If you don’t have a young girl in your home you’ve probably missed the wedoversy (web controversy, I just made that word up) circling Disney’s revamp of Merida from Brave.
Merida is the newest Disney princess. Now that I think about it, her and Mulan might be the only ones who were a princess from birth, but I digress. She’s Scottish, a tomboy, loves her horse, bow, and refuses to be put into anyone’s preconceived notions of what a princess should be. She was pretty awesome in the movie.
But as Disney things tend to go, they’ve redrawn Merida for a limited series of nightgowns, backpacks, and other merchandise that small children seem to need desperately and forget about immediately.
Of course this changed has riled the masses of mothers with an internet connection and free time. They’ve made Merida too sexy. She doesn’t have her bow and arrow. They’ve put her in the dress she tore off her body in the movie. And these mother’s have used the internet to sign a petition to Disney to get them to change Merida back to her movie look. Over 200,000 people have signed this petition. To which Disney basically told them to shutup.
The character doesn’t appear on the official site of Disney princesses. (Who knew that was a thing?!) They have stated this was just a temporary revision for limited merchandise. Disney is all about their merch so I’m sure there will be several versions of Princess gear out for many years to come. Does that mean I will have to replace my daughter’s pop up tent to reflect the current version of Disney stuff out there? Probably so. It’s what you do.
I have my own beefs with Disney. I was glad to see Merida as a character with two parents who actually live through the entire movie. But do I think that they can’t change a character because some women might be offended by an animated person’s wardrobe? Don’t get me wrong. I see their point. I struggle with the balance between letting my 2-year old be Disney Princess obsessed with a room chock full of pink stuff and making her ride a red Radio Flyer and play with Tonka trucks. But that’s what parenting is. Finding that balance to raise a well-rounded individual. Do these moms really want to teach their daughters that if something is slightly offensive to you that you get to raise an internet petition to get something to change? Or do you teach them to not put their view of themselves into the hands of the Disney execs?
Did you even know there was this Disney Princess controversy? Do you care about the differences? Are we teaching kids to use the internet to whine? Do you agree with the people signing the petition?