Monday, May 20, 2013

Image Problem

There was a lot of tumult in our house last week. Not only did we have a son turning sixteen and all the attendant excitement that surrounds such a passage, we also had to contend with the re-designing of Princess Merida. If you missed it, and who could believe in a world of Benghazi and IRS investigations, the folks at Walt Disney decided to elevate their fictional character, Merida from the film Brave, to full Princess status. That means she gets to be featured right alongside the rest of the princessly pantheon that includes such notables as Cinderella, Snow White, and Belle.
Good deal, right? Except first they had to gussy her up a bit. That meant dropping her gown off her shoulder a bit, then giving her just a little come hither through the heather in her eyes. And the part that got the most objection was the loss of her bow. It was the part of Merida that set her apart from some of her other peers. She is a crack shot and wasn't going to simply give up her life to be married to live happily ever after. Never mind that these wishes eventually get her into more trouble, you'll have to see the film to find out about that, but when you're selling dolls to girls you probably aren't thinking "action figures."
Never fear. There was enough outrage stirred in that first week to get The Mouse House to reconsider their makeover. Hundreds of thousands of parents, kids and fans of Merida petitioned to have this redo undone. As is their way, Disney capitulated, and has reverted to the way she appeared in her Academy Award winning movie. A triumph for the people. It made me wonder what Katniss Everdeen would have done. I'm also thinking of putting together a petition to ask for the pre-Beghazi Obama restored to the White House.

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