‘Brave’ Princess Makeover Inspires Backlash

Disney’s Brave princess got a makeover, and the new design is debuting to less than stellar reviews online.

The Disney and Pixar film Brave was a huge critical and box office success, with many critics praising the story line and principal cast of strong female characters. The film’s star was Merida, voiced by actress Kelly Macdonald, a headstrong and tough Scottish princess who defied Hollywood’s cookie-cutter aesthetic.

Merida will soon be dubbed an official Disney princess, causing execs to haveher undergo a bit of a makeover with a skinnier waist, higher cheekbones and a lot of hair conditioner. In the words of MSN Now, Merida looks “more Barbie than Artemis.”

The website EssentialKids noted that the thing that originally set her apart from other Disney princesses, her bow and arrow, is also missing. As Disney’s 11th princess, it seems her visual characterization has been softened to make her more resemble her demure counterparts.

That’s a sad prospect to many, especially since Brave’s writer and co-director Brenda Chapman said that she created Merida as a princess that parents would be proud to have their daughters look up to.

“… My goal was to offer up a different kind of princess — a stronger princess that both mothers and daughters could relate to,” she said in an interview.

Apparently, the concept worked. The Brave princess makeover has caused quite the backlash, with a change.org petition launched to have Merida changed back. Thus far, 37,563 people have supported the cause.

“The redesign of Merida … 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,” writes the petition’s author.

“I do not want to see Brave turned into a “Babe”. Leave something for a girl to aspire to besides being arm candy,” wrote one commenter.

Another wrote: “The redesign loses everything that was great about Merida.”

What do you think of Brave‘s princess makeover? Call me obtuse, but I don’t see much difference. Or maybe I should say it could have been a lot worse. Either way, leave us your opinion in the comments below!