of marketing, little girls gravitate toward princess products, so my goal was to offer up a different kind of princess — a stronger princess that both mothers and daughters could relate to, so mothers wouldn’t be pulling their hair out when their little girls were trying to dress or act like this princess. Instead they’d be like, ‘Yeah, you go girl!’”

This new Merida is a paler reflection of her former self without the spark and the ‘you go girl’ quality that her creator intended. 

We write to you on behalf of all the young girls who embraced Merida as a role model, who learned from her that they too could go off on an adventure and save the day; that it’s not how you look that matters but who you are. For them and for all the children — both girls and boys — who benefit from seeing depictions of strong, courageous, and independent-minded girls and women that are so scarce in animated movies, we ask you to return to the original Merida that we all know and love. We ask you to keep Merida Brave!

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~ by artpoped on May 10, 2013.

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