28 May 2015

The first African Disney princess is not even Black

If the peanut gallery is to be believed, the first African Disney princess is a white colonial. Why should we make a big fuss over the demographics of Disney princesses in this age of non-racialism and trying really hard not to perpetuate stereotypes? The article is helpful in prescribing our concerns to us:
  1. The Disney Princess franchise doesn't have a history that celebrates diversity.
  2. Tiana is Disney’s first and only black princess, but she spent most of her movie being green. Also she wasn't African enough.
  3. Children films reinforce stereotypes and this can have a measurable, negative effect on children.


The Diversity of Disney Princesses

The Disney princesses include a Bavarian, four Frenchies, a Dane, an Arabian, a Native American, a Chinese, an African-American and a Scot. This does not however do for stringent diversity requirements, since there's clearly only one token Scot.

With an overwhelming majority of four out of eleven French princesses, this indisputable evidence indicates a hidden Hollywood agenda of classically conditioning our poor children into being French.


Tiana is the only black princess

In another troubling diversity window-dressing attempt, Tiana is black but she's not African. She's only African-American, like nearly 13% of the American population. America being Disney's home country. She should rather have been black and African, which would evidently go a long way towards not portraying African people as stereotypes.

To boot, she was forced into portraying a typical garden variety bi-racial relationship because Disney couldn't stomach the idea of an African-American girl bringing an African-American boyfriend home to meet the folks. Such a revolutionary idea is just much too far ahead of its time to appeal to African-Americans.

Instead, she spends most of the film in your typical garden variety interspecies romance. Duly note that along with Ariel and Belle, Tiana is one of only three Disney princesses who portray an interspecies romance. Even more problematic, along with Pocahontas, Tiana is one of only two princesses who portray an inter-racial romance. Truth be told, this shocking lack of diversity just shakes me to my core.


Research shows that media exposure influences the body image of our kids

The first empirical study conducted into this area clearly found how "exposure did not affect body dissatisfaction or engagement in appearance-related play behaviours".

Regardless, it is imperative to note how roughly 6,6% (N=8 out of 121 participants) of the test subjects indicated they would have to change their hair colour or their skin colour in order to be a princess.

Be careful to notice how even though 32,3% of the correspondents agreed that looks don't make one a princess, and 53,3% agreed that their accessories alone make them a princess, that lonely 6,6% exception is the exception that proves the rule.

I'm glad that I found this article, which is bolstered so undeniably by empirical research. Clearly, more should be done occupy that 6,6%'s minds so they can be more like the majority of girls who see things our way.

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