Two uncomfortable truths: New Merida looks a little whorey. Fewer people care about this than you would think.

Ugh. 

I sort of already hate myself from weighing in on this but people keep asking me to tweet about it and forward their petitions, and I really thought it would quiet down by now but it hasn’t, so I’m going to give my big, fat, stupid, irrelevant and probably wrong opinion on the changes Disney made from the original I-might-trust-her-to-babysit-my-kid-when-she’s-a-little-older Merida to get-the-fuck-away-from-my-husband Merida.

There are all sorts of calls to action to get Disney to admit that the new Merida looks a bit skanky and they’ve met with some success and that’s awesome.  Go team.  I hope you succeed.  But (in my opinion – stop yelling at me) the majority of people do not give a shit.  Mostly because we’re busy personally teaching our kids what strong women look like instead of letting Disney do it for us.  And in a way, Disney did us a favor here.  Did you have a talk with your kid about the new Merida? Because if you didn’t you missed a good opportunity to see where your kid stands on this, and to talk to them about over-sexualization.

I showed the new Merida to my eight-year-old and she assumed that it was Merida’s evil twin.  Which actually would make an awesome story, and personally I plan to tell stray children I see buying backpacks with the new Merida on them that the original Merida was eaten by the new Evil Merida because she was so hungry.  And they will probably believe it because seriously, look at her waist…the girl needs a damn sandwich.

Anyway, my incredibly dumb and probably ill-informed point is that it’s really uncomfortable to see a strong, child-like character get tarted up and flash bedroom eyes at you, but it’s equally sucky to rely on a giant corporation to teach your kids what strong women look like.  Strong women look like Amelia Earhart, Rosie the Riveter, Asmaa Mahfouz, or Elizabeth Smart. Or Wonder Woman, or Sally Ride or Sojourner Truth, or Amy Poehler, or Ada Lovelace, or Anne Frank.  Or your grandmother.

Or you.

I support and admire the men and women who speak out in the cause of feminism, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that there are so many amazing women who may never end up on a lunch box (Wonder Woman and Word Girl excluded) but who can make a great difference in the life and perceptions of our sons and daughters.

Okay.  Your turn.  Who’s your favorite female hero?

PS.  There aren’t any right or wrong answers here.  It’s totally okay to like pretty dresses and sexy princesses.  It’s totally okay not to.  No judgment.  Probably.

749 thoughts on “Two uncomfortable truths: New Merida looks a little whorey. Fewer people care about this than you would think.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. My mother. Followed closely by me. Because I have been to hell and back and got stronger on the way. Not brag, not ego. Just fact.

  2. It was Strawberry Shortcake or Wonder Woman as a kid. What about Ms. Pacman – they can’t whore her up, can they? Challenge accepted?

  3. My mom is my hero, always has been and always will be. She IS beautiful on the outside, but it is her strength, endurance and compassion which makes a beautiful person as a whole. She thought me that beauty comes from confidence and being grateful for what your body does, not what it looks likes.

  4. Well, I like what you had to say about it. I think you are right. This is a great opportunity to teach our kids, girls and boys about awesome women coming in all shapes and sizes.

    And also? Boobs make archery more difficult.

  5. And I’m not happy with the new Merida and neither is my 12-year-old daughter. She was a major fan of the original movie version and doesn’t like the new princess. Her response: “Are they trying to make her a caricature of a medieval cougar?” (and yes, she knows what all those words mean).

  6. I’m not sure I have a favorite female hero – I think if I do, maybe it’s my 8 year old daughter. She’s awesome.

  7. Other than you? I’d say my favourite female hero is the character Miss Celie in The Colour Purple. I’ve gone through two copies of that book already and can’t count how many times I’ve seen the movie.

  8. I admire so many of my close female friends, especially the ones who have bad the courage to move and travel the world solo. They kick ass!

  9. Sorry, should have said “less Diet Coke” (like the quantity) but “fewer Diet Cokes” (like bottles). Ack, thought I was being clear, but I was being clever and I’m never clear and clever simultaneously, and rarely either.

    (My editor set you up to this, didn’t she? 🙂 Fixed. Thanks! ~ Jenny)

  10. Disney already dropped their plans for the new Merida design in face of all the fan backlash, so that’s something.

  11. What I am frustrated by is anyone who has done even 10 seconds of research would see that Disney has already made tarted up Merida dolls already, some wearing even “prettier” dresses and some wearing frikkin’ crowns. They’ve also made the movie version of Merida dolls. It’s a single doll in a single merchandise line. People just need to stop and do some research and realize that Disney is going to do what ever it damn well pleases because it’s Disney and they can.

    Also my mom is awesome.

  12. My female role models lately are my peers who have said “fuck you!” to corporate America and started their own businesses. That includes women like you, Jenny. You quit your job to follow your dream. That’s pretty kick-ass!

  13. Honeybadger – I’m pretty sure that video was of a female in the video and she doesn’t give a sh*t! A big fan of any strong female roles – Hermione and Ginny Weasley, A Jolie’s character in Hackers, Wonder Woman, etc.

    Updated news: No worries – Disney has already pulled the new Merida so we don’t have to get upset over it anymore. They agree it was a stupid idea anyway.

  14. BRAVO!! Enough with letting others/companies raise our children… take a little damn responsibility for your own kids and teach them yourselves. ITS CALLED “BEING A PARENT”…

  15. Recently I’ve heard about swashbuckler Julie d’Aubigny and WWII spy Nancy Wake (a.k.a. the White Mouse). I don’t know if they’re my heroes or not, but the evidence certainly suggests they were awesome.

  16. My (professional) hero at the moment is a woman named Barbara Fister. She’s a librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College, and she is the shiznit. She doesn’t just bring up uncomfortable truths about academia, the shouts them.

  17. Temple Grandin. Odds all against her in a neurotypical world, and she went ahead and changed it anyway. Worlds most successful cowgirl animal behavioralist? Darn tootin’.

  18. Disney quietly replaced new Merida with original Merida on their Princess website, today. There’s still merch out there with slutty-face on there and Disney hasn’t made a future looking statement but it seems the petitions at least got their attention! I love your point about at least talking to your kids about it to see what they think! 🙂

  19. You! You are my favorite Female Hero! Brave enough to share some of your deepest fears, self doubt. Strong enough to take on Will Wheaton. Passionate enough to help others (xmas donation that snow balled, red dress). When your doll comes out – I want the version with the hair rollers! (and giant metal chicken accessory)

  20. I’m not sure who my favorite female hero is but I can say that I love that my Big Kid’s favorite Disney Princess is Pocahontas.

    I’d like to commend Hailey for realizing the evil twin-ness of modified Merida.

  21. Maybe I’m a little odd on this one but: the Duchess of Alba – that woman rocks, I would love to sit down and have tea with her and Dame Maggie Smith. I would love to hear the stories they could tell.

  22. Go you. Thanks for the reminder that we can’t ultimately shelter our children from the world. It’s better these issues arise while they’re with us (rather than after they go into the world) so that we can take it as an opportunity to share our views and values. Parenting, ultimately, is up to the parents, including teaching our children how to deal with unpleasantries big and small.

  23. Tina Fey, Wonder Woman and Jenny Lawson. I don’t have children but if I did, these are the bad asses that would appear on their lunch boxes, back packs, t-shirts and temporary tattoos.

  24. It took me a long time to realize that the movie Labyrinth was the only good example in my childhood of a strong unattached female lead character standing up for herself and winning the day that I had as a child. So I would have to say Sarah.

    (YOU HAVE NO POWER OVER ME. Sorry. Having a flashback. ~Jenny)

  25. I’ve never really given it any thought, I guess if I had to pick anyone, it would be my grandmother. Her husband (my grandfather who died when I was a kid) lost all their money, they had to move to the wrong side of the tracks. My grandmother worked six days a week to support her family and it wasn’t easy, while her husband gambled it away. My grandmother is my hero. I wish she was still here.

  26. I won’t say this consumed my life, but the reason it bothered me, and the reason I signed the petition, isn’t because I expect Disney to raise my kid but because there is already a surplus of idiotic vampy trampy woman-as-vapid-guy-receptacle images out there, including quite a few aimed at little girls. And yes, those images matter and yes, they do influence, and quite often to a greater degree than anything your boring mom and/or dad and/or other mom might tell you verbally. Image is everything, ’cause we’re a sight-oriented critter. Monkey see, monkey do.

    And basically I don’t think I should have to lock my child away from the world just so that I can outweigh all the stupid influences she’d otherwise be getting. I’m one person. There are 6,999,999,998 other people out there and many of them do not like people such as my daughter and myself who were born with innies instead of outies. If one mom could outweigh all of that scariness, we wouldn’t still need feminism.

  27. Molly Brown, Eleanor Roosevelt, Joy Angell (my grandmother), Julie Angell (My sister)…Anne Richards, Molly Ivins…so many really…

  28. Buffy Summers. River Song. River Tam. Zoe Wasburn. Rose Tyler. Aemilia Pond. River Tam. Katniss. Daenerys. The list goes on and on and on.

    In real life? My female heroes are my mother, my aunts, my Grandmother, my friends, my sister, YOU, and you know what? ME!

  29. I have to say I have a couple of women I admire much, of course my ma, but other than her, Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, Alisa Valdes, Amy Poehler and well, you. You are all very funny and talented women who make me laugh. Qualities I admire and look up to. 🙂

  30. Velma, Mystery Inc would totally have fallen apart without her. But the New Scooby Doo has her fawning all over Shaggy… I seriously kind of fucking hate that… a lot. So classic Velma.

  31. Awesome viewpoint, and one I hadn’t thought of!
    You know, I’d have to say my hero today is one of my close female friends. She has been through a lot, including a recent unexpected death in her immediate family, and has handled it all with grace and dignity. She has taught me so much.

  32. I know a ton of people will say it but honestly? You. And Allie. You both are strong, talk about the issues and problems you have but maintain your sense of humor and make me realize I can be stronger than I think I can. Thank you.

  33. Marie Curie has been my hero since I was 12 and did a presentation on her for science class. I have read and re-read her biography (written by her daughter) in French and in English, and once, finding myself alone in Paris for a few days, spent one day on a self-directed Marie Curie Tour of Paris. If I had a daughter, I’d teach her about Mme Curie as a role model rather than a cartoon. Thanks for posting this, Jenny!

  34. Dear Jenny,

    I’d be one of those who don’t give a shit. But if lil’ miss THANG were real? My hubs would be all over that shit. He’s got a thing for red heads. And apparently catroons with big noggins and teeny tiny waists. I can’t bring myself to break the news that she’s a motherfucking Disney Character, however…

    To all the peeps who are protesting/petitioning…may the force be with you. Lord knows we shouldn’t have any more skank-assed ho’s as Disney Characters. I mean…Snow While? Puh-lease.

    Love, Carm

    P.S. My fave female super-hero – or “hero” would be…

    JENNIFER ARCHIBALD LAWSON – obvi…

  35. It’s hard to decide; there’s so many to choose from…
    I think the biggest female hero I have is/was my great-grandmother. Short, squat, gray, with a foul mouth and a lead foot, I saw her calm crying infants, gently care for patients, call out a misbehaving man who stood 15 inches taller than herself, and fry potatoes while smoking, drinking, and talking on the phone (all at the same freaking time). I saw that woman ride the biggest roller coasters, bake the best pies, tell the best stories, and be there supporting you when you learned this biggest life lessons. If I end up halfway like her, I’ll be happy!

  36. Wonder Woman was my favorite as a kid, but more because I had a crush on her than because she was a hero. Now people I look up to are fat activists like Ragen Chastain, or Joy Nash, and also the sex positive Lacey Green. Also, I want to be Gabourey Sidibe’s best friend.

  37. I liked the new Merida but then I’m 28 yrs old. For little girls, maybe it isn’t appropriate. Halloween costume 2013? Hell yes… I agree with you about the corporation thing. I am not a mom, but when I am, I’m going to try my damnedest to be the one having the conversations about “strong women” and role models… whether boy or girl child. It’s a pipe dream now, but it’s my goal for motherhood.

    Favorite Hero: Wonder Woman. She was intelligent, beautiful and strong.
    Real Woman Favorite Hero: I am blanking. That makes me sad. Maybe Amelia Earhart or Sappho. Bitches had moxie.

  38. aaahhhhh i could not agree with you more. Disney ain’t never gonna be no harbinger of feminism and i thought Brave was lame at best even before they tarted up Merida and made her an official Disney Princess. AS EXPECTED.
    too many women who are heroes to list… but i’ll say that for recent kids’ movies, Dreamworks gets it way more right than Pixar/Disney for representing girls. I vote for Astrid (How To Train Your Dragon) and Vannellope in Wreck-It Ralph.

