Amanda Pendolino
May 09, 2013

Parents Outraged That Merida From ‘Brave’ Was Given Sexy Makeover

Merida from Pixar’s Brave was an exciting role model for girls: a realistic, feisty teenager who wasn’t concerned with being pretty or landing a man.

Until now.

In advance of Merida’s official induction into the group of Disney Princesses on Saturday, the character was given a sexy princess makeover. Her unruly red curls are smoother, her waist is smaller, her eyelids have been lined with makeup and her bow and arrow are suspiciously gone.

Outraged parents have taken to Change.org, where girl empowerment website A Mighty Girl has created a petition to reverse the makeover. Currently, there are over 32,000 signatures.

“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,” writes Carolyn Danckaert, founder of A Mighty Girl. “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,” the petition continues. “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.”

I’m disappointed that Merida has been Disney princess-ified. The whole point of the character was to give girls an active, age-appropriate and empowering role model.

Will you be signing the petition?