When I wrote my second fatherhood post, the one about Disney Princesses, I speculated that perhaps the problem most people had with the Disney Princesses was not the movies, but how the company marketed to kids. Since Scarlett is only one, my only exposure to the princesses has been through my own childhood and adulthood love of Disney movies. This Boing Boing post about the princess from Brave, Merida, proves the point – it’s the marketing that gets under everyone’s skin. Here’s the change from the movie version on the left to the marketing version on the right:
Here’s how Rob at Boing Boing summarized how most people were feeling:
Gone are the wild tight curls, relaxed now into auburn waves. Her waist is cinched, her bust inflated: skinnier and sexier is the new Merida, star of Brave. And gone, in some of the new art, is that troublesome weapon: no fit thing for a Disney princess, after all.
There seems a deliciously vile bait-and-switch element to it all: design a character that will attract parents resistant to the traditional messaging, then recast it in same old mold once they’ve sold it to their daughters for you.
No one likes a bait and switch; no one likes to feel like a sucker. Especially when so much praise was heaped upon Merida for being unlike the usual princess. Now I’m starting to see the beef people have with Disney Princesses.