The One Disney Princess That Doesn't Get Enough Praise
Like most people, I grew up watching Disney movies pretty much constantly. Disney's Robin Hood played in my house for most of my childhood — at least, until my siblings and I knew all of the words to it. It soon became an annual occurrence to go see the latest Disney animation when it came out, especially as they were often released around my birthday. Beauty And The Beast was the first I saw on the big screen, and it started a major tradition, swiftly followed by Aladdin, then The Lion King the next. Re-watching Disney movies as an adult can sometimes be a little disappointing, especially when your over-analytical brain starts noticing a plethora of things you didn't realize were there as a kid, or relating plot lines to sexism or racism. Luckily, Disney princesses have progressed, becoming more and more feminist as time goes on. And there's one Disney princess that doesn't get enough praise for inspiring women everywhere: And that's Merida from Brave.
The princesses in Frozen are undoubtedly feminist role models and, by the sounds of it, Moana is due to be an inspiring movie when it's released in 2018 in large part because it features Disney's first Polynesian princess. But, for now at least, Merida from Brave is one of the most kick-ass Disney role models there is, and she definitely deserves more recognition than she gets.
One of the most empowering and feminist moments in Brave occurs when Merida discovered she is about to be married off by her family. As a princess of a Medieval Scottish clan, Merida is a real catch, and many clans arrive with their first-born sons who plan to compete for her hand in marriage. However, Merida isn't ready to sit back and watch a group of men fight over her independence. As she's the first-born of Clan Dunbroch, Merida announces that she is eligible to compete against all of her suitors in an archery contest. Of course, having been given a bow and arrows by her dad when she was little, she wins this competition with ease.
The majority of Disney films revolve around princesses marrying princes, often having been saved from imminent danger by the prince beforehand. It's so refreshing that Merida is a princess uninterested in being betrothed and married off to a stranger. She's not looking for a savior, and instead wishes to save herself. Her independence and strength of character is the most important thing to her. This is such a great message for women everywhere and, as such, Merida is the ultimate role model.
I'm still hoping for a sequel to Brave, as Merida definitely deserves to have more of her story told on the big screen.
Images: Walt Disney Pictures; Pixar; Giphy