Monday, 13 May 2013


I remember when Pixar's Brave first came out there was all the mention of it being funded by the Scottish tourism industry, but the big breakout of the film was Merida, the sassy scarlet haired heroine of the film. Although not one of Pixar's best films, Merida was one of its best characters, and I for one was so happy to see a character that I could encourage my five year old neice to look up to. She is going to have so many struggles growing up; the predjudices placed upon her because she is a girl, because she has red hair, pressures to look and act perfect, to find a "prince", and be nice too people all the time.... But no, Merida is proud of her "normal" looks, doesn't want a prince, is happy shooting her bow and arrow and riding her horse, and isn't afraid to tell her parents where to go. If I was five, I would of been obsessed with her. My neice? She loves her too. She calls her "Brave", beacuse she is.

So now Disney, that massive company that specialises in safe storytelling and casual sexism, has decided to have Merida one of its offical Princesses. But look what they've done! On the image at the top of this post you see the two versions. The one on the right is the original Merida, with her wild tangle of copper hair, her cheeky teenage grin, her ripped costume and bow and arrow slung confidently across her. The image on the left is the Princess version. Her hair is like a L'Oreal model, impossibly thick and perfect curls. Her face looks like that of a 30 year old, her waist is tiny, her dress blinged up, and that belt that held her arrows? Now its just there to show off her ample hips. Why has she got to look grown up? Why has dress got to look sparkly? Why has got to look so devoiud of charm? Is it so that fits in with the other princesses?

All these humourless, overtly sexy, proportinally incorrect bimbo's? Probably, but thats not the point. Disney are arseholes, but they've usually left Pixar on its own and just made the money off Toy Story figures and remote control Wall-E's, but now they've finally gone one step too far for me. I won't stop my neice watching the film Brave, but I will not let her be subjected to the blatent sexism that is this portrayal of Merida, and the other Disney characters. I want my neice to find out who she is herself, not be told by some faceless corporation.

Sorry this is such an angry rant, but I do feel strongly that girls, more than ever, are being subjected to unrealistic figures of feminity, and any good examples are quickly demonised and told they are wrong somehow. I am not the only one who feels like this. There is a petition going up for Disney to revert Merida back to her old ways, so I suggest you sign it and encourage everyone else to do so.

You can petition by following this link.


P.S. On another not, we are full steam ahead on our YouTube site, and don't forget to check out the latest podcast on The Look of Love. Links on the right

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