So, I guess this is an appropriate post to follow my last post on little boys. What can be more girlie than princesses? Not much. We helped indoctrinate our close friends' daughter (Elise) with princess paraphernalia her first few years. We did give her a soccer ball for her 4th birthday though...gotta give the girl a little diversity in interests! Looking back, I think that helping to spoil their adorable daughter allowed us to fill part of a void we felt during the years that we were yearning to become parents ourselves.
Anyhow! I never did consider myself a girlie-girl growing up, but I will admit that I did always love a classic princess story. So, I was so excited to hear that Disney will be releasing a new princess movie this December! Wahoo! And (as much as I do love Pixar) I'm also excited to hear that they'll be returning to the classic hand drawn animation for this movie...which I think will contribute nicely to its 1920's ambiance set in New Orleans French Quarter!
However the thing that I'm most excited about is that the princess in this movie will be African American! Finally! I've asked myself for years why Disney hadn't made a black princess yet. In fact I remember signing & forwarding a petition a long time ago telling Disney that people want a black princess (I know, perhaps not the very most pressing of social issues, but still...) I think that it's important not only for the millions of princess-loving little girls with African ancestry, but also for the little girls of any race (and boys, for that matter!) to recognize that beauty comes in all colors. I'm not suggesting that outward beauty should be a primary focus for girls, but the implications of what is beautiful surely do begin at a young age. I want to be sure that my children are exposed to a variety of people from different backgrounds, cultures, religions, etc - which I will have to make more of a concerted effort to do while living Utah than I would elsewhere, but it's still do-able. So, with the obsession that so many girls have with Disney princesses, I'll be glad that there's already a black princess in the ranks if we ever add a little girl to our family!
As for the film itself - I was excited to hear that the lovely Anika Noni Rose does the voice for Princess Tiana, and that Oprah does the voice for Tiana's mother! Princess Tiana is absolutely beautiful with her brown skin, full lips & adorable dimples! I think she is a perfect addition to the Disney Princesses. However, there has been some controversy surrounding this movie already. The princess and storyline were revised due to concerns over racial stereotyping (and the concerns seemed valid to me), and some people are frustrated that the prince is not also black (I believe that he is Hispanic?). Personally, I don't care if the prince is black or not. I do think however that interracial marriage has a stigma of its own that needs to continue to be addressed within pop culture...so at this point I feel fine with whatever race the prince is (although I haven't given the issue a whole lot of thought, and I obviously haven't seen the film yet either). I am just thrilled that Disney has created a beautiful black princess, and I can't wait to take my boys to see the film this December!
Here's the official teaser to the film:
What do you think?