Spark! Merida’s Creator Fires Back at Disney

braveBravo to Brave writer and co-director Brenda Chapman, who fired back against Disney for it’s extreme makeover of feisty main character Merida from natural beauty to sexy siren: “There is an irresponsibility to this decision that is appalling for women and young girls,” she said in an email to the Marin Independent Journal. “Disney marketing and the powers that be that allow them to do such things should be ashamed of themselves.”

Want to express your own outrage? Sign the petition started by A Mighty Girl.

…In a related note, we have been thinking a lot about  a recent article about the sexualization of girls published The New York Times. The article — A Line Between Sweet and Skimpy — includes some great advice from parenting experts, as well as important facts like this zinger from Kenyon College professor Sarah K. Murnen, who called the sexy clothes trend, “particularly alarming because her research indicates that when adults look at girls dressed in sexualized clothing, they take them less seriously.”

Also, did you see the results of  Today show survey of 7,000 U.S. mothers? They said “42 percent said that they sometimes suffer from Pinterest stress – the worry that they’re not crafty or creative enough.” Does this sound familiar to you? Read Common Sense Media editor Sierra Filucci’s response:

“It’s so easy to get caught up in their poignant photos and celebratory posts about kids’ accomplishments and start believing that this carefully curated online identity is actually the sum of your mom friends’ lives… And so, just like we tell our kids to avoid looking to social networks for validation by hanging on every comment and “like,” we need to tell ourselves the same thing. These lives you see online are deceptive — they appear to be intimate portraits of families that are much better organized and having way more fun than you — but they’re only part of the story.”

 ONE LAST THING: This is Children’s Book Week, and a great time to celebrate reading — and all the important lessons we can learn from smart, savvy characters. Make sure you check out Allison Kenny’s blog, 10 things  learned by writing “Starring Celia,” to find out more about this great book (including how to buy your own copy).