Disney decided to give one of its princesses a makeover, but that makeover was not well-received by fans and the creator of the character, Merida, from the movie "Brave." The makeover allegedly sexualized the character, who was originally praised for her unique look.
"There is an irresponsibility to this decision that is appalling for women and young girls," creator Brenda Chapman wrote in an email to The Independent Journal. "Disney marketing and the power that be that allow them to do such things should be ashamed of themselves."
Chapman actually modeled Merida on her own 13-year-old daughter's looks and behavior. Merida was the first Disney princess to not be saved by a prince but instead be responsible for her own actions from beginning to end. The movie was a great success, and Merida became an instant classic character.
"I think it's atrocious what they have done to Merida. When little girls say they like it because it's more sparkly, that's all fine and good but, subconsciously, they are soaking in the sexy 'come hither' look and the skinny aspect of the new version. It's horrible! Merida was created to break that mold – to give young girls a better, stronger role model, a more attainable role model, something of substance, not just a pretty face that waits around for romance," Chapman wrote.
"Brave" won an Academy Award for best animated feature, and Chapman was the first woman ever to win the Award. Fans around the world have expressed their objection to Merida's makeover and formed a petition on Change.org that has received over 191,000 signatures, including Chapman's.
"Because of marketing, little girls gravitate toward princess products, so my goal was to offer up a different kind of princess– a stronger princess that both mothers and daughters could relate to, so mothers wouldn't be pulling their hair out when their little girls were trying to dress or act like this princess. Instead, they'd be like, 'Yeah, you go girl!'" Chapman said in an interview with Pixar Portal.
"Merida exemplifies what it means to be a Disney Princess through being brave, passionate, and confident, and she remains the same strong and determined Merida from the movie whose inner qualities have inspired moms and daughters around the world," a Disney spokesperson told Yahoo! Shine.
The online petition, however, shows that people want the original Merida back and are not happy with the Disney makeover.