We all know that Disney has made more than a few mistakes in representing different cultures as Disney characters, but the Disney princesses are a symbol of empowerment for young girls and women. We see them often, we know their stories, we have memorized their movie soundtracks-- so of course we’re going to dress as them for Halloween!
Disney has made a lot of money off of the Princesses, but I’ll admit they need lots more diversity to represent all races.
In your article about not dressing kids up as Moana, you said that if a girl dressing up wants to be a princess who is not of their race, then they shouldn’t be that princess and that the non-white princess costumes should be reserved for girls who are not white. This is not okay, because the Disney Princesses are for everyone.
As an African-American girl in seventh grade, I’ve grown up without seeing a princess who looked like me until Tiana came along. I can’t tell you how long I’ve waited, hoped, and dreamed of a princess who looked like me, who had the color of my skin. You can’t imagine my elation when Tiana stepped into the world. She was, and still is, my favorite Disney princess. Now, we have an Asian princess, a Black princess, a Polynesian princess, and an Indian princess, and a Native American Princess. But the majority of the Disney princesses are still white. In America, not all girls are white.
Girls are empowerment. We are change-- and so, so much more. You can’t hold us back by restricting us to only princesses of our own race. Some of our races aren’t represented at all! This is a problem because if Disney princesses are a symbol of empowerment to girls, and not all races are represented, then Disney is saying that only females of certain races can be empowered.
I have to say this: Why did you say that? What were you thinking when you did? I’ve talked to my classmates about this, and they think it’s very racist, but who can blame them? I would like to request, on behalf of girls everywhere, that you apologize. It’s racist, prejudiced, and frankly? It goes against America’s whole we-accept-all-races beliefs. If you apologize, I’m not saying it would take care of everything, but it’ll help. And not just a sweep-things-under-the-carpet-forget-about-it apology, but a real, genuine, I’m-sorry-that-was-wrong-how-can-I-be-better apology.
And this is not just your fault, so don’t think I’m deliberately trying to call you out. This has to do with Disney, too. And believe me, I’m going to write them a letter the same way I’m writing you.
Redbook, please change. Make a new development, turn over a new leaf. You’re better than this, I know it. So send out that apology, and who knows? Maybe you’ll have started something truly remarkable.