Disney is being flailed by critics for producing a glammed-up, thinner and sorta sexualized version of Princess Merida, from the Pixar film Brave, for her entry into the Disney Princesses Collection. The “new, improved” Merida may continue Disney’s age-old habit of making female characters into wide-eyed, shapely babes, but it deliberately contradicts the entire point of the original Merida character.
Some readers are probably going, “WTF?” at this point, maybe thinking, “It’s a cartoon, pal, what’s the big deal?” It’s a big deal because the new version sends a message to kids that the preferred look and attitude for girls is sexy and doe-eyed rather than spunky and resourceful. Kids pick up on those kinds of cultural messages a lot more than many parents realize, and it’s high time Disney realized that the world has changed since the Snow White days of 1939.
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