Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Media Moment #1 New Makeover for Merida from "Brave"

As we were talking about children's media in past lectures, it made me think of a popular Disney movie called, "Brave." The movie was highly praised and acclaimed for showing the princess Merida as an independent and realistic person to young children. She didn't sit around like the "damsel in distress" in the movie. The inspiring message in "Brave" was that girls don't need to fit in with society's expectations of them. So, Disney decided to crown Merida as the 11th Disney princess. However, instead of keeping her how Pixar animators created her, they gave her a "makeover" that made her look more glamorous and even took away her bow and arrow, which I would say is her symbol of strength and independence. They gave her a makeover that made her look like a Barbie. This media message is just not right because we should show kids that they don't need to sit around and be pretty to be successful or in most Disney princess movie's case, to get a man. It falls upon parents to raise their young girls to be independent. However, how much of an impact do you think these mixed messages about young girls appearances have on children when they watch media ? Does anyone think that there is nothing wrong with the new image of Merida? Why or why not ?


  1. I totally agree with your reading of what they do to Merida in this makeover. They totally recontextualize her, and not in a positive way. I wonder though--if she had kept the bow and arrows, would the image still disappoint? By taking away her bow and arrow, are they taking away her agency? At any rate, I think the new picture a sly way to undercut her power and independence.

  2. The whole point of this movie was that Merida was not a "typical" girly princess. She was tough, liked adventures and getting messy. She didn't want an arranged marriage with a prince essentailly she was a strong minded individual but to sell the product they had to change the product? Her character gained popularity based on her values, not her looks, so what was the need to "glamourize" her. Taking away all the things that made her what she is. This is just like how little girls are raised to be independent but then are pestered with all this media that forces them to conform and fit into an "ideal" which is not them!