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Samantha Turnbull Writer, mother, anti-princess

Merida, before and after

Keep Merida Brave

Here’s a bad parenting confession: I couldn’t wait for Lib to watch television.

I know, I know. ‘Screen time’ is evil. I’ve read the books. Save your judgey judge pants comments for another day.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, my girl doesn’t have a long attention span.

I know parents who take their three-year-olds to the cinema and whose kids will happily sit in front of a DVD while the adults wine and dine.

Not my Lib.

So, it was probably a waste of time to rent Brave on DVD.

Lib lasted about 15 minutes before she got bored and went to her room to play.

But I was intrigued. Brave is widely praised as the first Disney/Pixar film to feature a proper female hero – Merida. I wanted to give it a chance.

Yes, Merida is a princess, but she’s no Sleeping Beauty. Merida likes archery, trekking through the woods and has no interest in finding a husband.

There’s something else about Merida that caught my attention. She is a wild-haired and fresh-faced teenager. Nothing like the busty, tiny-waisted, long-lashed, doe-eyed glamazons that make up the rest of the Disney princess franchise.

Disney princesses

Suitably impressed as the credits rolled, I Googled Brave to find out more.

Can’t say I was too shocked to find this:

Merida, before and after

It’s the original Merida alongside a ‘made over’ version created for merchandising.

My disappointment turned to hope when I discovered a petition had been launched to preserve the original Merida.

At the time of writing this post, the petition had collected more than 200,000 signatures. Wow.

Disney has reportedly taken the glamorised Merida off its website, but continues to use her in its merchandising.

If you’d like to keep Merida brave you can sign the petition here or tweet #keepmeridabrave .

3 responses to “Keep Merida Brave”

  1. […] – Brave. Most impressively, Chapman was outraged when Brave’s leading lady, Merida, was ‘made-over’ for […]

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  3. Tango says:

    Merida has quickly become my daughter’s favourite princess (along with Mulan) as tiny children they loved Arial and Cinderella yet their favourite storybook princess was Princess Smartypants (I recommend this to everyone with young daughters). It has been interesting, now that they are heading to, and in, their teens, to see them watch the old princess movies again and make comments about how sexist they are. My girls love the Brave Merida apparently she reminds them of their other hero…… Julia Gillard (lol)

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