  39. Honestly, one of my favorite heroes is Jenny Lawson. You’ve shown me through your blog and book that being quirky and geeky are completely awesome and not a reason to feel awkward in your own skin. And also, because you know that your family is perfectly imperfect and make us all feel like part of your family by sharing your stories with us.

    Thank YOU, Ms. Jenny!

  40. Serious answer? Sandra Day O’Connor, because I started my law career something like 40 years after her, and it still sucked to be a woman in the “old boys’ club.” I can’t even imagine how she did it.

    Less serious answer? Katniss Everdeen, because she can shoot arrows and kick ass and restore political balance in a post-apocalyptic world, even if the last book was a bit of a letdown.

    Also (serious answer)? You, because, well, of everything.

  41. Margaret Sanger for sure. Where would we be without the Pill and Planned Parenthood? We wouldn’t be headed to the white house in 2016 that’s for sure.

  42. Rose Valland. She’s a heroine and an ass-kicker and we don’t talk about her nearly enough. Girlfriend was a spy in an occupied French museum in WWII and managed to collect enough information to save 20,000 works of art from destruction by the Nazis and then return them to their owners. Go read about her. Go. Now. http://www.monumentsmenfoundation.org/bio.php?id=296

    (How have I never heard of her? Clearly I need to read more. ~ Jenny)

  43. Temperance Brennan! Both in book form and TV form. Emily Deschanel (sp!) as well, just for playing a socially awkward, strong, beautiful woman who kicks ass and doesn’t care about taking names.

  44. Blurg. I didn’t even know this was a thing. Isn’t Disney’s whole deal about making it perfect?? Perfect princess, perfect prince, perfect endings. I don’t see the BFD, but I asked my two boys, ages 7 & 9, their opinion and they picked original Merida, because new Merida looked like an alien or a vampire.

    Any woman is heroine material.

  45. Let’s see, so many, and in no particular order…. Rosa Parks, Joan of Arc, Queen Elizabeth I,

  46. I heard, and I am not trying to stir the hornets nest here, but I heard that the New Merida’s clothes are Ambercrombie and Fitch.

  47. My daughter’s last three teachers have been amazing, and they’re all women. Our vet really intrigues my daughter too and yup, she’s a she too.

    My wife and I point out that all of these successful women were just like she is right now. They were all in fourth grade studying their state capitals and playing softball or practicing violin in school, and they all wanted to play outside but had to do homework sometimes instead. I’m off track, but the point was that there are great women in our daughter’s life and always have been. She needn’t look any further than her own mother who works full time and keeps the rest of us in line so the household doesn’t fall into shambles.

    Maybe we’re shitty parents, but my daughter has never giving two craps about Disney princesses in her life. People who even noticed the differences in the two dolls or drawings or whatever they are should probably find a hobby. My daughter saw the movie, I never have. I asked her to tell me the differences she noticed int he two above Merida characters and she said the one with the bow and arrow looks “kinder” and prettier. I don’t know what that means. Maybe the newer version isn’t as hot as everyone thinks.

    Preach on madame Bloggess.

  48. What a great, fantastic, sensible perspective. I love when people choose to teach vs. rant about a topic. Your daughter is incredibly lucky to have you. This is one more way that your actions show me that you love being a mom and made that choice understanding you would have a lot of work to do (and couldn’t leave that work to others).

    My female hero… Catwoman!

  49. You. Seriously. I was trying hard to think of who that might be (because there is actually a huge shortage of heroes in my life) but then it occurred to me that you come closest to filling that role. Sorry. No pressure.

  50. Helen (effin’) Keller.

    NOT a movie star or cartoon. And she didn’t give a damn what she looked like nor did anyone else for that matter.

  51. Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones. Not only is she the mother of Dragons, she doesn’t take shit from anyone around her!

  52. My mom, my Gram, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (although my mom and gram could very easily been slayers too now that I think about it…)

  53. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hands down. Funny and smart is a sexy ass combination. And as for taking anyone’s shit, I doubt it. Come to think of it that sounds a lot like you as well Jenny. That must be why you are up there on that list too.

  54. There are a lot of great women in this world that I admire, but I have to say that right now, Allie Brosh and yourself are my favs. You both have taken a lot of crap in your lives in the form of depression/ill health and are still mostly functional, very inspirational, successful women. I applaud you both for that. When things in my life go to pieces I think about you and Allie. Y’all remind me that even the most broken person is capable of greatness. (Not that y’all are broken. You’re just…aw hell, you know what I mean. You and Allie rock. The End.)

  55. I’m kinda looking forward to the “Slutty Merida” Halloween costume—it will go great in my closet, right next to “slutty unicorn” and “slutty tootsie roll”.

  56. I concur with the Buffy comment. My favorite interview moment in history is when Joss Whedon was asked why he keeps making strong female characters. His response? “Because you’re still asking me that question”.

    We’ve come along way, ladies. And part of that is realizing that we can kick ass like the old Merida, and still LOOK like the new one if we want to. “I want to be a f**cking feminist and wear a f**cking peter pan collar. So what?” -Zooey Dechanel

  57. My wife is a special education teacher in an inner city school, she has dedicated her life to teaching the kids society has already given up on. It is a job that gives her great joy,but just as much, if not more pain both mental and physical. Its a job with very few thanks and even fewer resources. Yet she always approaches her work with professionalism,passion and dignity. Think that qualifies for hero status.

  58. My daughter is only 10 months old, but every day, I get her ready to go to school, go to work, and then, at the end of a long day, I come home to her (and her dad) and we play. Because that’s what strong women do. (I hope that’s how she eventually sees it, anyway.) My grandmother, who raised my dad as a single parent, taught me that.

    The Merida thing is a bit overblown. But, on the other hand, what the hell were the execs at Disney thinking when they started down the path of tarting up a character whose entire point was to not be that way?

  59. Courtney Love! Just kidding…. My mom! She is brave and strong and when she was in the mist of chemotherapy treatments she didn’t complain once! She is pretty amazing and a breast cancer survivor!

  60. My mom! Totally and always, 100%. She has always taught by example… and though sometimes they were bad examples, like don’t lose too much of yourself in a relationship, but mostly they were good examples, like how to fix stuff and get things done instead of waiting for a man to do it for you, how to love your kids without spoiling the snot out of them, how to make delicious food, and how to move on when life gets hard — although after my dad died, I think we took turns leading by example on that one.

  61. I hate that they did this, but I agree with you that it’s our responsibility as parents to teach our kids about these sorts of things. OH, and I love Rosa Parks! I’d have sat right beside her on that damn bus!

  62. When I was a kid, my hero was Menolly the Harper from Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series.

  63. Yes. YES. thank you. The Abercrombie and Fitch uproar has me saying the same thing. If we are waiting for retailers to make us feel good about ourselves, we are going to be waiting a LONG. DAMN. TIME.

  64. You are one of my personal heroes. If it weren’t for you I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of being introduced to a group of women (and a few brave men) who listen to me when I am in dire need of listening too. The Lawsbians have saved me many many times. So thank you.

  65. Jo March FTW. Ok, or Katniss….Maybe Beatrice from “Divergent” or if we’re being ridiculously honest, which I assume we are…Cat from “The Night Huntress” series.

    I know, I know….but the books are fucking awesome and she is too.

  66. Since I play ice hockey (goalie) I’d have to say Manon Rheaume and Angela Ruggiero are some of my heros. The nice thing is my 10 year old daughter sees me playing and for the first time this year asked if she could play too. One of her favorite celebritys is Tina Fey and she has on more than one occasion said she’d like to be a comedy writer.

  67. My daughter is 4. Her dentist asked her who her favorite princess was. She gave him a confused look and answered, “Me!”

    She knows “princesses” as an abstract concept, but hasn’t seen most of the movies. Disney isn’t doing themselves any favors by locking the movies “in the vault” so even used DVDs are $40 and up, honestly – I’m not paying that much money for any DVD that doesn’t have a family member acting in it.

  68. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Pretty? Yes. Strong? Yes, but not always. And that’s the kicker. That’s why she has her friends. (Also? Pretty much any female character created or written for by Joss Whedon.)

  69. My female hero in fiction is definitely Dagny Tagget from Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’. She was fiercely independent and stood up for what she believed in. She stepped over her own family’s toes to do the right thing and see her vision through. She kicked some ass.

    In real life, my grandmother hands down. I would honestly probably ended up a drug addict or prostitute if it hadn’t been for her. She also showed incredible bravery as a young woman by moving to the US from England after WWII with a new born baby and travelling by train across the country to meet up with her newish hubby, my granddad. I’m honored to have been named after her and I live everyday thinking ‘WWGD?’ because I want to make her proud.

  70. The princessization of our girls makes me sad. But there is SO much else to teach our kids about…why it’s wrong that kids go hungry…why sometimes babies die…those two salamanders in the pond weren’t “fighting.” Teaching ALL our kids, no matter their gender, to give a shit about the world, and to convince them that, mostly, probably, the life they lead is so priviledged that 90 percent of the kids in the world can’t even imagine it, THAT is what is important. Merida is a little lesson. And little lessons matter. But the big lessons are the ones we need to concentrate on.

  71. Ellen Degeneres. I know she’s not a fictional character or cartoon (though she did play the role of a cartoon fish), but seriously, she’s my hero. She’s strong, courageous, funny, compassionate, and kind.

    You’re pretty high on the list, too, Jenny. 🙂

  72. River Song! Hands down my newest most favorite female. 🙂

    My kids are older and I raised very strong women. Not sure how I did it but I did! And that makes me happy.

  73. As a Wiccan, I have to remind my god-daughter that Disney does not even know what a real witch looks like. And a witch is the ultimate in what a powerful woman can be–once you take away the evil that some people think that all witches engage in. Honest, most witches are really nice people, a little heavy on the tree and cat hugging, but really nice.

  74. I don’t understand why people have their panties in a bunch over this… I see no leg… No cleavage… Just a cartoon version of this character. There are going to be differences between the cartoon versions and the Pixar versions… And not to mention… Look at all the other Disney princesses.. They show a lot more skin than this… Are people throwing a tizzy over them too? I think it’s really dumb… My kids watch the Disney princess movies and don’t dress slutty have a sexist view on them at all. These movies are just make believe fantasy stories for children and the adults I believe are the ones planting the seed to point out what things may or may not look like. Do you think that most kids notice or even care?! Mine don’t. People need to get over themselves and find another soap box to stand on. 😉

  75. I may be the outlier, but my only issue wit the new picture is how pointy her feet are. They look so uncomfortable, and no woman likes to be uncomfortable.

    My female hero is my mom. But if I couldn’t choose her, than Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas (founder of Orangutan foundation international)

  76. Joan of Arc, Rosa Luxemburg and Grace Hopper, who developed the first compiled computer language AND has a Navy destroyer named after her. (how fucking awesome is that?).

    I have never liked Disney from even a young age because they always seemed to infantilize and sexualize girls and women. Yes, my daughter went through the Disney Princess stage and grew out of it eventually. She’s now a strong 20 year old who comes from a long line of very strong women (my great-grandmother was one of the Silent Sentinels..) so yes, the example you set is more important than the propaganda Disney feeds.

  77. Seconded, Hermione Granger. Adding Luna Lovegood. She has my favorite kind of quiet courage that cuts through bullshit and says, “This is the right thing, so let’s just do it, okay?”

  78. Amelie, or more accurately, Amélie Poulain. She’s an Hero for living life, for fixing wrongs, for putting people in touch with their needs and desires. She’s broken as well, which makes her all the stronger. She’s clever, imaginative, resourceful, and a little wicked. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0211915/

  79. I had a few personal heroes when I was growing up. They included women like Jane Goodall and Amelia Earhart. But one of my favorite made up heroines was Catwoman. And before anybody tries to make the claim that she’s a villain, let me head this off right now by saying: Read. The. Comics. Catwoman, while not being a superhero, was generally a neutral character. She wasn’t all bad or all good. She was human. She made choices, both good and bad. But when the time came to make important decisions, like whether or not to help a woman or child in need rather than steal a precious cat-themed artifact, she always chose to help (and then go back and steal the artifact later). Sure, she was oversexualized, that was the sad fate of women in comic books until very recently. But she didn’t take shit, she stood up for herself and others, and instead of doing things because people just expected her to, she put thought into her choices and did what she thought was right or important. To me, personally, that ranks her above most female superheroes who really only do the right thing because that’s what they’re just expected to do.

