Merida and the Problem with the Disney Princess Franchise

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Brave‘s Merida recently over the redesign Disney did for her character. In the movie, Merida looked like a young girl with wild red hair, normal body proportions, and a simple dress suited more to riding through the woods and shooting arrows. In Merida’s redesign for the Disney Princess line, she looks like an adult with wavy, perfectly tamed red hair, a stick-skinny body, and a fancy sparkly princess dress. Many people protested the change, claiming, understandably, that the redesign completely undid any of the positive feminist messages from the Brave movie. Peggy Orenstein, the author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter, had this to say about the redesign:

Because, in the end, it wasn’t about being brave after all. It was about being pretty. (source)

originalRecent protest of the redesign forced Disney’s hand and the “new” Merida was removed from Disney’s website, but the battle isn’t won—not by a long shot. In fact, I’d say we already lost the war a long time ago.

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General Feels on Disney Princess Perfume

Disney-Princess-Perfume2I’m a true believer in the idea that kids should be kids while they are kids, so the idea of perfumes targeted for small children irks me.

Disney Princess Perfume is what it sounds like, and it comes in pretty themed bottles labeled with Belle, Ariel, Cinderella, and more. And it has very similar packaging to other Disney Princess products, which leads me to believe it’s meant for the same age group that their other products are marketed toward: young girls. From reading some of the reviews of these products on various websites, the perfume has been given to girls as young as three.

First thing’s first, I don’t like perfume to start with. It gives me a headache almost instantly. I was the reason Axe got banned in my middle school because I wouldn’t stop sneezing. So the idea of perfume doesn’t appeal to me.

And if you are an adult and want Disney Princess Perfume, that’s fine. But to target young children just sickens me. Now if a child wants to play dress up or put on make-up for fun, that’s one thing. But I feel perfume is different because you can’t just take it off like lipstick or high heels.

Marketing perfume to pre-schoolers seems wrong to me because it is sexualizing. Four year olds should be seen as four year olds, not as sexy ladies. And while you can say, “There’re high heels and lipstick for my toddler too, why aren’t you whining about how they’re sexualizing?” They are sexualizing; however, because you can take them off, you don’t have to leave the house with them on. You can’t pretend to smell like an adult; you either do or you don’t. And they’re small children, if you want to smell like an adult, I think you can wait until you’re an adult. And I personally don’t consider smelling different a “play thing”.

So is my hatred of perfume clouding my judgement on this? Should the toddlers be encouraged to smell like women? Let me know what you think in the comments.

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In Brightest Day: Disney Princess Syndrome and Other Things

While researching for an IBD article on Snow White, I stumbled across a syndrome called Princess Syndrome. The concept fascinated me. Apparently, Psychology Today defines Princess Syndrome as a girl who “lives life as a fairy-tale: focusing only on the pretty things, putting herself as the center of the universe, and obsessing about her looks.”

While going deeper, I found several blog postings discussing something called Disney Princess Syndrome. It got me to thinking; I could tackle every Disney Princess individually and point out that in all but the most recent Disney movies and Mulan, they only find happiness by finding a man and “settling down”… or I can lump this all together.

Disney Princesses

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Web Crush Wednesdays: Amy Mebberson

It’s time for another Web Crush Wednesdays! And week’s Web Crush is… *drum roll* … Amy Mebberson! Yaaaay!

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When trying to decide who to crush on today I realized that it had been awhile since we had any artists here, especially one that draws awesome ladies, and Amy Mebberson does just that. Amy is a cartoonist who has done several comics for The Muppets and Monsters Inc. Amy’s drawing ranges from a combination of Disney, comics, and various other nerdoms combined to make something amazing.

Check her out on devianart and tumblr!

I hope you all enjoyed my latest Web Crush!