I grew up a Disney loving fiend.  One of my favorite Princesses?  Sleeping Beauty.  Did it make me yearn to someday be a beautifully kissable coma patient? No.  Why not?  Because Disney is a brand, Disney is a cartoon; Disney is a leap into the fantastical.  Had I ever expressed a desire to lie unconscious for years waiting on a man, my mother would have slapped me upside my head.  Why?  Because she was my mother and knew, I could do better than damsel-dom.  We had constant dialogue.

I have been inundated with tweets referencing the “new Merida”.  If somehow you’ve been living in a cave, Merida is the heroine from Pixar’s animated film Brave.  With the “official” induction of Merida into the league of Princesses in Disneyworld, Disney has released new merchandise.  Some of this merch shows a difference in the fierce redhead we remember from the movie.  She is much older looking, and wears a bedazzled dress.   Suburban moms are outraged. How dare Disney take the girl from the movie and change her!?!

For starters, here is the movie version of Merida.


Here is the new rendition, from the Disney induction.

My complaint?  I honestly think the old Merida is prettier, more natural looking.  Do I think it’s worth the outcry? No.  I do however think it's ridiculous, and Mom's are ultimately doing more damage by harping on it.

BECAUSE WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE IS NOT WHAT MAKES A PERSON BRAVE!

Listen, here’s my point.  The movie Brave wasn’t 5 stars.  Yet it held numerous great messages.  Don’t take your family for granted, your Mom is a person too, you are ultimately responsible for your own future.  There is no Prince to rescue Merida.  In fact, her Father the King, is a bumbling moron.

It screamed girl power, redemption, and love. 

I’ve read a dozen articles condemning ONE picture.  A picture that does not even appear to be on much merchandise sold at the official online Disney store.  I have heard that the shinier Princess appears on some plates and what-not at Target, but have yet to see it myself.

In the end you might have a little boy or girl who loved Brave.  A child who suddenly wanted to shoot arrows, and found a new respect for bears.  You may have a child who loves Merida’s glittery new makeover (because some little girls love fancy dress up clothes) or one who prefers her original cherubic face and more casual dress. 

RELAX. The Princesses have always been glamorous in group shots.  As a child, I loved Belle because she loved books as I did.  I didn’t forget that when I saw her in her golden dress.  Aurora loved animals, and I adored her for it.  Even as an adult, Rapunzel reminded me that sometimes we allow ourselves to become prisoners of fear and our circumstances, and therefore it is up to us to set ourselves free. 

Give your children some credit!  Give your parenting some credit!

By refusing to buy bedazzled Merida plates for your girls and boys, (if they want them) you are showing them that looks matter.  That one rendering of a person DEFINES them. 

I say buy the plates and cups, fill them up, and sit down across from your child at the dinner table and talk. 

Talk about the aspects of Merida that CAN’T be captured in a picture.  The important unseen strength in all of us.

Show me the Mom’s taking the time to do THAT instead of signing random online petitions.

Those Moms, shaping a generation of free-thinkers and intelligent boys and girls…they define Brave.
Still need to calm down? Check out Merida's induction as shown on the Ellen show. 
Merida seems lovely to me!
Auntie Em
5/21/2013 11:05:04

What a wonderful way of saying all that needed to be said. Amen!

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