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Brave New Girls

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As a young girl, I remember my enthusiastic interest for princesses in Disney movies. I was enchanted and by their beauty and elegance. However, as I grew older, I began to understand the characterizations of those princesses in the movies. Many of the princesses were portrayed as being dependent, weak, and attentive to beauty. They always waited and waited for their prince charming to come along and save them from their poor condition, hardly doing anything themselves. Recently, however, I believe Disney has changed their perspective on young women. A few months ago, I watched Disney’s new movie called Brave. This time I was also completely mesmerized by it, but not in the same way as before. Merida, the main princess character is shown as strong, independent, resilient, and decisive of her own future. She loves archery, riding horses, and climbing. In fact, Merida ends up battling and fighting for herself and her family. She is not fixated upon looking nice and pretty for her suitors. Her mother wants her to pay attention toward the “finer things in life,” such as looks and posture, so she can get married. In an archery test, four suitors compete for Merida’s hand in marriage, but Merida herself plays, and ends up winning, only to ask the kingdom for her own hand in marriage. She wants decide her own future, and not be pressured into marrying someone. She has characteristics of a young girl that I see in myself, and despite the pressures of culture and society norms, she defies them. I find her to be an inspiration to women and young girls everywhere. Through her, I see a new vision of girls that are smart, decisive, and strong. Therefore, I believe we should encourage this representation of young women throughout media.





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