“Wot’s with all the glittar?” my take on Merida’s redesign
Alright. I’ve been avoiding this but [apparently unpopular opinion] I actually like Merida’s coronation design.
I think the combination of Merida’s two gowns from the movie, with alterations as I’ve illustrated above, suits her well. The references to her archery dress is a recognition of who she is, the hints at the gown her mother gives her to wear is a reference to the noble lady her mother is training her to become, and the addition of the tartan is a nice reference to the leader she will become. I think, overall, those design decisions are solid.
That said. I think this whole new marketing line for the Disney princesses is disturbing, destructive, and terrible for their bottom line. Whitewashing Pocahontas, Mulan, and Jasmine was despicable and the design choices made for those characters could have rectified racist stereotypes that the original movies took advantage of but instead, they either kept them or used the stereotypes even more aggressively. As for Merida, I agree with Brenda Chapman. The unnecessary slimming down and sexualization of Merida is simply the icing on the sexist cake that is this marketing line.
I absolutely adore the Disney Princesses. I always have and I always will, regardless of the choices the marketing folks at Disney make. Even if you don’t mind the designs and/or don’t care about “social justice”, a large group of the audience Disney is aiming this product line at isn’t happy and that’s not good for business.