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Article

The Upshot on Princess Merida in Disney/Pixar’s Brave: Why the Tomboy Trajectory Is Off Target

Department of Sociology, McDaniel College, Westminster, MD 21157, USA
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030083
Received: 25 June 2020 / Revised: 12 August 2020 / Accepted: 14 August 2020 / Published: 16 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Cultural Studies & Critical Theory in the Humanities)
Princess Merida, the “tomboy” princess in Disney/Pixar’s Brave, won praise for escaping the strictures of femininity and maternal demands for feminine propriety. In addition to her overt defiance of gender roles and demand for agency, Merida also enacts hegemonic masculinity by mocking her suitors during an archery contest in which she is the prize. The ridicule is the prelude to her dramatic, winning bullseye that feminizes the men, in a scene rich in symbolism about gender and power. In enacting the final phase of the tomboy paradigm, however, Merida reverses her trajectory as her rebellion against femininity ebbs. She then resolves conflict by displaying vulnerability rather than performing brave deeds. This marked shift to a more traditional gender role raises questions about her stature as a model of autonomy able to withstand the pressure to conform. View Full-Text
Keywords: Disney princess; gender stereotypes; hegemonic masculinity; gender roles; archery; bullseye; humor; tomboy; emasculation Disney princess; gender stereotypes; hegemonic masculinity; gender roles; archery; bullseye; humor; tomboy; emasculation
MDPI and ACS Style

Dundes, L. The Upshot on Princess Merida in Disney/Pixar’s Brave: Why the Tomboy Trajectory Is Off Target. Humanities 2020, 9, 83. https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030083

AMA Style

Dundes L. The Upshot on Princess Merida in Disney/Pixar’s Brave: Why the Tomboy Trajectory Is Off Target. Humanities. 2020; 9(3):83. https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030083

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dundes, Lauren. 2020. "The Upshot on Princess Merida in Disney/Pixar’s Brave: Why the Tomboy Trajectory Is Off Target" Humanities 9, no. 3: 83. https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030083

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