Disney: Say No to the Merida Makeover, Keep Our Hero Brave!
  • Petitioned The Walt Disney Company

This petition was delivered to:

The Walt Disney Company
Director, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company
Nidia Caceros
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company
Robert Iger
Executive Vice President, Chief Communications Officer, The Walt Disney Company
Zenia Muchia

Disney: Say No to the Merida Makeover, Keep Our Hero Brave!

    1. Petition by

      A Mighty Girl

Merida was the princess that countless girls and their parents were waiting for -- a strong, confident, self-rescuing princess ready to set off on her next adventure with her bow at the ready. She was a princess who looked like a real girl, complete with the ‘imperfections’ that all people have.

The redesign of Merida in advance of her official induction to the Disney Princess collection does a tremendous disservice to the millions of children for whom Merida is an empowering role model who speaks to girls' capacity to be change agents in the world rather than just trophies to be admired. Moreover, by making her skinnier, sexier and more mature in appearance, you are sending a message to girls that the original, realistic, teenage-appearing version of Merida is inferior; that for girls and women to have value -- to be recognized as true princesses -- they must conform to a narrow definition of beauty.

In an interview with Pixar Portal, "Brave" writer and co-director Brenda Chapman stated, "Because of marketing, little girls gravitate toward princess products, so my goal was to offer up a different kind of princess — a stronger princess that both mothers and daughters could relate to, so mothers wouldn't be pulling their hair out when their little girls were trying to dress or act like this princess. Instead they'd be like, ‘Yeah, you go girl!’”

This new Merida is a paler reflection of her former self without the spark and the 'you go girl' quality that her creator intended. 

We write to you on behalf of all the young girls who embraced Merida as a role model, who learned from her that they too could go off on an adventure and save the day; that it's not how you look that matters but who you are. For them and for all the children -- both girls and boys -- who benefit from seeing depictions of strong, courageous, and independent-minded girls and women that are so scarce in animated movies, we ask you to return to the original Merida that we all know and love. We ask you to keep Merida Brave!

Recent signatures

    News

    1. New Op-ed by Brave Writer/Co-Director Brenda Chapman on the Merida Makeover

      In her first op-ed on the Merida Makeover, Oscar-winning "Brave" writer and co-director Brenda Chapman discusses the message that she hoped her character, Merida, would send to young girls and how the makeover undermines it.

      As Chapman writes: "The message Disney sends to the public in changing Merida is that she is not good enough the way she is. In doing that, they are making the same statement to all the young girls out there. Merida is a character that young girls look to and say, “I can be like her – she’s not that different from me!” Or even better, they look at Merida and say, “Merida is like me!” So now when they see what Disney Consumer Products has done to Merida, it tells them that they aren’t good enough unless they lose weight, wear tighter, sexier, “girlier” clothes, wear lots of makeup and coif their hair."

      To read the full op-ed on A Mighty Girl, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/blog/?p=3556

    2. New Keep Merida Brave Campaign Page Launched!

      Given the tremendous growth of the Keep Merida Brave petition this week and the huge press attention it has attracted, Disney is clearly listening but we have not won yet. Now is the time to keep the pressure on and tell Disney that we will not rest until we receive an official statement from them promising to keep Merida brave!

      Many people have signed the petition and have asked us what else they can do to send a message to Disney that we will not stay silent about the Merida Makeover. We have just launched a new Keep Merida Brave campaign page with a "Take Action" section featuring several easy ways that you can make your voice heard.

      Visit the Keep Merida Brave campaign page at http://www.amightygirl.com/keepmeridabrave

    3. Our Response to Disney -- We're Keeping the Pressure On!

      Since launching our "Keep Merida Brave" petition, A Mighty Girl -- along with more than 200,000 petition signers -- has been calling on Disney to "Say No to the Merida Makeover and Keep Our Hero Brave!" Despite the overwhelming response from both parents and children -- and contrary to reports in various news outlets that Disney has pulled the madeover design -- Disney continues to promote the redesigned, sexier Merida and this version is now emblazoned across Target’s Disney Princess Collection website.

      We've released a new statement to update all of our campaign supporters on the latest happenings and our plans to carry forward with this campaign until we receive an official statement from Disney that they will keep Merida brave!

