Thursday, October 11, 2012

Merida: You're Doing It Wrong

Well, it's that time of year again. Time for grown women to realize the slutty occupation of their dreams and little girls to transform into whichever princess they favor most. What a magical time. 

Make no mistake. Halloween is tough for the ladies. The choices are so limited. Even at the Girls's Costume Warehouse

Every year, the holiday unleashes conflicting feelings. Candy is good. Objectification is bad. Gendered polyester outfits are terrible. 

Usually, I'm most upset and/or confused by those found in the ladies department. (Sexy Waldo, anyone?)

But this October, it seems my biggest grievance came in a much smaller size. 


Look! Look what they've done to Merida!


Usually, the best archer of the summer box office is rough and tough. She's Disney's redemption; the feminist un-princess we so desperately needed. 

To quote myself--
Princess Merida doesn't clean. Or sing. Or (spoiler alert) get married. Her hair is unkempt, her eyes are wild, and her spirit is free. She races through the countryside on horseback, scales mountains, and reaches unthinkable heights. The liberated leading lady expertly shoots arrows at moving targets. She even rips her own dress to increase her range of motion in a defining moment oozing with symbolism. 
Look again at these dresses. Both costumes are much too fancy, not to mention totally inaccurate. These "Merida" impostors look like they're headed to a ball-- which never happened in Brave.

Consumers wouldn't even know the monstrosities were supposed to be representations of our fearless heroine if Disney hadn't branded the gowns. And why does it seem their young models just visited the Steel Magnolia's beauty parlor?

Regardless, the thing that made Merida so exceptional is that she was completely nontraditional. Unlike any of the other princesses, she was a young girl suited for action. And now, when other young girls want to emulate a worthy role model, they're deprived of the chance because the costumes offered this Halloween are insulting imitations.   

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