This Tweet poked at a nagging that’s been there since when a black Ariel – go ahead, gasp and clutch pearls – came to be.
We do what now? We DESERVE a true to color mermaid?
The gut reaction is, what about all the little girls around the world who are not white, and had to digest years and years of white princesses as epitome of grace and beauty and all the things that are good??? Don’t they deserve to watch a damn movie and see someone they can really identify with?
I tried to make this a cohesive and fluent piece, but I’m struggling because, at the bottom, I don’t get the reaction. I mean, I do get it, but emotionally I don’t.
Ariel is black. And the problem is where, exactly?
I heard, “this is not possible because under water there’s no melanine.”
Well, now. Ariel is a mermaid, whose best friend is a talking flounder, cursed by a half-octopus half-old-woman witch, and she hangs up with a Jamaican crab who can sing. All right. So. Melanine. Right.
I heard, “but the original is a Danish fairy tales, so she can’t be black.”
The original was a middle eastern guy named Jesus who looked more like the people behind 9/11 than a viking with blue eyes, so Disney might have been misled into thinking it was okay not to stick with originals.
I heard, “They are taking everything.”
First of all, they? Wow.
How about all the years when they couldn’t attend the same school as us? Or when they where denied a job even though they deserved it? Or when they had zero people in the movie industry? Could it be, just going on a limb here, they had so little, that as things are starting to even up if feels like they are taking everything? Well, it’s because they had nothing. They are not taking. There’s nothing to take. There’s everything to share, as equal.
Society, humanity, can not advance with science and technology and stay behind with equality. We can not get to point where we can operate an unborn baby’s heart but we still think in terms of them/us. WE are all here.
This is stupid.
Again, I get it. Sharing feels like losing – from the side who had it all.
Grow up and take you head off of your ass. You might find blue skies and fresh air.
Yes, there were POC princesses in Disney.
Yes, Disney could have come up with a new POC Princess.
Yes, Disney could have made a live version of The Princess and the Frog.
And it was correct in not doing. Why? Because The Little Mermaid is a classic.
Because I doubt there’s a girl under 10 who has not seen it. And what she saw, if she’s black, was something she could feel close to up to a point.
Because the white girls under 10 will get used to see a princess of color, and will realize there are others who are princess-worthy on Earth. Or in the ocean.
Representation matters. Inclusion matters.
I’ll close this with an article about why inclusion is important, written by someone who knows more than me.
PS: you know who’s actually happy about this? Ginger haired women who were merciless picked on growing up, and now understand how important is for other girls to be considered “normal”.