    Plus, she had a thing for cats. And so do I. If they ever wrote a comic about Catwoman in her elderly years she’d probably still be awesome. Snapping her whip at the help and watching them clean out the ten litterboxes lined up in her garage… Or she’d be on Hoarders. Either one..

  80. My two cents on Brave – is that I really love that Disney finally gave us a character who didn’t have to pine away and marry a prince in order to be a princess. She was born a princess. She’s already one, in all of her awesome tom-boy, arrow-shooting, single-girl ways, and good for her.
    My own role-model and hero was my grandma, who married later in life, to a divorced and older man (scandal!), and who at the time was also her boss! I always loved that about them. She encouraged me to go to college, to travel, to be independent; and she was just as strong at (almost) 93 as I could ever hope to be.

  81. I have a 2.5 yr old daughter, and I am sure she doesn’t even know the difference yet on what is strong and what is skanky – unless her daycare covers this, I’m 99% sure they don’t *making a note to follow-up with the daycare. Mark my words, she will know by my example of what is strong, acceptable, and respectable – not Disney. Does it make me wonder why Disney would change the character? Well, not really – profit. It’s a parents responsibility to teach our children, not Disney. They aren’t really helping the whole, unrealistic expectations of body image, but either has Matel with Barbie. So to answer your question, I will be my daughters hero, as it should be.

  82. The only reason I see why it’s fitting (and forgive me if someone already said this) is because ALL of the Disney princesses got makeovers. None of them look like they did in their respective movies. I don’t see why they couldn’t keep the original images for ALL of them, but whatever. I don’t run Disney.

    As for my 5 year old twins, they like original Merida because “she has a dark blue dress.” So yeah.

  83. Sarah Connor when she’s cocking that shotgun with one arm and blasting the hell out of the Terminator. That was amazing.

  84. For me, if I had to choose. It would be Aunt Diana. While fighting ovarian cancer for the third time, she kept her head up and spirits high and was so brave in the face of everything. She spread love and humor to everyone who met her until the day she died last year. I can honestly say that without having her as my second mom, I would not be who I am today.

  85. I’m pretty sure that Skanky Merida is just the tip of the iceberg. Yesterday I was googling a product I saw on TV to get rid of some skin tags on my neck. ON MY NECK. Nearly every review I found was girls using it to get rid of skin tags around the anus because they’re “unsightly”. I had a hard enough time keeping up with the proper hairstyle in high school (for the hair on my HEAD), so this just makes me want to cry.

  86. Thanks for writing about this – you have great points! Brenda Chapman is pissed, too.

    My heroine is Ashley Judd!

  87. When I was a kid, it was Wonder Woman and Princess Leia, but then I realized that Wonder Woman did everything for that mindless Steve Trevor who was always getting kidnapped. Yawn. So, Princess Leia is is. Her boyfriend gets frozen in carbonite – she goes to get him. She gets chained up by a big slug – she chokes him with said chain. Pretty dang empowering. Of course, there’s the whole kissing of the brother thing that I just choose to forget.

  88. My mom. I ended up following in her footsteps and am a second generation nurse. I’m pretty happy with that. Also, I love Belle. Cause she’s a bookworm. I love that she can make books cool for kids and wish that got played up more.

  89. The movie was a bit of a letdown for me. I fret that Disney has dirtied Pixar’s magic water. The merchandising that floods the wake of “Brave” is irrelevant.

    Having read your opinion, I find I am with you on all of this.

  90. I agree – Disney comes off looking like corporate a-holes who don’t care about kids. I still think it’s reprehensible, but at the same time, a teaching opportunity.
    My favorite? Coco Chanel. And Tina Fey. Although this changes quite frequently.

  91. I agree with you that Disney/the television/hollywood shouldn’t be raising our kids, my opposition to the tarted up version is that it’s taking someone who was created specifically to address the lack of healthy, strong female role models in mass-media (Ripley, Brienne of Tarth, and Sarah Connor being some of the rare exceptions), and making her yet another waifishly thin pretty young thing. Mass media which women are subjected to from the time they’re children, telling them “THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT TO BE” and fostering all sorts of unhealthy ideas, mental disorders, and low self esteem on the next generation (and the current generations!!) of women.

    So bully for you for using this as a teaching moment for Hailey, and rock on Hailey for recognizing that this isn’t okay, and lets all try to make the world a little better by being our own awesome selves and not taking crap about it or trying to remake others into some impossible image that magazines, tv, movies, etc throw at us.

    As for heroes, my friend’s daughter, when asked who her favorite princess is, said “Princess Leia.” 😀

  92. Disney re-did all their princesses. They look all tarted up and crappy. Those of us who are huge Disney fans have been complaining for months about the new artwork. Cinderella’s hair is hideous! My daughter saw them and instantly said “that’s not the disney princesses, must be a rip-off”. So, voting with money (which means more than a petition), we won’t be buying any new merch. I was especially angry that the dress up dress looks nothing like the nice green dress in the movie, since my daughter won’t wear all the “itchy” crinoline and glitter ones they sell now- we were hoping it would be softer.
    Problem is, that tons of fans wrote that they thought it looked fine- Disney fan pages were full of happy fans that thought I was crazy.
    Oh, and to the commenter who liked dreamworks-
    Wreck It Ralph is a Disney movie- Vanellope is a Disney character.

  93. Not to be a kiss-ass here, but YOU are my favorite Female hero. You speak openly and honestly about both your quirks,and flaws, AND your accomplishments. You call bullshit where you see it.

    Should I had ever had a desire to spawn, I would have read your book to her. Your blog and articles would have been her first taste of the internet.

    You’re a wonderful example of how we are all a little bent, and that’s okay. We’re beautiful because of it, and in SPITE of it.

  94. My grandmother is my hero. She overcame some incredible life obstacles; bucked societal expectations in order to be true to herself; dealt with discrimination; was a huge advocate for others; raised an incredibly loving family; and recently, at 91 years old, I watched her play skeeball with my 4 year old daughter at Chuck E. Cheese. She thinks she’s just normal but I know she’s amazing.

  95. I’m not bothered by a female role model who looks sexy and embraces her sexuality. I’m bothered by MERIDA being skewed in that direction because that is basically the opposite of who she was. And there’s a major surplus of “sexy equals like, totally powerful” messages out there already. I love that Merida is a character girls can identify regardless of sexual orientation, because she isn’t crammed into the love interest omg you need a boy to be fulfilled narrative. Romance isn’t important to her and it shouldn’t have to be important to any girl if she doesn’t want it to be.

    But I think it’s important to recognize that as girls start to enter tween and teen hood, they be taught A. their bodies are okay and B. their sexuality is okay. I know it’s a crazy tangent at this point but I wish we could teach our kids how to be healthy without teaching them to be ashamed or to slut-shame.

  96. My hero is Eleanor Roosevelt. And I’d give a thumbs-down to both versions of Merida. Did you see the movie? She sneaks her mom some potion/poison and watches gleefully as she goes through the excruciatingly painful and maybe deadly process of becoming a bear. I didn’t get the “brave” part of the story, except for her dad willing to go after a monster, who had already taken his leg, to save his family. The movie should have been called “Brat.”

  97. Too many to name, I’m lucky to have a bunch of awesome female role models in my life. The first two that pop into my head are my Mom, she’s amazing and the one I don’t personally know (unfortunately) Betty White. That women doesn’t really care what people think she just does her thing. That is awesome.

  98. My maternal grandmother who traveled here alone as a young girl, leaving her entire life and family behind in rural Poland. My great aunt Kate who was driving her own car when most guys were still riding the trolley. My mom who grew up during the Great Depression and worked in a factory during WW2. My aunt Nell who in her 70’s bought a farm and had a canoe made so she could paddle it solo, and is now like 103. My friends who are survivors of violence. My two daughters who never cease to amaze me with their achievements, insight, and abilities. My gtranddaughters who at 6 and 2 respectively, are active, bright, and assertive girls who continue to remind me that there is hope for the world after all…

  99. This one’s tricky. I asked my daughter to weigh in and she doesn’t like the new Merida, but wasn’t sure why. Then she ran to her room to show me her ‘new’ Merida doll (I’m maintaining my status as mom of the year here because I didn’t even know she HAD one.) She had changed the dress and her Merida is wearing a modest dress that makes it easier for her to shoot arrows in. My daughter didn’t like the old dress because ‘How is she going to shoot arrows with her dress falling off her shoulders?!?’ Grateful that my daughter is smarter than the execs at Disney, but not really surprised. 😉

  100. I’m a bit offended, but not in the direction you’d think. I’d rather women not be judged as “a little whorey” or “skanky” for wearing makeup and doing their hair. The problem with New Merida is that she was designed in explicit opposition to the character of Old Merida, in the wearisomely unsurprising direction of Moar Sexy, under the assumption that it was an improvement and would increase her appeal. But we can go to bat for Old Merida without condemning the women who look and dress like New Merida on purpose, under their own steam and for their own reasons.

    (Well said. ~ Jenny)

  101. Tina Fey is totally my hero. I’ve loved her since the SNL days. Well, her and Daria.

    I agree and disagree with your point. I wasn’t offended by the change so much as disappointed. As Dana said, there are so many options already for skinny, half dressed princess characters. And the thing is, like it or not, most little girls will have some type of princess phase and it would be nice to have at least a few that don’t hold the stereotype. I don’t have a daughter, but I can see where this is all coming from because I feel like even having a son you run into a version of this. Violent characters, guns, etc. Muscle guys are dumb and real men are never sensitive and they don’t cry. And I’m going to have to deal with my son being involved in the media culture perpetuation of this in some manner whether I like it or not, unless I shelter him from it all. Of course we’ll be talking to him about it, but I guess my unfortunate point is what happens when it comes down to the toys we’ll be buying him and how that’s going to reinforce the belief that this is what little boys or girls want to have. I’m not articulating my point very well, but I guess I’m saying, nothing wrong with talking to your kids and also let the companies know that they’ve done something that stinks.

  102. Don’t they do this with everything these days though? I mean, have you seen the new Strawberry Shortcake dolls? They were definitely not that “mature” when I had them as a kid

  103. This week my female hero is the state trooper who did her job with an appropriate sense of humor amid the chaos at the procession/rally on Tuesday evening at the MN Capitol.

  104. Rainbow Brite and She-Ra were my go-to childhood lady heroes. And the Care Bears, because it was hard to tell which ones were boys and which ones were girls anyway. Androgynous animals projecting harmony from belly tattoos… This could explain a lot about the way I turned out…

  105. Temple Grandin…Different. Not less. She is the most amazing woman on the planet…and then my daughter, who is the most amazing young lady on the planet…and also has high functioning autism!!!

  106. My 12-year-old daughter morphed into a sexpot (or caring about being looked at as what 12 year olds think a sexpot is) overnight. And why am I shocked? Because they are bombarded with messages. She is so very talented musically and intelligent and all she seems to care about these days is straightening her hair, borrowing our teen neighbor’s push-up bras and texting boys. I tell her about strong women and she rolls her eyes because I know nothing. I was blindsided by the whole thing but I’m on full alert now. Just wait.

    (I’m sure it’ll happen with Hailey sooner than I expect. I’ll just remind myself that expressing your sexuality is a normal, perfectly valid choice in life. And then I will lock her in the closet until she’s 21. ~ Jenny)

  107. Hmmm, my baby girl went from a child-like innocent to a sexy woman, happens to most girls eventually. My beef with Disney is the dearth of good mamas for the female characters – Dumbo and Bambi had kick-ass mamas but they were fellas.

  108. I don’t know–I liked Wonder Woman a lot when I was little–and also Supergirl and Aquaman’s wife Mera.

    When I was five, the first Barbie came out and I got my first one for my fifth birthday —and I was one of the few girls who got a Barbie (the one in the tiger bathing suit) right away–because we went to Presbyterian Church–and most of our neighbors were Catholic and the priest in their parish preached against Barbie–saying she gave little girls unrealistic expectations of what a woman looks like and would make them look down on their mothers.

    Most of their moms caved pretty quick tho. We all had Barbies within a few months and we played with them until we were too embarrassed because we were so big.

  109. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t like the movie. I think if Disney/Pixar dropped the eye make-up, it would be better. She’s not exactly busty, but maybe her corset is a little tight in attempt to make up for that? Y’know, I’m a romance author and she’s a little gaudy for me. Give me your beaten, down-trodden, dressed in a hand-me-down sack pioneer woman any day. And add a tag when you take your kids to see a Disney movie: It’s just a movie. Take nothing away from it.

