Creative Expression Woes of the Trade

Ye may have heard about the controversy over Disney’s temporary redesign of their newest princess – Merida. On May 11th, she was crowned the 11th Disney princess, and in the process was given a makeover specific to the crowning. Why was she crowned, ye ask? That’s because she is originally a Pixar character, and not Disney. But alas, I be not complaining, she may forever be me favorite of the princesses.

So what’s with the controversy, ye ask? Well, according to Brenda Chapman, the writer and co-director of Brave, “There is an irresponsibility to this decision that is appalling for women and young girls,” and “Disney marketing and the powers that be that allow them to do such things should be ashamed of themselves.” She is referring to how the new re-design of Merida is being viewed as more mature and perhaps worst of all, sexy. [Read the original article at the Marin Independent Journal.]

merida_controversyPictured above is the difference between before and after the redesign.

Ok ok lasses. Back it up and silence the fire bells. This is what I see:

  • They gave her a dress appropraite for a fancy celebration (aka a crowning…)
  • They attempted to comb her hair
  • They drew her in 2D instead of 3D

Here’s what I do not see:

  • Cleavage
  • Leg
  • Makeup

Now, if anyone other than Disney had drawn Merida in this same fashion, there would not have been such a heated controversy. Take one look at any of the drawings of her on DeviantArt and ye don’t see anyone getting angry or signing any petitions, do ye?

I personally like the redesign! If I were to draw her, it would be a heck of a lot more revealing than what ye see here. Just take a look at the design of me character, Aoife MacLean, for the book I wrote with me friend. [Original Design Here, also shown below.]


And if ye think about it – she was a child in the movie. All children grow up – that is always going to happen. Ye cannot stop nature lasses. And let’s face it, if every girl grew up to look like that, the world of prostitution would be conceivably nonexistent.

What is wrong with looking beautiful? She already acts beautiful – that was not changed last I checked. In this world, one of the best ways to succeed is to put your best foot forward. If ye don’t try to look your best, then ye are not taking the best care of yourself. If ye don’t dress yourself appropriately for that job interview, then ye are not getting that job. If ye don’t brush your teeth, nobody will want to kiss ye. It is a reflection of how ye feel on the inside. If ye don’t look your best, then the world is left to assume that ye be not confident enough in your own skin. Who wants to feel like that? I sure don’t.

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