The big news this week: Disney makeover of the brave and tough Merida into sexy vamp provokes outrage, and Disney dials it back.
She loses the archery gear, and now she’s got a sparkly, off the shoulder dress, a curvier body, and perfect, sexy hair rather than the messy locks of our active heroine.
From the Christian Science Monitor:
Merida was crowned as Disney’s 11th official princess last Thursday at Disney World. Sadly, it wasn’t the sassy Scottish lassie who won her own freedom with archery and willpower who took the stage at the coronation. Instead Disney marketing missed the target again where the good of little girls is concerned and sexed-up the character with more cleavage and a vapid look.
“Is that the Evil Merida?” a 7-year-old girl asks the writer.
Media studies professor and author Rebecca Hains: ”That’s right: Although Merida was created by a woman as a role model for girls, the male-dominated consumer product division at Disney has ignored the character’s intended benefits for young girls, sexualizing her for profit.”
Brenda Chapman, creator of Brave, called it a ”a blatantly sexist marketing move.”
There is an irresponsibility to this decision that is appalling for women and young girls… Disney marketing and the powers that be that allow them to do such things should be ashamed of themselves.
Melissa Wardy at Pigtail Pals points out that this makeover did not take place in a vacuum. It’s part of the drip, drip, drip of sexualized marketing that now overwhelms our kids.
And a Change.org petition garnered nearly 190,000 signatures. That’s a lot.
Rebecca Hains reported on Monday that the new version was removed from Disney’s website and replaced it with the original image. It remains to be seen whether Disney will continue to market the sexualized Merida merchandise to little girls.
Does this make you angry?
You can still sign the Change.org petition to let Disney know what you think, and leave you comments here.