    But you know what? You’re right. I don’t really care. Star Trek is coming out this weekend. Now that’s entertainment news.

  110. When I was a girl i was obsessed with Annie Oakley and I still love her. I never watched the old Hollywood movie though because she lost the gun contest in that even though she won in real life.

    My main heros though are my mom and grandmothers because they are all badass ladies who taught me to be strong.

  111. Eleanor Roosevelt is my hero. “Do one thing every day that scares you” she said…and I do…and it is badass and awesome! Thank you for your perspective on this…it makes my heart sing 🙂

  112. I think you’re a pretty incredible woman yourself. I’m also very lucky to have a strong, smart, courageous woman in my own life (a former professor of mine) who is an incredible role model to me and a very dear friend.

    And while we’re on the subject…

    Angelina Jolie is not BRAVE for having a double mastectomy. She is SMART for making an informed decision to be proactive about her health. An example of being BRAVE is my mother, who fought breast cancer for 8 years, died before either of her children hit puberty, and made every preparation she could to ensure that we would grow up being cared for, being loved, and being reminded of her. That woman was brave.

  113. Every suffragette who fought for our right to vote, Margaret Sanger, and my mom who decided to celebrate her 80th birthday by hiking the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim in 13 hours (and my sister who gamely hiked with her– I just drove the car to pick them up on the other side).

  114. Hands down… My Mom. I could never do what she did – especially not with the grace in which she did it.

  115. When I was in high school (1986/87) one of my friend’s mother was in charge of our local school-related pagent (yes, I live in the south). She didn’t feel like she had enough contestants in the older age group…and as I had already volunteered to help (I dressed up like a clown to escort the little ones on and off the stage. Why has NO ONE figured out that clowns scare the shit out of kids?) Anyway, the friend’s mom enlisted me to participate…they loaned me a dress…I didn’t have to pay the entry fee. It’s the one and only pagent I’ve ever been in. I filled my paperwork out before hand and turned it in so the MC would have something to say about me. One of the blanks on the form was “Who is a woman you admire?” As the night wore on and other contestants did their turn, I noticed that 2 out of 3 girls answered that question with “Barbara Bush.” the others answered “My mother.” or, as this was the South, “My mama.” My answer was “Joan of Arc.”
    What can I say…I was a nerd and I’d recently been reading about Joan. I thought she kicked a lot more ass than the Silver Fox.

  116. I think the new Merida looks like Victoria in Twilight 1 &2.
    My fave femme hero?
    Amanda Fucking Palmer, she is the embodiment of moxy.
    The Bloggess, for exposing all you quirks and foibles and causing me to ’bout wet my britches w/your humor!
    Oh, there are a few more but I’m tired and my brain is on pause.

  117. OMG. First, your list, Jenny: YES!

    Second, some AWESOME additions in the comments – Kalinda! Daeneyrs! Temple Grandin! more! Helen Keller, mentioned by at least one other person, was also one of my childhood heroes.

    Third: my daughter, who is a most wonderful, giving, amazing (yeah yeah, yada yada yada – I know a lot of people feel that way about their own kids – but I have a collection of people who have come up to me to tell me what an angel she is in what she has done for others, so I get to say this 🙂 )

    Fourth? TOP OF THE LIST: YOU! (because you have done so much for others, just by being open, caring, allowing others to see inside you and share your pain – and joys – of daily living… for the Red Dress project; the Christmas Miracle; everything you post all the time. Thanks.

  118. Eleanor Roosevelt “Do one thing every day that scares you” she once said…and I do. Thank you for your badass awesome perspective on this! You ROCK!

  119. I think people and things are way too overly sexualized in today’s society. girls want to be viewed equal to men, but yet they wear short skirts and show off their cleavage. I am sorry, but that is not respectful. All it is saying, hey look at these, wanna f… Cover up ladies and be respected and you might actually be seen as someone who is smart, talented, funny rather than a sex object. This is something we definitely should not be allowing our kids to be part of.

    How about the Laura Ingalls and Amelia’s. How come we don’t have any of those kind of women around today.

  120. You have a valid point. And your point is not only limited to female characters but also to male characters as well. Do fathers or mothers unite when another more violent character is introduced by LEGO? Or do we react when family-friendly movies such as Cars or Kung-Fu Panda change into violent fight movies in their sequels. These are all products of some twisted adult minds. We, as parents, have to filter what is exposed to our children and how it is exposed.
    My hero is my mother and my grandmother. Even though we are completely different 🙂

  121. The only thing I found offensive about this post was your description of your opinion as being ” big, fat, stupid, irrelevant, probably wrong, incredibly dumb and probably ill-informed”. I’m all for self-deprecation (funny’s funny) but in this case, if you truly want to encourage your readers to consider the image of “strong women”, it might have been a better idea to leave the self-deprecation at the door for this one. You are a strong woman. Your opinion is intelligent, relevant and informed. Why diminish its value by ripping yourself apart?

  122. I don’t understand the fuss. They didn’t hike her dress up 6 inches and show her giving Mickey a blowjob. They fancied up her dress with some gold accents and gave her some make-up. Does that take away everything the character stands for? Is she not allowed to be conventionally attractive AND strong? Can only the plain princesses have values? If you want your daughters (and sons) to believe there is more to a woman than her looks, then maybe stop teaching them that looks are super important and strong, smart women can only look one certain way.

  123. My mother, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers. Deep-loving, more-than-meets-the-eye, hugely compassionate, and just as hugely passionate women, each in their own right.

  124. my daughter looked at the new Merida and said something along the lines of “I like her new sparkly dress” but then “they made her face and hair wrong and she should still have her bow and arrows and horse”. Then my 11 year old son with Autism looked at her and said “why did they put the wrong face on her? That’s stupid. They should get someone who knows how to draw faces better. And girls don’t have new faces just because they get older. Also Merida would totally be carrying weapons.” He assumed that the new Merida was simply an OLDER Merida, hence the new look. Then he said “I think they are trying to make her look sexy. Sorry mom, am I allowed to say that? because I think they are. Which is dumb because aren’t princesses supposed to be for little girls? Isn’t sexy supposed to be for grown ups?”. Then we had a good discussion about other extra cool girls/ women on TV/movies who didn’t need to dress sexy to be awesome such as Hermione Granger and Professor McGonagall and Molly Weasley who could seriously kick ass.

  125. I’ve been thinking about this a bit since several of my friends have weighed in. First, I want to draw attention to the fact that not all women look the same. So while Disney and other produces of movies, TV shows etc, cast females in roles that seem to equal unattainable beauty – it is not only what sells, but there are actually women out there who are that stereotypical beauty whether they buy it or not. I’ve seen plenty of reverse hatred for being “skinnier” – words like eat a hamburger come to mind and “skinny b1tch”. Women should quit ragging on each other period. It’s a huge issue. If more women stuck together rather than chewing up any perceived “weakness” we might actually present ourselves as actual – dare I say it – women. When I say women I mean the fact that all women are different. Some of us are skinny, beautiful by the book, heavier, not typical, smart, dumb, wise, foolish, talented, mediocre etc. So these Disney princesses do represent something in looks – $ for one. That is true of any television/movie etc. 2nd there are women who fit these types of looks. 3rd a very important thing we’ve all missed is how positive some of these characters really are versus their Disney male counterparts. Think about it – the princess movies show girls that are brave, independent, intelligent, heroic, fierce, sassy, witty, sexy, bold, daring – they go after what they want – they don’t take no for an answer – they buck patriarchal stereotypes. Look at the few male dominated Disney movies – Cars, Toy Story, Bambie – We have egomania, abandonment issues, delusions of grandeur, and idiocy. In the Black Cauldron that girl runs circles around that boy. The male figures in these movies have to “grow up” often times and learn realistic and thoughtful actions (even Aladdin who treats Jasmine like a thing). Yet, the females are amazing in character.

  126. I grew up in Germany and I have to honestly tell you we didn’t have any role models staring at us from TV, we only had three channels 🙂 it was a waste of time to even sit in front of that thing. The word role model never really entered my conversations until I came to the US. My mother and grandmother were normal hardworking women but I don’t think we had such a huge debate about role model, they did what they did and they told me that if I screwed up I was going to get my ass handed to me, the neighbor down the street and across the street told me the same thing. My point is, kids need strong parents that give a fuck and don’t look to TV to do the job for them and my kids could care less wether or not some disney princess gets a slut makeover, they don’t care about the princesses, they are outside playing competitive sports and knocking the crap out of each other until it is time to come in. Too much weight is put onto these imaginary figures and I thank you for pointing that out.

  127. Flo Nightingale, Anne Frank, Hillary Clinton, my best friend Megan, Natalie Portman and I’m sure some other ladies. And Jenny Lawson for reminding us depression lies.

  128. I have a couple.
    That I haven’t met (yet): you, Jen Lancaster, Cheryl Strayed, Tina Fey, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, Amy Pohler (what can I say, I admire smart and wicked senses of humor)
    Those who have passed: Maria Tallchief, Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn
    That I actually know: my mom, my maternal grandmother, and all of the strong women I know who have started their own businesses or established themselves as experts in their fields.

  129. Denise Richards. For putting up with Charlie Sheen’s dumb ass for too long, and now watching his kids.

  130. Rosa Parks, Tina Fey, my Nana, and Susan B. Anthony.

    (It’s interesting to see women that claim to be feminists using degrading language toward one another. The term “bitches” might need to be gone for good. It’s not helpful or positive. I will definitely not be using that term when teaching my 7 year old about strong women and respect toward people.)

    (I’m ambivalent on “bitches”. My favorite Tina Fey quote is “Bitches get shit done.” She’s totally right. ~ Jenny)

  131. Just when I think your Whovian self can’t be any cooler, you go and mention Ada Lovelace. She is one of a few namesakes for my daughter.

  132. So what’s wrong with being a little whorey? I mean looking a little whorey…
    Is she whorey becasue she is hot? Or because her waist is so narrow. You mention Wonder Woman, Linda what’s her name was a beauty queen with a narrow waste too. I loved WW growing up! She had boobs and and hips and beat up guys. Awesome role model!
    The problem in what’s her names new look is the exaggeration of body image and people’s fucking super sensitivity to exaggeration of female body image. It has been done for thousands of years. Go look at your college Art History text book and you will find along with french cave paintings little stone sculptures of fat chicks from practically pre-historic times! If you ask me the new Lass is headed in a better and more adaptable direction than the anorexics you see on Fashion magazines and runways.
    It’s a cartoon not a reality show (God forbid!). If you want our girls to have a good self image and better self esteem, start with them then images presented to them will follow their lead.
    Beside, since America’s obesity problem is boarding on epidemic, I bet there are more full figured ladies that could relate better to the new version rather to the previous skinny bitch anyway.
    Representing D cups everywhere yo!

    (For me, it’s the face that makes me uncomfortable. It’s hard to explain but that come-hither stare is what seems so unsettling to me. I could see propositioning the new Merida. Someone propositioning the old Merida would be freaking gross and would feel illegal. I think that’s the difference. But I’m all for representing the D-cups. Although I have to say that as a D-cup myself, it’s fucking hard to shoot a bow. I had boob bruises when I was younger and was learning how to use a bow. But crossbows are awesome for all boobs. Sorry. Totally off thread here. ~ Jenny)

  133. If i were to be frank, i’d have to say that none of the other Disney princess’ are suitable role models for children, so why should Merida be any different? Think about it, Bell in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ teaches our children to stay with an abusive partner because if you love him enough, give him enough, then maybe, just maybe, he’ll turn into the prince you always dreamed of. The ‘Little Mermaid’ tells us that men don’t want to hear what a women thinks, it’s more important to be beautiful (this is actually a quote in the movie, believe it or not) and that even if you show up for dinner at his parent’s house for the first time and try to brush your hair with the fork, it’s not insane – as long as your beautiful. and Snow White…well all I can say is who the hell finds a cottage in the forest and decides it would be great fun to clean it, and then decides it would be even MORE fun to stay and cook and clean for the seven men who live in the cottage? Disney has always had a skewed vision of what a woman should be. I’m not saying that children shouldn’t watch Disney movies, they are creative, and adventurous and fun, but it is important to talk to children about the underlying messages.

  134. I really like Rosalind Franklin, who basically discovered DNA, had the find stolen from her by her male coworkers and is only now posthumously getting the credit she deserves.

    Marie Curie, Ada Lovelace, Julia Howe, Margaret Sanger, Margaret Mead, Gloria Steinem, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Warren…and all of the women who have advanced us further with their contributions.

