Disney Princess Merida's 'Sexy' Makeover Doesn't Worry This Mom

Rant 74

merida disney braveMost of the time when people get makeovers, it's a happy thing. A boost to the self-esteem. A stellar moment bringing out a better you, in turn giving you more confidence. But when a Disney princess gets a makeover, some kids might shed tears, and parents, well, we do what's expected of us -- have an adult-sized temper tantrum.

I'm the one who loves Tattoo Barbie and Drag Queen Barbie, so I'm not going to have an issue with Brave's Merida showing a little more decolletage. But her makeover is more than just a little more skin.

Merida's dress certainly has more sparkle, her waist looks smaller, and she seems to be wearing a lot more makeup. Those eyes! What's her secret? She looks less tired. Her hair has definitely been tamed with some anti-frizz serum. She looks older. Perhaps she got her first period. She might be going through a new discovery phase ... the discovery of lipstick and eye-popping mascara. She's -- as much as I hate to say it -- sexier. And sexy is apparently a very bad word according to some.

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Disney unveiled this change to their 11th princess and child development experts are concerned. "This one character may not do any damage to a girl's psychological development, per se," Dr. Robyn Silverman told Yahoo. "But Merida joins a barrage of thin, sultry characters for girls, making her yet another facet of our sexed-up, thinned down messaging." Yikes!

The movie is called Brave, and Merida certainly was with her bow and arrow and adventure-seeking personality. But does this new look mean she can't still be adventurous? Does this mean she's just interested in seduction and finding the dress with the most sparkles? As a girl-turned-woman who loves heels, frilly girly things, showing off decolletage, and anti-frizz serums, I can tell you I can love all those things and still be adventurous and brave. We shouldn't stereotype people, and we surely shouldn't stereotype Disney characters to our children. What message does that send? Merida didn't turn into a slut because of a little makeover. Being brave doesn't have one look. Being physically alluring doesn't mean your brain is vacant and you can't be strong with good self-esteem and a love for the outdoors.

Still, whenever anyone gives a makeover to any animated character, it's confusing. As a kid I remember noticing Mickey Mouse's voice was different in some episodes. That kind of messed me up. Why is he talking different, I wondered. What happened to him? And have you seen what they've done to Strawberry Shortcake these days?! But we all grow up and change, even animated folks. Someday even our little kids will be driving cars, putting on too much makeup, and taming their unkempt hair like we unsuccessfully tried to do all through preschool. Maybe we just dislike change -- kids and adults. But change can be good. And looking "sexier" doesn't have to be a bad thing. We just need to take our minds out of the gutter. 

What do you think of Merida's makeover? Does it bother you?


Image via Disney/Pixar

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LostS... LostSoul88

It disappoints me but I won't make a big deal of it. It's not Disneys jo to teach children about self-image it's the parents. I was happy about this princess because she was boyish and didn't need a prince or be girly to be cool. But that's life I guess. Disney rather make a profit then care about girls self-images. 

Cathryn Elizabeth Manis

The problem is that some girls don't like getting dolled up no matter their age. Merida was those girls' role model! As a child I never connected with Sleeping Beauty or Snow White, but loved Pocahontas because I viewed her as an outdoorsy girl like me. I would have fallen in love with Merida and her bow and arrow as well. There's nothing wrong with getting dolled up, but there's also nothing wrong with not. Some girls just don't enjoy it and they deserve a princess that reflects that. That's why parents are outraged. Girls don't have to be sexy to be awesome.

Amalie85 Amalie85

Eh its not the end of the world but I liked her better before.  I avoid all disney princesses like the plague anyways as my sister & neice were so obsessed with them they now make me sick.  My daughter doesn't own a single thing with a disney princess on it.  

akhartis akhartis

One is a Pixar character and the other is a cartoon.  She still looks plainer than all the other princesses and frankly my kids would not even notice the difference.  It is the adults that are making a big deal out of nothing.  I was never a stick thin child and I played with Barbies throughout my entire childhood.  Never once did I aspire to become a Barbie Doll.  For Heaven's sake, it is a toy.  And other than this cartoon image, she will never look like that as a doll - it is a drawing!!!  Might be in a book but I doubt too that if any book follows the real storyline of the movie she is ever going to be in a provocative pose or anything else!  Geez!


Jessie Ormiston Harlan

Yeah, it bothers me. For Disney to finally say "Look! You can be totally awesome WITHOUT being a total babe!" was really awesome. For them to say, "Whoops...sorry, we take it back," is kind of shitty.

Hello07 Hello07

Alluring? That's the word chosen here? I find it a sad but true example of the brainwashing we as a society do to our women that the author of this article decided that this makeover was just her becoming more alluring. By saying this you are making the statement that a girl needs to be alluring I.e. attract a man, and that the only wag to be alluring is to be thinner, put makeup on your face, dress a certain way, and basically change the way that you naturally are. I guess women looking how they naturally are is un-alluring. How sad that that is we're we are as a society. How sad that this is what are values are. We sexualize women. We need to be pretty before being anything else.

0Jenna0 0Jenna0

I find it sad that all Disney princess have to look slutty. Good for her if she still stays "brave" but can't little girls chose to admire someone not showing off their boobs? Not anymore, not according to Disney.

Izzys... IzzysMomma13

i actually work for the Disney company in one of their stores. i actually like the change. i think shes beautiful.  the point of a princess is to encourage a little girls imagination. and this does that wonderfully. im not saying she didnt before but little girls EXPECT princesses to marry Princes and live in castles and dress up in beautiful dresses. countless times ive had to struggle to explain to a cute little girl why Merida doesnt have a prince.  One little girl asked me if it was because she wasnt pretty.   i cant wait for my little 3 month old to get old enough to play dress up in the princess dresses and watch the movies with me.  i grew up on Disney and yes while the princesses look almost NOTHING like they did when i was little...  they are still the same beautiful inspiring characters that they used to be.simple smile

Hollo... HollowLuna

I honestly don't see much of a change. She just looks like a cartoon, a drawing than she did..  not as 3-d.  So she has make up.. So did Pocahontas and Jasmine and the rest of them.. Disney is just updating their looks.  I am disappointed in them, needing to redo and change what was already great.  Her dress is shinier and her shoulders are showing, but she still has the same personality and honestly, shouldn't that be what matters?

Izzys... IzzysMomma13

0Jenna0----   where are you seeing boobs?????????http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/ba/Disney_Princess_2013_lineup.jpg

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