Merida, the tough, spunky heroine of Disney/Pixar’s Brave, was crowned as an Official Disney Princess on May 11, sporting a new look that includes a fuller figure, plumper lips, and a more mature style for her wild red hair.
Many criticized Merida’s sexy new look, including Brenda Chapman, the writer and co-director of Brave. “I think it’s atrocious what they have done to Merida,” she wrote in an email to the Marin Independent Journal. “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.”
After news of the Merida redesign went viral, attracting widespread criticism, Disney restored the original Merida artwork to the character’s profile on its official princess website.
A Disney spokesperson responded to the controversy in a statement to Yahoo! Shine, saying: “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.”