  135. Barbara Gordon all the way. She wanted to be a detective, but her dad said no. What does she do? Puts on a costume and fights crime anyway as Batgirl. She didn’t do it for vengeance, or because her parents were dead. She did it because she wanted to be a hero. Then she got shot and paralyzed. Did that stop her? Nope. She became Oracle, the one every super hero calls when they need information. She founded the Birds of Prey, the kickassingest team to ever grace comics. Barbara Gordon. I have shoes with her on them, I have a sketch of her on my wall. She’s strong, she’s smart, and she doesn’t take no for an answer.

  136. I didn’t know about this and am disappointed bc I love Brave! First movie we our daughter too. But there are bigger issues out there. Anyway, two of my heroes….Julie Andres and Carol Burnett. Love them!

  137. Harriet the Spy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Minerva McGonagall.

    Elenor Roosevelt, Jane Goodall, Charlaine Harris.

    I actually have no idea what kind of person Ms. Harris is in her life, but she writes kick-ass books. I want to do that to.

  138. Portia DeRossi – Ellen’s wife and a mental health/eating disorder advocate and survivor. If you haven’t read her book about overcoming her eating disorder with a fantastic discussion of how utterly f’ed up Ally McBeal was, you really, really should.

    Other heroes – Madonna – we wouldn’t be laughing at your sex columns without her; Sandra Day O’Connor; Tina Fey; Barbara Boxer; and Susan B Anthony (although she’d be horrified at our current state of political affairs in both parties).

  139. Thankfully in my opinion Disney has already made the new sexy version go away.

    Any woman who stands up and says she is an independent soul with her own voice. Whatever she may look like, whatever she may wear, however she expresses herself. If I can hear HER voice, then that’s a strong woman. (I hope that makes some sense.)

  140. I have to say, one of my first thoughts on this topic was, what an excellent talking point for parents & kids. But then, I don’t have kids and I hate the whole Disney princess concept and wish it would go away. So what do I know.

    My hero, the woman I would most like to emulate in my life (even though she’s younger than me, yikes!) is Rose Tyler. She had courage in the face of monsters and aliens, compassion for people very different from herself, and wasn’t afraid to stand up to ‘the boss’ even though he was so much older and smarter and more experienced than she was. She knew she had something to offer and wouldn’t be shut down. And she enjoyed the heck out of life in the meantime, trying new things, never knowing how it was going to turn out.
    Courage, compassion, doing the right thing even when it hurts, loving your life and the people in it: something to aspire to.

  141. Brittany Gibbons is my hero, for teaching a shit ton of women, myself inculded, to embrace themselves. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

  142. The drawing was from concept art that was done for merchandising even before the character design was finalized for the film. A lot of things changed, were chosen and thrown out.

  143. I am my own damn hero, because I am fucking amazing.

    I’m teaching my two daughters by example. They’re going to be kick-ass women when they grow up.

  144. Honestly, the before doll isn’t all that attainable either. Who gives a fuck. Childhood is about dreaming of sparkles, sand castles and fairytales. Real life will bitch slap’em soon enough.

  145. Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall Fraser from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series is one of my favorite fictional characters ever – smart, strong, and she travels through time. 🙂

  146. Umm, checked out of Disney at about “Sleeping Beauty”–the high squeaky voices got to me. The kids get their Disney at school–there’s a rant there too. The first heroine that popped into my head is Elizabeth Zimmermann.

  147. My grandmother. She’s 95 now. She entertained the local Grand Dragon or Wizard or whatever the KKK calls their leader in her livingroom and served him lemonade while the rest of his gang burned a cross on her front yard for giving a black man a ride home in the back of her truck after a long hot day of work. Grand Wizard didn’t know she knew exactly who he was, so she made him feel quite foolish when she ushered him out in the middle of the cross burning while arm and arm with him. She also didn’t let fools like him tell her how to treat people – and continued treating all her employees like humans no matter what their color.

  148. I honestly don’t care. Never saw the original movie. I’m lucky my daughter is 21 and can make up her own mind. I think most kids won’t see a big difference. It’s the adults who have the problem. And forget Disney. Pixar is the future!

  149. My heroes are some of the friends I have now – strong, smart women who are making their way with kids in tow and doing it beautifully. There are so many fantastic role models out there!

  150. I’m in the I kinda don’t care category. I get it but I’m like ehhh. And I like what your 8 year old said. Disney totally makes all their evil characters have tons of makeup on look more voluptuous. To me she looks like Merida as an older cougar.

  151. Fictional Heros: CJ Cregg from the West Wing and Julia Sugarbaker from Designing Women
    Actual people: Eleanor Roosevelt, Tina Fey, and working moms who also volunteer to help with kids’ stuff even though they have absolutly no time but can’t stand the thought of kids not having good extra-curricular actitivities.

  152. My great grandmother ran into her house, which was on fire, and she saved all 4 of her children. The baby, Archie, was sleeping in his crib upstairs, and she went up to get him. Threw him out a window to awaiting arms. My great Grandmother Eulia Sinclair died 3 days later from burns in Easton Maryland at the hospital. Even today, there would be nothing they could do for her. She was held back, told not to get Archie, but she broke free and sacrificed herself.
    I have a photograph of her wearing a very silly hat full of flowers. She doesn’t look like a hero, she looks like she had bad taste in hats. She also had bad eyesight, glasses perched on her nose.
    I sometimes wear silly hats, and can’t see a thing without glasses. I’m here to do that because of her sacrifice. Every day I have, and every day my children have, is a gift from Eulia.
    She was only 22years old.

    http://twodifferentgirls.com/2013/04/21/the-joy-of-the-lost-art-of-wearing-hats/

  153. Strong women look like Elizabeth Warren!
    I love that you bring up the idea of missing an opportunity to talk to your kids about this stuff. I think it’s a mistake (within reason, of course) to “protect” your kids from everything you might disagree with. It’s a great opportunity to provoke thought, and to let them know where you stand, and why.

  154. Portia DeRossi – Ellen’s wife and a mental health/eating disorder advocate and survivor. If you haven’t read her book about overcoming her eating disorder with a fantastic discussion of how utterly f’ed up Ally McBeal was, you really, really should.

    Other heroes – Madonna – we wouldn’t be laughing at your sex columns without her; Sandra Day O’Connor; Tina Fey; Barbara Boxer; and Susan B Anthony (although she’d be horrified at our current state of political affairs in both parties).

    Oh, and of course – Jo Rowling for giving us Hermione and the rest of the HP world where being a girl makes you smart and kickass and Anne Rice for giving us a world where the men are vain and cloying and the women are smart and successful (the Witching Hour series in particular has much, much stronger women than men).

    And finally, Princess Di – for giving up being queen because her husband was a cheating ass and she wouldn’t put up with it, and for teaching her kids in the time she had with them that power equals obligation to do good.

  155. Bravo, Jenny!! You’re right! I’m lucky. I have access to Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter whenever I feel like taking my daughter to see her and explain why she is extremely important. As a six-year-old, my daughter could care less right now, but that will change soon enough. 🙂

  156. I didn’t have a problem with the new Merida… I think the only thing once I was forced to really LOOK at it is the waist size (but since when have cartoons been accurate) and feeling a bit sad at the loss of innocence in that face (love the evil twin comparison!). Otherwise, I liked the rendition and dress and everything artistically. Speaking of skimpy- have you seen what wonder woman wears? (I obviously am not familiar with the story behind her- was never into comics, but I find it funny that there are so many comic characters that are much more skimpily attired than Medira… but I think it’s probably more because this is a children’s character.)

    No idea if any of that made sense. I completely agree that we should be talking to our children and giving them REAL examples and not relying on the media to give an accurate depiction of normal and what to strive to be…

  157. For years, I have said I wanna be Aunt Meg from Twister when I “grew up”.

    She was such a cool old broad. Love her.

  158. My mom is my superhero because she’s a determined fighter. And my mother-in-law is too. My MIL is a warm hearted giver. She will give anyone anything they need. Like a kidney. Like SHE GAVE MY MOM A KIDNEY. My daughters know that they have one grandmother who is alive because of the gift from their other grandmother. My kids don’t need superheroes because they saw THAT. In the flesh. They saw a dying woman come back to life, because of the generosity of another woman.

  159. As a child my hero was Mortisha Addams. Don’t laugh. She always made time for her children, encouraged their creativity, and she stood up for them when she needed to. As an adult I would say my hero is a woman I “met” online named Christina. I have a son who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about a year and a half ago. She’s a mom with two kids who have type 1 diabetes (a third who may wind up being diagnosed as well) and whenever I feel overwhelmed or like I’m going to fall apart I think of her. She handles things with the patience of a saint, also stands up for her kids, avocates for education about diabetes, and tries to help others. In my small little world, she is my hero. 🙂

  160. Great point. My favorite hero is Ani Difranco. She didn’t give into the big bucks of selling out and instead started her own music label so she could make her own music. And once that became successful, she signed other artists to her label so they could make their music too.

  161. Each and every woman I can think of who’ve ever demonstrated and taught kindness. Who were truly kind. My grandmother, my best friend, Leslie Knope and Anne Shirley (fictionally)

    Because kind is the best we can hope to be, as women and as men. Kind doesn’t mean soft or sweet. Kind doesn’t have to be brilliantly intelligent or particularly funny. To be kind is to be the action/reaction someone needs, without betraying or hurting yourself to provide it. Kindness is words and deeds. It’s comforting white lies AND loud painful honesty. It’s boundless enthusiasm and generosity AND knowing when to give up and shut up. It is never deliberately embarrassing someone. It’s apologizing for wrongs and standing up to give ’em hell for what is right. To be kind is to be good to others, without expecting anything in return. I think being kind is the exact best thing any person can be. But being kind also recognizes that another person may think the exact best things is ambition, or creativity, or whatever.

    I have no desire to be famous and the universe certainly can’t guarantee me happiness, but if I can look back on my life and say that I was a 1/10th as kind as Anne Shirley or my grandmother, it will be a life I was proud to live.

  162. My wife is my hero. She’s super-intelligent (two degrees in chemical engineering), super-kind, has a successful career, and is able to raise two beautiful children. My daughter loves her some Disney princess, but she knows who her real hero is.

  163. I totally agree! I don’t have kids, but I do feel like people get too hung up on what media is putting out there instead of just addressing it with their kids. Kiddos are smarter than we give them credit for!

  164. I like the original Merida much better. My favorite heroines are the women in the Armed Forces.

  165. Honestly… I don’t think she looks that much different. They are a totally different artstyle… one is more cartoony and one is less so. I don’t see the “tarted up” part myself… she got a sparkly dress and some mascara… big whoop… it’s called being 14. It’s not like she’s wearing fishnet stockings and leather bustier.

  166. When I was a little girl, I thought Laura Holt from Remington Steele was so very cool, because she was determined to be the boss, she wasn’t willing to let others tell her what she could do, her biggest asset was her brain, and she wasn’t afraid to get dirty. I watched the show recently, and I can’t believe all the causually accepted sexism the character had to deal with and that was just taken for granted, but nevertheless she was one of the characters that helped foster the idea for me that women can be strong and stand up for themselves. Oh, and also, Laura’s strength was based on and displayed by her intelligence and her basic maturity, instead of a superficial and annoying “sassy demeanor.”

  167. You are my favorite female hero. I turn to your blog to either cheer myself up or to read what someone I can relate to has to say. Yesterday I found out that I have OCD (which is bizarre because I thought that was for wickedly organized people. I’m severely disorganized. I have sticky notes all over my desk, and sometimes legs.) On top of which, I suffer from depression. It’s not easy to cope with, and few people in my life understand.
    Also, another strong woman I know is my mother-in-law. She has gone through so much in her life, yet she still smiles, and knows how to make others smile. She’s also the voice of reason. I feel very fortunate to be apart of her family.

  168. Harley Quinn, hands down. Since I was a kid, I wanted to be/hang out with/dress up as Harley Quinn. Which worked out as I ended up with a dude who is equally loyal to the Joker but treats me with more respect than Mr. J typically shows Harley. I have to add you, too, as I’m sure other people above have done (I’m supposed to be working so I took the time to read your post but don’t have it for all of the almost 300 comments). You gave me right to be weird back, you gave me the realization that crazy doesn’t have to hide in the closet, although occasionally it does have to hide under a table. You were the first blog I ever read and I went back to your beginning and read every single corking post like a meth addict, and laughed harder than I had in forever, and cried, and found other blogs to read. Now I write nonsense on a silly blog while I find my voice again. So. You and Harley Quinn. Epic fucking superhero mash up 🙂

  169. It was weird seeing her change because I thought she was cute to start but the makeover just seemed like she had grown up into an adult, I guess. And If you want to tart it up when you’re a grown up then that’s ok by me or don’t. My 3 kids didn’t even know any of this happened.

