Disney gave their newest princess a makeover, and many thought they went too far. Merida, the tough, spunky heroine of Disney/Pixar’s Brave, was crowned as an Official Disney Princess on May 11, and it seems Disney thought she needed a new look for the occasion. Her figure filled out, her lips grew plumper, and her wild red hair, while still big and curly, looked more maturely styled.
Many criticized Merida’s sexy new look, including Brenda Chapman, the writer and former director of Brave. “I think it’s atrocious what they have done to Merida,” she wrote in an email to the 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 their official princess website. It is unclear exactly which Disney products will feature the new Merida down the line.
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.”