As a person of color I’ve grown up noticing that there aren’t many representations that I or others could relate to. This so called melting pot we like to call ourselves living in is a figment of our imaginations. There are all kinds of uniquely beautiful mixtures of people today that allow everyone to have the opportunity to be represented.
For as long as I can remember characters no matter what race were always portrayed by a white person. Like Jesus, Moses, Othello, Native Americans, Egyptian Kings and Queens etc. come to mind that were misrepresented by white people. They would do whatever to pretend to be another ethnicity instead of just using a real person from that particular ethnic background. It’s really offensive and insulting when you think about it. The issue is that most people don’t think about it because it doesn’t directly affect them. But it’s okay to get upset when a fictitious character is updated as a person of color, yeah whatever!
Like take Disney for instance. They just announced there will be a black girl playing Ariel in the new The Little Mermaid movie. I think it’s great! I mean I absolutely love that movie and I believe I’m a real mermaid anyway despite not having red hair. Mermaids aren’t real so they aren’t offending or misrepresenting any racial group. But just like Will Smith as the genie in Aladdin, folks are tripping over the blackness. Come on, there’s like 50 Disney Princesses with only like 6 or 7 non-white ones. That leaves how many now and they can’t let one go. Trying to find ways to justify why everyone in everything has to be white or why using racist stereotypes is okay to express anger towards Disney’s choice. They couldn’t even cast a French actress to play Belle in Beauty and the Beast which bothered me if we’re really trying to do true characterization.
It’s sad that European influences must stay prevalent as minority populations aren’t being celebrated. All the little white girls get to grow up knowing that they can be anything they want including fictitious characters. But little brown girls only get to know not much past slavery and are being made to feel like they can’t be royalty as if it’s not a part of their history too. I’m tired of “white is right” thinking and that everything outside of Euro beauty standards are ugly and wrong. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder not of the white man.
Just a friendly reminder that “The Little Mermaid” is based on a book by Hans Christian Andersen published in 1837 where “Ariel” has her tongue ripped out in exchange for feet (feet that bleed the entire time she’s on land). She comes on land to try to win the prince’s love in order to steal part of his soul because mermaids don’t have souls. She fails, and the prince marries someone else. She contemplates murdering him in his bed, but can’t bring herself to do it, so she dies/melts into seafoam.
By the way, her skin is green!
There’s origins of Mermaids within many cultures not just reserved for any particular group. All around the world there are tales of these mythical creatures.
Here are some examples:
I remember when The Princess and the Frog came out and I was happy for a second that there was finally a black Disney princess. But I quickly realized how differently Tiana was depicted from the princesses before her and she spent a good 85-90% of the movie as a frog. Folks get upset whenever black people are shown in a good light or when they outnumber white characters. It’s always an issue! Even the Voodoo in the movie was targeted since to them all non-Christian religions are wrong. Umm how come witches doing witchcraft and black magic isn’t causing an uproar? It’s all the same to me. I thought Disney was showing cultural diversity not trying to coarse your kids. But somehow minority characters are always scrutinized for doing exactly what white characters do. The tan changes things!
Look around people, this country is mixed like it’s never been before showing how things are now not how they were or how narrow minded people think they should be. I don’t care who plays what as long as they aren’t disrespecting another culture or a real group of people. Fake creatures can be any color period. The world isn’t catering to anyone’s negative, closed minded, racist or biased opinions anymore. The world is changing. Try and keep up won’t you!