The "new" Merida sports styled hair, makeup, plump lips, a narrower waist, and bigger boobs. It also appears that her bow and arrows are missing, replaced by a sparkly new dress. Can I get a round of "UGH"s?!! Seems that the Disney corporation decided that being "beautiful" (in a sexualized way, no less) is more important for girls than being brave.
Disney received a ton of backlash, mostly from women and mothers, about the Merida switcheroo. Merida is supposed to be a role model for young girls, not eye candy for men with princess fetishes! A petition went viral, and it seems to have worked, at least for the time being. On May 15, Disney pulled the "new" Merida from its Disney Princesses site and replaced her with the old image. How long this will last is questionable, as is what the company will do with their toy marketing. I found this doll for sale at Target and Walmart sites. She is described as "bring[ing] the character to life in a beautiful, sparkling fashion inspired by the movie. Adorned in a beautiful dress, this Disney Brave Merida Doll is dressed in blue and has her trademark long red locks." Again, her trademark bow and arrow are absent, and she now comes with a comb!
After seeing the Stepford-ization of Merida, I checked out the Disney Princesses website to take a gander at the other princesses. Seems to me that most, if not all, of them have undergone transformations. Their hair looks like it's been styled for a Miss America pageant. They all have makeup covered faces. Mulan has quite a rack! She would have to do some major binding to pass as a man now! And Tiana, Disney's only princess of color, appears to have had a nose job to narrow her bridge. Shame on Disney for homogenizing the princesses to fit society's stereotyped notions of feminine beauty!
How about some reality based role models for girls? I want to see some princesses who look like they are intelligent, active young women who make decisions and take control of their own lives, not doe eyed vixens who look like they've visited Dr. Rob to have thousands of dollars of "work" done!