Marisole Monday & Friends: A Noble Knight

noble-knight-marisole-paper-doll{Click Here for a PDF to Print} {Click Here for a PNG to Print} {Click Here for the rest of this series}

I was about six seconds from titling this “Knoble Knight”, but I fought off the urge. Be proud of me.

It is both late and past my bedtime, so I am going to keep this post short and fairly sweet. I’ve done a lot of princess paper dolls, but I also like doing warrior paper dolls, so here is one. I’ve never tried to draw full armor before. I don’t know anything about full-plate armor, except that it seems awfully bulky and I wouldn’t want to wear it into battle.

Actually, I wouldn’t want to wear anything into battle. I don’t really want to be in battle at all, so I guess that is a factor in all that. As I was working on this paper doll, my mind kept going back to this current internet kerfuffle over a redo of Merida the main character in Pixar’s Brave as she enters the merchandizing world of Disney Princesses.

The Daily Mail has a nice article on the subject. The criticism I agree with is that I think its important that girls with different body types be celebrated, so the slimming down of Merida bothers me a little. There’s even a Change.Org petition (because this is really important…) which reads, partly, “Merida was the princess that countless girls and their parents were waiting for — a strong, confident, self-rescuing princess ready to set off on her next adventure with her bow at the ready. ”

Why does she need a bow and arrows? Okay, object to the body changing stuff as much as you like, I won’t argue, but what is up with the obsession with her bow and arrows? Does taking away her bow and arrows make her suddenly a weak character? I really don’t think so…

So, today’s paper doll has armor. I don’t think she’s anymore of a feminist paper doll than say last weeks princess who didn’t have a bow and arrows or sword. What is up with the current tendency to arm fairy tale princesses (like that really bad movie with Snow White and the Huntsmen…)?

Women don’t need weapons to be strong and I don’t think taking away Merida’s makes her weak. And wow… this is like the most political post I have ever written. I am seriously going to bed, before I start ranting about something more pointless.

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  1. I don’t really get why people are obsessing with Disney princesses either. I used to enjoy the movies, and Pixar’s, but then it started to feel like they were turning into every other company: just spitting the films out to make money. Not much of Disney or Pixar’s stuff is worth watching these days.

  2. I think about issues like this constantly. I have sons, but I also have two nieces & I come from a family FULL of girls. We need to respect kids for who they are — one day my nieces want to be princesses, the next they want to be pro football players for the Patriots. Some days, my sons want to cook & clean and watch My Little Pony, and some days they want to bat at each other with swords. Kids are fluid and as adults we need to allow them their fluidity. Barbie, Disney, etc, get a lot of blame for the things we as adults do to kids ourselves. And we buy the stuff, so again, we’re ultimately to blame.

    And I have a bow. It’s not just something you walk around with as a chic accessory 🙂

  3. No, women don’t need weapons to be strong. I agree with that. However, women don’t need to be stripped of weapons to be feminine. That, I think, is the key here. None of the other Disny princesses have weapons, they can all serve as non-warrior role models. Why can’t Merida keep her bow and serve to remind girls that they can be warriors too?

    I am part of the Society for Creative Anachronism (a medieval recreation/research group). I love dressing up in a pretty dress during court, but my favorite part is putting on armor and fighting. I’ve struggled with the divide society puts between “tomboys” and “pretty girls”. As it turns out, I can be both! Girls should be allowed to pursue whatever interests them – including being a bow or sword wielding princess.

  4. P.S. Plate armor actually moves nicely with you when it’s been custom made so that it fits you exactly. (Though I’ve chosen to fight in chain maille, as I like the flow of it better.) For the most part, your plate looks great! However, no fighter I know would for a moment consider fighting in heels.

  5. B- I tend to agree with you that people get worked up about Disney stuff more than they need too.

    Julie- I find I think about these things a fair bit as well. I work with a lot of old books and I tend to talk to them. I find my default is to refer to them as “Little guy” or “Buddy”, both male monickers. I never realized my default position was that inanimate objects were male, rather than female. This was pointed out to me by someone, so now I try to refer to some of them as female, though it’s a hard habit to break.

    Gwendolyn- When I was drawing this paper doll set, a guy I know bent over the page and said, “High heels and armor, seriously?”

    And I said, “Damn straight.”

    But I agree with you, high heeled full plate armor is up there with the chain mail bikini concept, pretty absurd, but paper dolls are for the absurd.

    As for other Disney princesses, what about Mulan? She doesn’t have her sword, as far as I know… (and I would be happy to be proved wrong on that.)

  6. Hmm… I actually try to avoid the Disney Princess franchise at all costs so I’m actually not sure about Mulan. If they took her sword away though, they should totally give it back! 🙂

  7. fantastic work! as usual I find myself looking up to Mondays even if they are the most hectic days of the week when would you do a beach set? please could you do one soon maybe with towels beach food and other cute accessories please consider this thank you

  8. I just found your site, and it’s awesome! 🙂 You are a great artist, and these paper dolls bring so much joy to so many people! My daughter just lit up when she saw this “warrior princess”, as she called her, and now she won’t stop asking me if I have printed her already 😀 Is there a boy-knight coming anytime soon to be her aid? 🙂

    Thank you so much for this site, keep up the good work! You’re now bookmarked! 😛

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