  170. My favorite female hero is Georgia O’Keeffe. She blazed a trail, did things her own way, saw the beauty in ordinary things, and didn’t give a crap what others thought. She rocked and still does!

  171. Just the other day I saw this and thought it was REALLY cool and if you’ve seen it already or is someone has already posted it then I’m incredibly sorry but seriously, you have over 200 comments on this post and I’m simply not reading them to see if someone else has posted it or maybe you have already but here… I thought it was cool.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2323795/Mother-shuns-Disney-Princess-ideal-dresses-daughter-REAL-heroines-history-commemorate-fifth-birthday.html

  172. As an advocate for victimes of crime and sexual violence, just mentioning Elizabeth Smart on your list of strong woman made me smile from ear to ear. So many people read your blog ! Awesome !

  173. I know a lot of strong and brave women, but I’ve admired Aung San Suu Kyi for years. And I’d totally use a lunchbox with her on it.

  174. I have two female heros! Katherin Hepburn by far is was an outstanding woman before her time!
    Then, there is you Jenny Lawson!!! Allowing the world into your life with all the good, bad and ugly things that have happened! You let others know it’s okay to Crazy and Stabby things, but let us all know we belong to your tribe! As for you blog today, you are on the money with this one!!! It’s a fantasy tat perpetuates girls having an image of the way things are to be when reality is it’s not! I say we take up a collection to feed that poor whorey creature!

  175. I’m with Jessica S and vote Marie Curie, and also Rosalind Franklin, who never got the recognition she deserved (alongside Watson and Crick) for her work on the structure of DNA. As a woman scientist, I am reminded all the time about how much we owe those first women who broke into a man’s world for our presence in it now.

    On a less serious note, I agree this is a good chance to talk to your kids about the revised version of Merida – love your daughter’s idea that she is an evil twin, god woman you are bringing up that girl good! I hope if I ever have a daughter I do as well.

  176. Abigail Adams, prototype for strong American women from the time of the Revolution. Today, Elizabeth Warren is starting to impress me a lot.

  177. Vanellope von Schweetz! She’s not my hero, but I love her for being a completely plausible little girl. It’s amazing how much that movie brought out my dad tendencies. I don’t have kids, unfortunately, but I’m a children’s librarian and as you can imagine I have a strong fondness for them. I wanted to go totally papa bear and destroy the world for making that little animated girl cry. Grrrr! 🙂

  178. My Grandma. She grew up in rural China in the early 1900s and didn’t take shit from no one. She eventually married and had 7 kids and when her husband (my Grandpa) had to travel for work she manned the family farm, which including fighting back when neighboring farms tried to take away their access to water. She was clearly the leader of our family and I just innately knew that from a young age. I am a strong woman today because of her. I miss her.

  179. Malala Yousafzai. She is so brave and I love that she refused to let anyone stand in the way of her education. I’m currently pregnant, and I actually considered giving the baby the name or middle name Malala if it was a girl. (It’s a boy, and I’ll be naming him after my Dad, who taught me the fundamentals of being a strong, independent feminist).

  180. I think at 4 years old my daughter doesn’t give a crap what Merida looks like as long as her dress remains blue and her hair remains red and curly.

  181. Adele, Tina Fey, Hillary Clinton, Ellen Degeneres, Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Obama, Helen Miren, Caitlin Moran, Lady Gaga…..

  182. I’m not that great with words. So glad others are. Hollie Mcnish, female poet, on why the sexed up cartoon is odd

  183. They changed her back and caved to the pressure. OK, bowed. But whatevs.

    I prefer old Merida. For sure.

    My mom is my hero. Cause she kicked cancer’s ass and won.

  184. My 7yr old daughter. She’s battled illness all this year, and has come out stronger than ever. She inspires me daily. She can’t do our annual swim for cancer this year, so she’s decided to donate her hair. “Because I know what it feels like to be different, and if I can help one child, I’ll be happy.” She’s the super hero other super heros look up to.

  185. Seriously, my hero was Lorna Cole from Lethal Weapon 3. Who didn’t want to be the female bad ass equivalent to Mel Gibson’s Martin Riggs? I still want to be Lorna Cole, even if I’m in a wheelchair, now. lol

  186. The point isn’t that parents are letting Disney teach their children, but that the normalization of sexualized female characters should be stopped. Same concept as the Hawkeye Project. The message that a female’s worth lies in her beauty needs to be stopped because no matter how much we teach our daughters differently, having this nonsense throughout society causes damage. For that reason, I was pleased to sign the petition and even more pleased that Disney has pulled this sexualized version.

  187. I agree completely, princesses are neat and all but I want my daughter to learn more important life lessons. There are all sorts of real life strong women for her to learn about and look up to, and that list includes a few who may have been princesses at one point.

  188. And suppose they had turned Princess Tiana into a white girl? Telling people to get over it is like telling African American mothers that they just need to be better role models for their own children and not expect corporate America to acknowledge the presence of darker skinned people when making their products. Merida started out as a tomboy, the anti-sexy. She was wild and free and she wanted to be useful, not just pretty. And she was created to show viewers that a wild, tomboy girl can be beautiful and skilled and wild and free. When they changed Merida to a sexpot, they changed not only her look but her *character* that had been established! They took the best of that character and made her just like all the other ones before. Yes, it’s fine to have pretty princesses. No one wants to argue that. But by making them *all* conform to one standard of beauty, Disney is saying that it’s the only way to be. They are saying that Merida wasn’t good enough as she was. We already love the character so seeing her bastardized in this way is disheartening. As a mother, yes, I serve as a role model to my kids. But I want them to see that there are other types of people in this world and to be surrounded by examples of such. So please, keep making interesting female characters and then DON’T CHANGE THEIR ESSENTIAL NATURE just so they are indistinguishable from the other Princesses. Love you, Jenny. 🙂 Just because I talk back doesn’t mean I don’t respect your opinion.

  189. I think it’s a cartoon character. Did they overly feminize/sexualize her in the new version? Yeah probably. It’s still a cartoon character. Teach your children to look up to real people.

  190. I’m disappointed in your lack of commitment to offending me. I feel like you mailed that one in. I wasn’t even a little offended…not even slightly perturbed. I’ll give you a C- and that’s being generous because I read the most recent cat posts and they left me in a good mood.

  191. Anaïs Nin.
    She lived her life as she wanted, critics and rules be damned.

  192. Cammi Granato – for helping bring light to the world of women’s hockey.

    My mom – for teaching me to fight for equality and that women can be anything, and can have real careers even very male-dominated fields like engineering (her) or technology (me).

  193. Two points. First, why are we so afraid of girls being sexy? I think changing the character is a douche move because they are saying the woman that kids loved isn’t good enough, but this idea that the problem is that the new one is more sexual just feeds in to the idea that girls and women shouldn’t be sexual, but it’s cool for boys. Slut-shaming does harm to girls and their development as sexually healthy beings, but it’s ok for boys to be virile and have buff role models because….well, why exactly?

    Second. My hero is Rose Grier, my third grade teacher. She taught me that math is fun, and it doesn’t matter if your handwriting sucks. She also told me that if people didn’t like me, it was more about them than me.

  194. My sister is my super hero. My Mom gave her up for adoption to give her a better life than she was able to give at the time. 18 years later my sister found us and rejoined our family. Then about 8 years ago she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. During that 8 years she continued to work as a teacher everyday that she could. She eventually got married and had a son who is now 5 years old. She continued doing all the things she loved right up until the day died, one day short of her 41st birthday, surrounded by friends and family both biological and adoptive. She’s my hero because even though doctors told her the cancer would kill someday, she never let it stop her from living her life to the fullest.

  195. to get back to the original question:
    you, my mother, my wife, my daughters, most of the women in my family, the first Nobel Peace Prize winner, Rep. Barbara Lee, and so many others that names escape me.
    Thanky

  196. If you want a great role model fora girl, I highly recommend Whale Rider. It’s a fantastic movie.

  197. Two real life women that I don’t think have been mentioned yet (sorry if they were and I missed it):
    Rosalind Franklin was the X ray crystallographer who helped Watson & Crick discover the structure of DNA. She didn’t get the Nobel Prize with them because she was dead of cancer from doing X ray crystallography. She was a woman scientist in the 1950’s at the absolute top of her field.

    Princess Diana did amazing work in the 1980’s with AIDS babies, back when others were afraid to be in the room with a person with AIDS. She used her real-life princess status to do wonderful humanitarian things.

  198. Scully from the X-files–smart, sensible but not afraid to cut into a dead body or pull out her gun when the situation calls for it.

  199. we watch charlie and lola and backyardigans. my kids don’t know the disney princesses at all, but we took them to the magic kingdom anyway. my four year old stood at the gate laughing- “why does the mouse wear no shirt and the duck wear no pants?” i stopped myself from answering “couple’s pajamas”.

  200. So many to think of, it’s difficult. My mom, who was an incredibly strong & tiny woman, standing at 4’11” at her best, and you did not want to fight her on anything.

    You, Jenny, for all the times you remind us that depression is a filthy liar, and helped me to help my daughter.

    Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. She kicked a LOT of ass. And got hers kicked back, but she kept coming back for more.

    Too many to list. So many wonderful women in this world.

  201. Dora the Explorer – for busting female stereotypes by making a tubby Mexican girl who likes to hang out in the wilderness equal to Malibu Barbie in terms of backpack adornment popularity. On the negative side, the little twirp needs to turn Swiper into a stole and ditch the bangs.

  202. Um … I like the new Merida. Maybe not in the role of Merida but hey … what do I know? I think she looks like a grown up version of the young girl. I don’t think she’s particularly scankie (stupid auto check kept correcting my word so I improvised). If we had seen this first version no one would have been the wiser and this would be a non-issue. I’m not sure it’s a real issue anyway. I don’t have any daughters or nieces or even young women near me to tell right or wrong from (I’m pretty sure God did that on purpose). I also agree with all you say. Parents should be teaching their children, NOT Disney.
    Even skankie girls need love ya’ll. I’m just sayin’.

  203. I showed my daughter the gussied up version of Merida and she says, “UGH, what’s wrong with her?” I asked my son the same thing – he didn’t like the new one either and actually called her ugly.

    I think we as adults/mothers/parents have to teach our children the value of a strong woman. My daughter was given the opportunity to perform as anyone born before 1980 for a wax museum project. She chose Amelia Earhart. That really is one of her heroes.

    Jenny, you are my hero. Posting about your depression and anxiety has helped me deal with mine and be honest with myself about how to deal with them. I’m thankful that I found your blog. It seriously has guided me through a lot. Thank you for being so public about that stuff!

  204. Oh and you, my mama, LeAnne. My heroes. I feel like I should have listed Mama first but hey, the list is in no particular order.

  205. “I-might-trust-her-to-babysit-my-kid-when-she’s-a-little-older Merida to get-the-fuck-away-from-my-husband Merida” THIS! THIS is exactly it!

    Female hero (or Shero, if you are so inclined…. 😉 right now. Malala Yousafzai

  206. My favourite woman growing up was always Miss Piggy. Strong, sexy, takes no prisoners and has a wicked backhand!!!

    My second favourite woman was Maleficent.

    I have issues, I know. ????

  207. I agree with everyone above that said their female hero is you. You are definitely my hero. So is my grandma. Also, Wonder Woman. I loved Lynda Carter’s character for being a strong, intelligent brunette in the sea of 70s blondes.

  208. Julia Child. She gave a big old middle finger salute to tradition and did what she wanted to do and made some damned good food while she was at it.

