i first learned about what disney was doing to merida, the main character from "brave", from this post. i really recommend you go over there to see the pictures & the explanations of why it's so wrong.
i had mixed feelings about the movie itself, which i wrote about at the time. as i said then, it's not the best film ever, but there were still plenty of positives and i thought it was a huge improvement on many of disney's previous efforts. now, if only they could keep all those positive characteristics, and have the main character not be a princess. although, mulan was apparently not a princess, so maybe they get a couple of points for that one.
but regardless of what you think of the film, it's not like merida was significantly different to the shape of other disney female characters - she's still pretty slim, lots of hair, big round eyes (ok, again with the exception of mulan). but her traditional image is less sexualised & more of an action figure.
so why the need to make her skinnier still, with the head tilt, the arched eyebrows & the loss of her bow & arrows? why change something that was working?
there's now a petition against the change, which you can find here:
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.
as with the changes that were proposed for dora, it's important to fight back against the constant pressure created by images presented to us of female characters. we all deserve better.