Most recently in the media, more specifically my newsfeed, I have had a various amount of stories of children rocking their “Disney Side” at various events, only to be. discriminated due to their looks by strangers, as was the case of a three year old aborigine girl who was bullied by grown adults for rocking an Elsa costume.
On the daily, I come across a multitude of young girls in various fancy dresses channeling their inner princess. I’ve seen Snow Whites that were Hispanic, Tianas that were white, Pocahontas in a wheelchair, the famous duo from Frozen as dark as the darkest midnight sky. Never once did it ever cross my mind to question the princess they chose or whether or not that princess best represents them. Who am I to question what they want to be? Better yet, who would want to? They’re children for crying out loud.
I have also seen various memes circulating that Disney needs to create a disabled princess, the most frequently posted is the one about a bald headed princess for those on chemotherapy or a princess of the Down Syndrome variety.
If you think about it, the average Disney Princess story is about some from of disadvantage and the power within themselves to overcome. A Princess isn’t all about royal weddings and sparkly crowns, although they are a bonus. A princess is a state of mind.
Think about it. Mulan, although considered upper class in her era, decided to break the glass ceiling and fight the war like a man. Tiana, my personal favorite despite me being the whitest white girl you know, worked her tail off to chase her dreams of owning her own restaurant, and wasn’t taking no for an answer in a time where she was looked down based solely on ethnicity and poverty level. Or what about Ariel, who lost her voice in an attempt to find true love and yet somehow made it work out in the end without her temporary disability standing in the way of her goal?
A princess, although they appear practically perfect in every way, are far from it. And maybe that’s why girls obsess over them like they do.
Would it be cool if they had a disabled princess or a snow queen that is African American? I am all for variety in the aisles of the Bippity Boppity Boutique. But the big question is, is it necessary?
I think the big picture is fogged by this false sense of reality, that perfect means beautiful and prim. And that tends to mask the very core of what the Disney Princess is capable of. That mindset disables them and in a way ruins the qualities that make them appealing.
A princess isn’t defined by the skin tone, or their body type, or their culture, or their disabilties.
A princess is a girl that isn’t afraid to show their true selves to the world.
And nobody, and I mean NOBODY should ever take that away from anyone.