  209. I’m not trying to be argumentative or harsh or anything, I’m just trying to speak up for those of us who hate the new Merida, but who aren’t relying on Disney to raise our daughters. You make a fair point, but a lot of us *are* taking the opportunity to discuss these things with our children, and I don’t rely on Disney to teach my kids about anything, most especially strong female role models. But here’s the thing: if you can’t walk down the girls’ toy aisles without seeing sexed-up versions of female characters every ten feet (even the My Little Ponies now are taller, skinnier, and have thicker hair and big, painted, come-hither anime eyes), it can be really hard to reinforce what you’re teaching, especially when all your daughter’s friends have all the movies and merchandise. It’s all well and good to say that fitting in or following the crowd isn’t important, and kids need to learn that lesson, but for young children especially, it can be tough to feel like you’re missing out on something fun that all your friends enjoy. Try to imagine what it would be like to not be a Star Wars or Doctor Who fan (I know, it’s tough, but really *try* to imagine it) 🙂 and to suddenly wind up in a room full of people who are wearing the t-shirts and carrying on entire conversations strictly in quotes. You would feel left out, or just awkward. When kids at school have the lunchbox and the backpack and the pajamas and the shirts and and and…..it can be really hard to just appreciate the movie version and to remember what your mom is saying to you about oversexualization in mainstream culture. The fact is that there was just no fucking reason for Disney to do what they did, so why even do it? If girls want sparkly, fancy, feminine princesses with lush curls and ballgowns, they have Aurora, Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, Tiana, etc. Leave something for the tomboys and the adventurous girls out there. Make the next princess sparkly. Just don’t destroy what’s already good. Not every girl can be (or wants to be) sparkly and sexy. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for just a *little* reinforcement in mainstream culture.

  210. I think all my answers are already taken, but I’ll chime in anyway:

    Rosa Parks, Barbara Gordon (Batgirl/Oracle), Elizabeth Warren, Elizabeth Cady Stanton (who I think should have gotten the coin instead of Susan B. Anthony & if you don’t know who she is, check her Wikipedia page), Mother Theresa, Ruth Bader Ginsberg & Vicki Soto (the teacher that hid her kids in cabinets & told the gunman they were in the gym), Harriet Tubman, Xena: Warrior Princess and Starbuck from Ron Moore’s re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series.

  211. My guess is that part of the updates was to better fit her into the mold–literally–for the doll making and dresses. They have a whole line of skinny-busty-waaaay cat-eyed dolls with clothes and it’s just easier for everyone in production if the only change is a little color dye. I say dial ALL of them back–most of the characters in the stories are ages 12-15; Aurora and (I think) Ariel are 16. None of them should look like a 23 year old bikini model.

  212. Just one thing… you spelled judgment wrong in your very last line. 🙂

  213. The most beautifully strong women I’ve ever known-my grandmother, and my daughters. Granny taught me it’s never too late to be yourself, and that sex never gets old. (Ok, that was kind of a weird conversation), and my kids remind me daily that even if I’m still learning that ‘self’ lesson, I managed to teach it. They are the coolest, nerdiest, most creative and beautiful women I know.

  214. My mom, of course, with her rain-barrel legs and thinning hair, and with the kindness and funniness that made every person in town show up for her funeral when she died way too young at 78.

  215. Right now it’s Stevie Nicks, but you’re right up there near the top of the list…

  216. Isabella Rosselini, because she’s a beautiful woman who walks around without makeup, and she’s perfectly willing to act like a dork and/or dress up as a giant mating bedbug. Plus she’ll always be older than me. 🙂

  217. “I showed the new Merida to my eight-year-old and she assumed that it was Merida’s evil twin.”

    This may be my favorite line written on this subject. I like that girl you’re raising to be a strong woman. Keep doing what you’re doing.

  218. My “hero” moms are Sidney Bristow (Alias), Aeryn Sun (Farscape), and The Bride (Kill Bill). Three kick-ass mothers who are smart, fierce, protective of their young, don’t take shit from anyone, and aren’t afraid to express their emotions. I’m lucky that so far my daughter’s favorite hero is Firestar, who is presented as smart and powerful and has one of the least skanky costumes of female superheroes. Once again, your blog expresses my own feelings–why are we looking to Disney to mold our daughters (and sons)? As parents, can’t we look somewhere better?

  219. Emma Goldman, anarchist extraordinaire. Meg Murry (A Wrinkle In TIme, Madeleine L’Engle), glasses-wearing math/science nerd. Amelia Earhart, aviator. Amelia Jenks Bloomer, as well as her colleagues, women’s right activists and wearers of the radical bloomers. (The horror, the horror! ;)) The list goes on forever. 😀

  220. As an old(er) woman of 67, I would like to say this: I went through the whole man-resenting, consciousness-raising 70’s and 80’s, and was(am) a staunch supporter of women’s rights. It is so gratifying to see that you young women out there, many raising daughters, appreciate the fact that sexism still exists. I am so nauseated by these young, ignorant twits who say, “Well, I don’t understand what the big deal is. I’VE always felt liberated.” Of course you have, you dumb ass! WE DIDN’T AND WE FOUGHT THE BATTLES SO THAT YOU COULD! Thank you for letting me vent… 🙂

  221. I love Hailey’s response. The new Merida does look a little evil.

    When I was growing up, my heroes were Wonder Woman and Bionic Woman. Now my heroes are those who get put in a bad situation and rise above it.

  222. I don’t really walk around thinking about hero’s and all that, other than my favorite clever comment about “always be yourself unless you can be Batman”, because I have a son who should aspire to be Batman, is that wrong?! Although Batman has the best toys so, yeah, Always be Batman. When it comes to women I would have to say my female hero would be any woman that has overcome something from the past. I have seen several women who have had to overcome terrible things, like sexual abuse as a child. Some women let it run their lives today, my hero’s are the women who can pull themselves out of the past and move forward…always move forward. And not only in the case stated here, over anything terrible from their past.

  223. Queen Thirrin from Cry of the Icemark – quite similar to Merida, but rules her country as a real warrior princess after her father dies when she’s 14, joins alliances with werewolves, vampires and giant talking snow leopards and takes on an entire army … so, slightly more kick-ass!! My daughter also loved the book when she was about 8, and it’s still one of her favourites now she’s 14 – we both love the strong female character who does things her own way!

  224. i was hoping that this would be the one. that this would be the post that would offend me. no dice. better luck next time toots.

  225. My daughter. She’s 14, and she has moderate autism. She has taught me some pretty big lessons. 1) Life makes no guarantees, either good or bad, so go ahead and presume the best. 2) Sometimes real miracles (divine intervention) come disguised as disaster, because you must tear down to rebuild. 3) The best kind of success comes from beating the expectations.

  226. Sandra Day O’Connor – she graduated top of her law school class, but still couldn’t get a job as an attorney when she graduated because she was a woman. But she didn’t give up and eventually she could say to those chauvenistic asshats who rejected her, “Remember how I applied to work at your firm? And you wouldn’t hire me? Big mistake. Huge.” And the fact that I’ve seen her speak many times and she’s never actually said that (although she would have every right) makes her a bit more awesome. Because I would totally have sent them a basket of apples saying “I’m on the Supreme Court and you’re not. How you like them apples?”.

  227. Okay so I don’t think it’s entirely fair to go all out and call this design “whorey” or “skanky” The problem with the redesign is they changed the personality of the character to something they think is more marketable like the other princesses, what with the dress and make-up. This simply doesn’t fit with Merida’s personality. It is awful that Disney felt the need to change her to something like this in order to make her more “marketable” but it’s not right to say that it’s “skanky” or “whorey”, those are just plain old bad words to describe any woman as. While there certainly is a problem with women and young girls pressured to wear makeup and have this beautiful body, there’s also the issue of not recognizing that strong women can LOOK ANYWAY THEY WANT TO. There continues to be this idea that being feminine means you can’t be successful. Overall I agree that the redesign is troublesome, but I believe so for other reasons….

    Alos..manny of the Disney Princesses are very strong women, there problem genrally lies in some sort of last minute plot device that leaves the suddenly stranded and dependent on a man saving the day.

    I dunno just thought I’d put that down.

  228. Of course it’s important for parents to teach their own children about what they should value, especially in a role model, rather than letting any large corporation do it.

    The problem is, the corporations – with their huge amounts of money and social/cultural influence – will have an effect on the messages a child gets about gender roles as she grows up, whether the parents want that to happen or not (at least, if they don’t want to entirely remove their kids from society altogether). Given that Disney movies do influence children, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to expect them to use that influence to show us better role models – of all genders – than they have in the past.

  229. My hero is my older sister. She had two young children by the time she was 21, then went back to school. Had a house fire twice, became a widow at 26, became a social worker to help the elderly, calls my parent every week, without fail, lives with chronic pain, and at 58, cares for her 96 year old mother-in-law. She’s a fricking superhero!

  230. Both of my grandmothers. One had 12 kids and the other had 14. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it was to raise all those children!

  231. I agree totally and made that same point when this came to my facebook page. Stop letting Disney and other corps raise our kids. They are going to do whatever the heck they want to. It’s up to us to make sure our kids get the right message about strong women.

    My mother was my hero!

  232. My favorite female role model is Mother Theresa. For real, that woman was the shiznit! Everything she did was with grace and humility. She was a strong, tough as nails woman who stood up for those considered the least amongst those with the most.

  233. Real: Queen Elizabeth I. She built up the British treasury and military after her Dad emptied both. Oh and she wore some pretty sweet princess duds.

    Not Real: Capital Marvel. She can fly and shoot laser beams out of her hands which would totally be my super power if I had one.

  234. My grandmother. She was born in 1906 and almost made it to the age of 104. She voted in every election she was eligible to vote in and stayed informed on current events right up to the end. She had a wicked sense of humor, loved puns and wordplay, and probably did more to keep my brother and I sane through puberty than anyone else I know. She also baked the BEST gingersnap cookies on the face of the Earth, and I will do battle with anyone who disagrees.

  235. My grandmother was my hero, because somehow she had trouble conceiving (back in the 1940s) and still ended up getting pregnant and having my mother. Then, lived through bankruptcy and came out the other side better then fine. She truly was one in a million and way before her time progressive for sure!!

  236. The thing is they make sense for saying so because it’s not just very young girls getting pelted with these ideas, it’s adolescent girls, young women and older women. Ladies, the line forms on the right, and bring your wallets cause that’s really all they care about.
    By all means, please speak up, cause THEY have a vested interest (read, BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRIES) in you, and your daughters buying into being insecure in your own skin. and if you don’t say anything, who will?

  237. You’re my heroine, Honey, and my husband wants to know if you wouldn’t mind getting a little over-sexualized? I think he has a crush on you. I showed him how strong women handle that shit.

  238. My female hero is The Good Queen Bess – Elizabeth I. That bitch got shit done. And she needed no man in her life to make it happen. 🙂

  239. My mom, who raised 7 kids, all with advanced degrees, and made sure her girls could manage all parts of their lives on their own. Helen Keller, and Annie Sullivan, because without her, we wouldn’t know who Helen Keller was. Katniss Everdeen, Julie of the Wolves, Laura Ingalls, even Elle Woods, beautiful, funny, smart, kind and tough.

  240. Catwoman – The real one, Selina Kyle, originally found in Batman Detective comics. I collect all things Catwoman, I have her tattooed on my back, I am the local expert on Catwoman story line. Before you judge, she has the longest running female-lead-character comic book ever. Maybe not earth shattering, but a big step for girls wanting to be accepted in comic-book-geek culture.

  241. I did love Sleeping Beauty. She pricked her finger and fell asleep for 100 YEARS. How awesome would it be to actually get that much sleep? In all seriousness, I guess my Grandmother would have been my hero. She held a job when most women didn’t, could grow a garden like you wouldn’t believe, and then she canned what she grew. Yep. She’s my hero.

  242. My grandmother, she aged naturally, she beat cancer in her 60s she supported her husband while he went to college and raised six kids. She was caring, giving and would fight her hardest against any obstacle thrown at her. She lived through the depression. She was strong and independent

  243. Not a big Disney princess fan and glad my daughters are past the stage. Heroes include both my daughters, Shirley Chisholm, Ann Richards, Eleanor Roosevelt and Tanis Miller aka The redneck Mommy.

  244. Temple Grandin, pioneer for autism education
    Lucrezia Borgia, much maligned political powerhouse
    Marie Curie, scientist
    Jenny Lawson, writer
    Mary Donohue and Margaret Nugent, widows who raised 11 children between themselves, alone
    Peggy Nugent, mom

  245. As a woman with curly bright red hair, I love Merida and her crazy locks. I spent my youth and some of my adulthood worrying about being different, or as I heard often the red-headed step child, f_cking ginger, carrot top, fire- crotch, a gentic mutation etc. Too bad Disney is trying to change her. But my hero is myself…learning to accept yourself sometimes takes super powers!

  246. My role models:

    Opheria Eisenberg,
    You,
    My great-grandmother, who buys her own groceries and walks to the market every week,
    Anne Wheaton,
    My neighbor, Mrs. Quinn,
    My other neighbor, Mrs. Box,
    My mom.

  247. In no particular order
    My wife
    You
    My maternal Grandmother
    My paternal Grandmother
    Princess Leia
    Temple Grandin
    All the female Psychologists that have done their best to make me a more functional human being.

