Friday, June 22, 2012

An Open Letter To Princess Merida

Dear Princess Merida,

You are not a boy.

I know, I know. You figured that out already. Especially now in your teen years, right? Puberty, nature's ultimate enlightenment tool...

But I'm not here to discuss your body. Sure, it's solid evidence that, in fact, you are not a boy, but it's not the driving point of this letter. No, the driving point comes from a different place. A place where you are deemed a wannabe. A place where you are not allowed to know how to defend yourself and cry at the same time. A place where someone like you is scrutinized over and over and over. 

Why? Because according to some people in this world, you have to be one thing. The minute you step away from that one thing, you are either WEIRD or AWESOME. You can be weird because you're not interested in falling in love. You can be weird because you'd rather climb mountains than practice your curtsy. Or you can be awesome for the very same reasons. Depends on who you ask, really. 

And if you ask me, all I have to say is this: you are a girl.

Which means you are a human being (an animated one, but who's discriminating?).

Which also means that, similar to boys, you are complex. No one thing should define you. Like boys, you have every right to want and not want whatever you like. Like boys, you can love something today and hate it tomorrow, or vice versa. But unlike boys, you get judged by those very similarities. Sucks, doesn't it? Maybe we should get together sometime and shoot some arrows in the name of equality?? I'd totes shoot for that. 

So go ahead, my dearest Merida, be a complex girl. Wave your multilayered flag high. And above all, always stay brave. 


An Unbearably Complex, Multilayered, Not So Brave Female Person Who Wishes She Could Climb Mountains And Ride Horses And Shoot Arrows Without Fracturing Her Skull In The Process.



  1. I love this post and I want to give it a high-five! Some of these critiques of female characters I see seriously make me want to flip tables. At any given time, I'm a combination of tomboy and girly-girl, or confident woman and awkward nerd. Girls and women don't have to fall into neat little character types - that's what we're trying to avoid, isn't it?

  2. Love this!!! I was a tomboy as well. We can have it all!

  3. So well said...and along those lines Maggie Smith who plays Lady Violet in Downton Abbey said something along the lines of (and I'm paraphrasing)"I'm a woman, I'm allowed to be contrary." That is to say, we are complex, paradoxical and that's note- we are not!

  4. Thank you for the fantastic article. The place else could anyone get that kind of info in such a perfect means of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am at the search for such information.

    1. Thanks!! Personally, I loved two posts I read on the subject of BRAVE and Merida in particular:

      1) author Kiersten White's blog post titled BRAVE STORYTELLING:


      2) The Mary Sue's review of the film:

      Hope this helps! :D