The past week has been a wild ride for Merida, the main character of Brave. Last Saturday, the animated, teenaged archer officially joined the 10 other Disney Princesses. But not before Disney gave her a makeover.
Her unruly red locks are tamed, she has lost weight, her eyes peer at us coyly, her body suddenly developed Marilyn Monroe-esque curves, she’s missing her bow and her dress no longer covers her shoulders. This new look did not go over well with the public with many feeling she went from confident, strong and realistic to seductive, mature and sexy.
Change.org and A Mighty Girl quickly started a petition, asking Disney to keep Merida brave and undo the character’s redesign. The writer and co-director of the movie, Brenda Chapman, quickly joined the protest. On the petition site, she’s quoted as saying:
In less than a week, more than 200,000 people have signed the petition.
How has Disney responded? In the company’s official response, it says the new look was only intended for a limited line of products, “never as a permanent ‘makeover’ for the character.” And the original Merida remains on Disney’s website.