  248. Grace Hopper (who I am happy to see already made this list). She earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale in 1934, volunteered to serve in WAVES and served in the Navy Reserve. She was called back later for active duty. One excerpt from her bio: “At the time of her retirement, she was the oldest active-duty commissioned officer in the United States Navy (79 years, eight months and five days), and aboard the oldest commissioned ship in the United States Navy (188 years, nine months and 23 days).”

    She was a programmer in the very early days of computing, and coined the term “debugging.” My favorite quote from her, in 1952: “I had a running compiler and nobody would touch it. They told me computers could only do arithmetic.”

    (We can imagine what they were telling her women could do back then . . . )

    Her advice for young people: “They come to me, you know, and say, “Do you think we can do this?” I say, “Try it.” And I back ’em up. They need that. I keep track of them as they get older and I stir ’em up at intervals so they don’t forget to take chances.”

  249. My wife is my favorite female hero, hands down.

    I have learned so much from just watching her think, let alone act, on issues important in her life and in our lives together. I find myself trying to channel her mind whenever I have to think very clearly and cogently on difficult topics, or give advice in matters of the heart, or in anything at all, actually. She’s truly amazing. I’m lucky to have had her literally walk into my life, straight out of a crowd.

    The hand-made scones are merely a side benefit. An _awesome_ side benefit.

  250. Emilie Autumn. Girl had all sorts of bad shit happen to her and somehow still managed to turn into an empowering force for crazy girls everywhere.

  251. Also – my maternal grandmother. My grandfather killed himself during the depression and she just kept right on taking care of my mom and two uncles without complaint. Went to college when few of her contemporaries did, played basketball, ran track (in her bloomers) and insisted she be taught to drive. Grandma was awesome!

  252. My mom, Hilary Clinton, Fawzia Koofi, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Lizbeth Salander, Katniss Everdeen…I could go on and on. There are so many!!!

  253. While I don’t expect Disney to teach kids what it means to be an awesome woman without being sexualized, I still think that they should want to set a good example.
    The movie was such a hit – why change a good thing??

  254. My Bloggess,
    YOU are my hero!! Your honesty, vulnerability, and pizazz inspire me to believe in my self and to hold onto hope that I have everything within me I need to do whatever it is I was created to do.

    So thank you for being you and for sharing that with the world!!

  255. I’m confused as to why SO MANY women are pitching a fit about other women who have the prototypical “good” looks. Can’t have it both ways, and can’t shield your kids from everything. I’m no hero- and I’m sick to death of women who do their hair and makeup, and have a nice figure being slut-shamed! I fought against it so much while I was in the Navy. I made it through the 2nd hardest A school the Navy has, (the only one harder is the one for nuclear engineers) and had the perfect body, with blonde hair, blue eyes, and a tan. You know who treated me the worst? The other females, because no way could somebody be pretty AND smart. The only way women are going to gain any ground in society is if WE start realizing that we can be sexy as hell AND smarter, or stronger, or faster than our male counterparts. I don’t give a damn about the Merida makeover- everyone grows up at some point. The boobs will interfere with archery, of course, but c’est la vie! Somebody mentioned it already, and I think it’s a fantastic point- are the “plain” looking girls the only ones that can teach us valuable lessons?!? My entertainment heroes- Princess Leia, Lieutenant Uhura, Captain Janeway, Ms. Marvel, and Black Widow. Real life: Amelia Earhart, Mother Theresa, the WINs and WAVEs who paved the way for me to serve equally in the Navy, Susan B. Anthony, Marie Curie, Benazir Bhutto, and many others who carry on in everyday life, making whatever big or little changes they can to help.

  256. I am not pissed because I RELY on any one else to show my kid strong female characters, but it would help if they didn’t slut them up when they were fine to begin with.

    I showed my daughter, she said the new one looked creepy and gross, then she asked what was wrong with the original. THAT is what I have a problem with. These girls are now going to think that there is something wrong with how the first one looked, when she was quite adorable and looked just fine the whole time.

  257. Like most people, I’m gonna say my mom and grandmothers. But as far as fictional people/ people I’ve never met – oh wow, there are so many! I love this.

    I first thought of Buffy Summers, who, let’s not kid ourselves, will be my favorite forever and always.

    Then there’s Sandra Day O’Connor, Hermione Granger, Lucy Pevensie, Roseanne Barr, Tina Fey, Liz Lemon, Hilary Clinton, Eve Ensler, Claire Huxtable, Katniss Everdeen, Zoe Washburne, Oprah, Rosa Parks. I’ll have fun thinking of more!

  258. Joan of Arc, Mother Teresa. People (and Disney) spend a lot of energy on things that ultimately don’t matter.

  259. Molly Ivins, Bless her. I wanted to be Molly Ivins when I grew up and I cried the day she died. She fought the ole boys club of Texas politics and journalism at a time when few women did so and with great wit and charm. I miss Molly and she definitely deserves a lunch box.

    Barbara Jordan and Ann Richards, fine examples of strength and service.

    And now you The Bloggess, wit, wisdom, honesty, service and strength.

    All my heroines are Texas women!

  260. Uh, wasn’t getting married-off a plot point for the original movie? A few years after the awesome-warrior-princess stood her ground, shouldn’t she have grown into a sexier period of her life?? I say own the sexy and flaunt it, Merida. It is SO fleeting, so cash in on it while you can!

  261. Actually, my female hero is my daughter. She was born with Down syndrome and has overcome more struggles in her 6 years of life than many people go through in a lifetime. And she does it with a huge smile, a strong sense of self and total lack of concern for what other people think of her. I try to be just a little bit more like her everyday!

  262. I love Margaret Mead and Eleanor Roosevelt. Those are strong, smart women who deserve to be recognized for their awesomeness. There are others too……great conversation.

  263. I have Merida’s hair (so spot on that Disney owes me money) and I got more whorey looking over time, so perhaps Disney has it right. Or not. I really don’t care. I was simply thrilled that I no longer had to rely on Ariel as my redheaded princess role model, that I almost busted. A ginger and curls to boot? Thank you, Disney!

  264. As a mom of three boys, I don’t even know who she is…but I do know more than I care to know about Iron Man and The Green Lantern…

  265. MARIE CURIE! She won the 1903 Nobel Prize in physics, first woman to win the prize, and almost didn’t get it because she was a WOMAN. So she doubled down and WON IT AGAIN in 1911 in chemistry! Only woman to have two Nobel prizes.
    She had to leave her home in Poland because she was a part of student revolutionary groups fighting again Russian occupation, and went to Paris. She and her husband did their experiments with little funding, meaning they had to teach a lot of make ends meet. So she was a professor of physics – the first woman to do that.

  266. Grammar Marie – you’re awesome. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is really high on my list. Sonia Sotomayor (Supreme Court Justice, and I hope I spelled her name right) is pretty cool, too, and I don’t even know whether I agree with her politics. And Jenny, you’re awesome, too.

  267. Favorite female hero is Joan of Arc. Amazing story, brave young woman who commanded an army when women were merely housemaids and stuck to her beliefs even when faced with death. Amazing.

  268. J.K.Rowling. (And if he decided to get a magical sex change Harry Potter for sure.)

  269. My heros are my mom, who passed away, but was never afraid to say what needed saying and doing what needed to be done to be happy, healthy, and sane. You Jenny for the same reasons and for being strong enough to share your struggles and triumphs with the world. And myself because I’ve been through a lot of shit in my thirty three years and I want to make sure that my daughter always has a good roll model around to show her what a strong woman is.

  270. My hero: Jennifer Siebel Newsom (www.missrepresentation.org)

    For me it’s simple. It’s not all about little girls and Disney Princesses but perception and the media’s impact on society as a whole in how we look at and perceive females. As the mother of two wonderful ladies I can tell you that your influence over your daughter(s) will change as they grow and age. And as much as I wanted my girls to be strong, adventurous, bright and ‘their own selves’ they too become influenced by the media around them and primarily from their peers. That’s normal. That happened to me too.

    If any other demographic was altered and displayed in ‘some’ or ‘that’ way (whether culture, colour or religious belief) I’m sure there would be call for changes due to discrimination.

    What I believe………..is that we as a society need to be aware and work at changes so that females are not diminished to just a body. I believe that is important for all females and it is especially important for males to grow up and mature with an idea of women not as a set of breasts and a vagina but as a real person with thoughts, feelings and gawdamn brains.

    And in the Merida case, I was thrilled with this young strong BRAVE female character. It’s appalling what Disney has done – really – so where do we start? We start with protests and affirmation that this view of females needs to change.

    I’m a woman, a daughter, a sister and I have two wonderful women who are my daughters They are 30 and 27 and my experiences as a parent over the past 30 years have brought me to this point where I will sign up and protest because I want my grandchildren, both male and female, to grow up respecting each other for being people.

    As a feminist I tried to parent with that in mind for my kids. Things is, media is persuasive, invasive and has an influence that is hard to combat.

    Newsom is my hero because she is actively trying to change things. She has worked to bring this to our attention and she hasn’t stopped working despite the flack.

    Brenda Chapman is one of my heroes too. She created a wonderful creature based on her daughter and that character, Merida, was darn near perfect just the way she was. Reducing her to a svelte figure in a glimmery dress with flowing tresses quite simply removed all vestiges of an adventurous, thinking female. And that’s a real shame.

    I don’t have a problem with fairytale princesses, per se. I’d just rather be the hero-ess with the bow & arrows and the guts to go out and fight for what I believe in. And I hope my daughters feel that way too. But I’ve got 25 more years of feministing under my belt 🙂 so I know I have to be patient. But most of all, I think the message we need to share is tolerance, understanding, respect and compassion. To respect and understand people for who they are………….not for what they look like.

  271. I’m all over on this one….Morgaine from The Mists of Avalon….Mary, Queen of Scots…Elizabeth I (gotta wonder how history would have turned out had those two ever been able to meet face to face)…Sandra Day O’Connor…my equine vet…my sister who is terminally ill and trying to make every day worthwhile…Marie Curie…Stevie Nicks…Jenny Lawson…the women in my day to day life who just try to get it done and make things right….

  272. I’ve never been much for heroes, but the women in my family are certainly admirable, my mom especially.

    I think the Merida debate is maddening for some people because she was the first to break out of the mold, although she’s technically Pixar rather than Disney (which Pixar tends to lean more toward more “realistic” and likable characters that actually are good role models). I loved Brave because of that. But, it’s interesting that people care enough to spark the debate in the first place.

  273. Another don’t give a shit checking in!! My tween and teen don’t care either. They think they are too cool for Disney. I say you are never too cool for Mickey, Minnie, Donald, et al.

    As far as a hero, I’d say Tina Fey is way up there for me. And Wonder Woman, but the one played by Lynda Carter. She had the coolest plane, and bracelets. Sure could use that truth rope with a tween and teen too.

  274. Nausicaa, from “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind”. Best female character EVER.

  275. Great points you made about keeping the Merida thing in perspective. Love the evil twin idea. Write it and sell it to Disney Jenny! I do still strongly feel the original Merida didn’t need any changing and am sticking to that.

    My fave fictional female hero (as you might guess) is Kira Nyres from Star Trek Deep Space Nine.
    She was very pretty and sexy but that is not why. ( she even did have an evil alter ego in a few eps!) Kira was a fierce freedom fighter for her country and kicked butt in battle. A great friend and coworker to those on the station – admired and loved by them. Assertive and strong, sticking to her principles when she needed to. Smart and competent as the Captain’s second in command. One of her most interesting facets to me was her strong faith as a Bajoran (I’ll just leave that be). Who couldn’t see that as a woman to want to be like? She was played brilliantly by Nana Visitor.

    IRL – Helen Keller. Because of all she overcame. The difference she made with her life in the world despite her “disabilities”. Amazing strength and wisdom – so inspiring.

  276. The only thing you’re wrong about is the reference to your opinion as “incredibly dumb and probably ill-informed point.” It can’t be dumb or ill-informed because I just made a similar point on my friend Marie’s Facebook page (which I just see she mentioned in her response to your blog). And I am neither dumb nor ill-informed. So there!

  277. Jaime Sommers
    Batgirl (Dude, she was a LIBRARIAN!)
    Catwoman
    The original Charlie’s Angels. (Hello, I know I’m revealing my age here, okay? I’m good with it.)
    Ellen Ripley

    Sticking with the media ones here because of the post itself. I was impressed, even as a kid, by how human Jaime Sommers was. A school teacher. Afraid of snakes. Good to her adoptive parents.