Posts Tagged ‘ princesses ’

‘Brave’ Disney Princess’ Makeover Sparks Outrage, Petition

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Merida, the spunky, wild-haired heroine of the Disney film “Brave,” is set to become Disney’s 11th official princess on May 11.  But a makeover of her look has moms and fans incensed and disappointed that Merida’s new appearance puts her in line with stereotypical princess and distances her from what many moms considered to be her status as the first feminist princess.  More from The Huffington Post:

For parents who have been frustrated by the messages Disney princesses send to young girls (look pretty, find your prince, live happily ever after), introducing a character like Merida seemed to be a step in a good direction. As HuffPost blogger Kristen Howerton wrote when the film was first released, “‘Brave’ may be considered by many to be the first feminist princess movie. Merida does not pine for a prince to come to her rescue, and solves her own problems without the aid of a suitor.” The character was independent, hada realistic body type, and succeeded sans prince charming. Unsurprisingly, messing with that by giving her a new look is causing an uproar.

A Mighty Girl, a female empowerment website, has launched a petition on Change.org to convince Disney to leave Merida alone. Clearly, she has a loyal fanbase — the petition has almost 19,000 signatures.

The letter on Change.org reads, in part:

“The redesign of Merida in advance of her official induction to the Disney Princess collection does a tremendous disservice to the millions of children for whom Merida is an empowering role model who speaks to girls’ capacity to be change agents in the world rather than just trophies to be admired. Moreover, by making her skinnier, sexier and more mature in appearance, you are sending a message to girls that the original, realistic, teenage-appearing version of Merida is inferior; that for girls and women to have value — to be recognized as true princesses — they must conform to a narrow definition of beauty.”So far, there has been an outpouring of agreement. Peggy Orenstein, the author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter who is often at the forefront of discussions about how princess culture affects young girls, thinks Merida’s makeover sends a terrible message: “In the end, it wasn’t about being brave after all. It was about being pretty,” Orenstein writes on her personal blog.

Image: Merida’s new look (left) and her original appearance (right), via The Huffington Post

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Disney Announces Its 10th Princess: Rapunzel

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Mandy Moore with Rapunzel dollRapunzel will join the likes of Snow White and Cinderella in the Disney “royal court” this coming October, in a star-studded ceremony literally fitting the notion of royalty, the company announced today.  The celebration will take place at Kensington Palace in London, the birthplace of Queen Victoria and a residence owned by the British Royal Family.  The location was secured through a partnership between Disney and Historic Royal Palaces, an independent charitable organization that receives no funding from the British government or the Crown.

Rapunzel is to be honored following the success of last year’s film “Tangled,” which told the story of the famous long-haired heroine as voiced by the actress Mandy Moore.  The film is among the top 10 highest-grossing Disney movies in the company’s 88-year history.  In a release announcing Rapunzel’s big news, Disney said:

Rapunzel is a modern heroine – she may have lived her entire life locked inside a hidden tower but Rapunzel is no damsel in distress. The girl with 70 feet of glowing, magical hair is an energetic, inquisitive young lady who fills her days with art, books and imagination. She is full of curiosity about the outside world and can’t help but feel her true destiny lies outside of the lonely tower walls.

Tiana, the main character from the 2009 movie “The Princess and the Frog” was the most recent princess to join the court.  She was also Disney’s first African American princess.

The other 9 Disney princesses are:

  • Ariel (The Little Mermaid)
  • Aurora (Sleeping Beauty)
  • Belle (Beauty and the Beast)
  • Cinderella (Cinderella)
  • Jasmine (Aladdin)
  • Mulan (Mulan)
  • Pocahontas (Pocahontas)
  • Snow White (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
  • Tiana (The Princess and the Frog)
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