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Princess 'Merida' Chastain

Jessica Chastain as Princess Merida

Annie Leibovitz took this photo of me as Merida from the film "Brave." Out of all the Disney characters, she's probably my favorite, as she takes her destiny in her own hands. That's a modern princess.

Her favorite huh? If not a favorite of convenience perhaps it's a matter of redhead kinship?

Sorry, Ariel! 

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Reader Comments (21)

Didn't Julianne Moore already pose as Ariel for Disney promotions?

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

I find it alarming that Merida would be ANYONE's favorite Disney Princess.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W.

Hayden, Jessica has a point. Most of the others need a man to save them. Blech.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I'm with Hayden. With SO MANY princesses to choose from...
I just hope she was on drugs while saying that :p

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

Merida can be seen as a role model. Why not?
She's definitely a strong willed princess who wants to decide herself how to Iive her life.
So can Arielle be seen, who as a mermaid falls in love with a human prince.

Do you know who "rescue" Cinderella? MICE! *lol*
Not even a prince...
But whatever. It's still my favorite Disney princess movie.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSonja

A good Princess movie doesn't mean a good Princess. I love Sleeping Beauty, but Aurora is a horrible character. The Beauty and the Beast is probably my favorite disney movie, but Belle falls in love with her abuser. Brave might not even be in my top 5 princesses movies, but her character is one of the very few who isn't simply victim of others' envy/gets rescued by marriage.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterth

Anybody else remember when somebody (EW maybe?) ran the story "Is Merida the First Gay Disney Princess?" 'Cause being 16 and unwilling to get married *clearly* means you're gay. Well, considering that fabulous coming out song in "Frozen," it looks like Elsa is now filling Merida's very sensible shoes, if ya know what I mean...

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Marie

LOL @ Hayden.

Oh please. Merida is a contrivance that was breathed into existence for these very tweets (or whatever medium Jessica was using). She is an empty dress, her very limbs animated by modern-day political correctness, an empty ode to second wave feminism. Favorite princess? Girl bye.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBD


January 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

@BD - I wish I could have put this that well.

@th - I didn't want to mention Belle for the 400th time but since you did, Belle didn't fall in love with her abuser. She fell in love with the man her abuser became. It's not like she fell in love with Gastone.

I can't even remember anything about Merida other than how much I didn't care for her.

I have to clarify that I (still) love Jessica Chastain.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

I will repeat what I've said before which is that Jessica Chastain sounds mentally slow when she writes things on Facebook.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W

That gif made me lol hard; good find.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

@JamesT Those are not two different people. And the girl falling in love with the abuser only after she has "fixed him" with her love is what is makes such a popular trope, still to this day. Regardless of how many 'personalities' a character has, and if that other self is built into an actual beast, it's still the same individual.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterth

"Brave" is amazing, and so is Merida. For some reason this has become a "cool-to-hate" film, which just makes the people who hate it look all the sillier.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Agreed! Ariel is amazing! She should not be snubbed!

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

jonathan -- i also think Brave is undervalued. so there.:)

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

@th - I know it's the same person and that's what makes it more itneresting and inspiring. It's an example of how people can grow.

FWIW I don't dislike Brave because I think it's cool to do that. I just thinks it's a mediocre movie. I feel the same way about Frozen, though maybe I like Frozen a little more.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

Hayden- I am side-eyeing you so hard for that comment. Especially when you insult one of the genuine nicest corners of social media.

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Go, Nathan! Btw when can we see your Top Ten Films of 2013!

January 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I think Brave is a very interesting film, because it does deal with the kind of generation gap that exists between parents and daughters and the different ambitions they carried when they were of the same age. I think it actually made a lot of sense to me and my friends from where we live ( the Middle East) where the idea is for a girl to get married as soon as she becomes of age versus following her passions in life, Im not really sure how it related to more developed countries where that probably is not really the norm anymore.

January 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRizz

Now on Brave 2 they can have Merida scream at that crazy old Witch to give her the lil blue wisps SHE NEEDS to follow that lead, or the other thing she'll have in her resumé is being the first crazy ol' Witch that lives in the woods to be called before Congressional comitee for subverting the efforts to capture or kill Bin Laden.

January 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarmen Sandiego

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