      Read our full statement at http://www.amightygirl.com/blog/?p=3443

    4. Brave Writer/Co-Dir. Brenda Chapman Speaks Out in Our Exclusive Interview

      We have exciting news for supporters of our "Keep Merida Brave" campaign -- Oscar-winning "Brave" writer and director Brenda Chapman granted us her first in-depth interview discussing the Merida makeover. In this exclusive Q&A interview with A Mighty Girl, Chapman shares her views on the redesign of Merida and its broader significance.

      She addresses many of the common critiques that have been raised about this effort ranging from the suggestion that the differences between the original and madeover Merida are insignificant to the belief that such changes don't really matter because "it's just a cartoon." In it, Chapman also sends a heartfelt message to all of the supporters of the true Merida and A Mighty Girl's campaign to keep her brave.

      To read our full interview, visit http://www.amightygirl.com/blog/?p=3392

    5. Reached 200,000 signatures
    6. Statement from 'A Mighty Girl' on reports Disney pulled redesign from web

      "We've been receiving questions from supporters asking about the status of our campaign to "Keep Merida Brave" due to several news reports that the new madeover version of Merida does not appear on Disney.com. While the depiction of Merida on Disney's website is important, making changes to a website are easy and easily undone; the true test will be how Disney plans on depicting Merida on merchandise now that she is part of the official Disney Princess collection.

      To know that Disney is truly committed to preserving the Merida we all know & love, we need to keep the pressure on until we receive an official statement from them promising to keep Merida brave! Given how quickly news stories fade, it's easy for a company like Disney to wait until public attention shifts to roll out their planned design changes.

      That's why the grassroots pressure from you is so important. Let's keep the momentum going to Keep Merida Brave!" -- Carolyn Danckaert, A Mighty Girl, Co-Founder

    7. 175K Signers & now in Spanish too!

      Thanks to everyone for your support for A Mighty Girl's petition to Disney opposing the Merida Makeover! We've gone up by more than 40,000 signers today alone! To help keep the pressure on, please share the petition with your friends and family. And, as of today, it's also available in a Spanish version at http://www.change.org/petitions/disney-no-cambieis-el-dise%C3%B1o-de-m%C3%A9rida-mantened-a-nuestra-princesa-indomable

    8. Reached 150,000 signatures
    9. 100,000 Signers!

      We've reached 100,000 signers! Thanks so much for everyone's support! Let's keep up the pressure -- please share this graphic with others and encourage them to support the petition.

      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=520134168022901&set=a.360833590619627.72897.316489315054055&type=1&theater

    10. Reached 100,000 signatures

    Supporters

    @RachelleLefevre

    16 May, 2013

    . @Disney redesigning BRAVE's Merida 2 make her skinnier & "prettier"??!! #KeepMeridaBrave. http://t.co/SMostgiUMl GREAT PETITION pls RT

    Rachelle Lefevre
    211k followers

    @LilyCole

    13 May, 2013

    I need to personally defend Merida! “@amightygirl: #keepMeridaBrave petition on @change m https://t.co/lNMn4Qd9fz” http://t.co/x98q1IV4lM

    Lily Cole
    13.1k followers

    @peggyorenstein

    06 May, 2013

    http://t.co/oo6cU8nNnF petition: http://t.co/Ka5oJS8eT1 MT @cosmartgirl: Another Disney bait & switch Great article http://t.co/whm92yyHjp

    Peggy Orenstein
    6.05k followers

    Reasons for signing

    • Rachel Mobbs HOUSTON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 2 months ago

      I don't think Disney should be teaching young girls that to be beautiful you have to look a certain way but instead that everyone is beautiful and I think Merida does that.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Sonia Marin tomas BARCELONA, SPAIN
      • 2 months ago

      Only movie for children where the girl is empowered and independent, without needing the figure of the man to get things done

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • fatima mussa BRADFORD, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 2 months ago

      please dont change it it looks ridiculous like that

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Julie Campbell SILVER SPRING, MD
      • 2 months ago

      My younger cousin idolized Merida for who she was and now Disney is trying to change that! I'm very disappointed in them. I don't want my cousin to think that she should be like the newer Merida.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Julie Wattus AUSTRALIA
      • 2 months ago

      I have spent my entire life trying to shed the beauty myth and I now have 2 daughters and want them to have examples of girls who are powerful and don't look like every other hollywood princess. Give us variety to represent the real world!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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