If you have young children, chances are you have seen (or at lease heard of) the Disney movie Brave. Months ago I rented the movie to watch with my daughter Caroline. She began taking an interest in other Disney princess movies, like Cinderella, and so I wanted to show her a different type of princess. The main character, Merida, is a princess but is certainly not the damsel in distress kind of girl. She’s fiercely independent and a tom-boy in some ways (very much like my daughter).
I fell in love with this adorable girl and how she was not one to rely on any prince to come to her rescue. The fact that she was not some busty, hour-glass figure with perfect hair, and long eyelashes was quite refreshing. She had a realistic girlish figure with wispy, untamed red hair. It was obvious that Merida would rather have target practice with her bow and arrow rather than spend an hour in the bathroom doing her hair.
Recently Merida became an official Disney princess (awesome!) and Disney decided to perform a makeover on this spunky little princess, giving her fuller lips, more of a tamed hairstyle, a more mature figure with a bit of a larger bust (boo!). Not to mention that her eyes look like she’s wearing eye-liner and mascara. My inner goddess is really bent out of shape about this. Why fix what isn’t broken and ruin a good thing? Apparently Disney has received a lot of guff from fans about Merida’s sexy new look and reverted back to her original look on their website…for now at least.
How are young girls supposed to feel confident about the way they look when Disney sends the message that you need to be “sexier,” have perfect hair, wear makeup (or at least look like you’re wearing it), have larger breasts and a tiny waist in order to be considered a beautiful princess? Why shouldn’t a young girl who is a little rough around the edges, who is not all about the glitz and glam, be considered beautiful? Well, I certainly do. I hope Disney realizes that it would be a mistake to continue to promote the “new and improved” (so they think) Merida and that they would be doing a disservice to young girls everywhere. I whole heartedly believe that there is so much beauty found in strength, kindness, confidence, compassion, and independence, and that is the kind of beautiful I want my daughters to strive to be.