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Black Disney Princess

(36 Posts)
twoboysmom Fri 08-Sep-06 09:54:35

There was a discussion on another board about the lack of black princesses in the Disney world of toys, movies, and accessories. Moms of daugthers: do your girls notice this lack and does it have any affect on them that you can determine? Do you think Disney should remedy this glaring lack?

TinyGang Fri 08-Sep-06 10:13:53

Yes, I think they do lack in this area and should balance things up a bit.

MaryP0p1 Fri 08-Sep-06 10:19:52

I am white irish catholic so tell me to bugger off if you want but my daughter favorite are not the snow white etc but the Mulan, Pochohantas and the Princess Jasmine characters. But you are right there isn't a black princess/heroine.

twoboysmom Fri 08-Sep-06 12:11:52

I would not be so rude as to tell you to bugger off since you're not taking the piss and your comment is interesting. I wonder if your daughter like them because the characters are a bit more modern, action oriented heroines. Snow White didn't really do much in life except piss off a queen with her looks. By the way, has she seen Snow White, Cinderella, who is the other princess?

fistfullofnappies Fri 08-Sep-06 13:12:17

My children dont really notice, I think. dd was 4 before she noticed that people were different colours!
But yes, Im shocked that they dont have any black princesses. Never thought about it before, as cant stand Disney. There must be loads of African stories they could make a film out of.

twoboysmom Fri 08-Sep-06 14:38:32

Somehow, I don't think the African princess would look like an average black woman. It would be Beyonce or Mia look alike. Then you have to ask the ackward question of who is going to be the prince? A black or white prince...somehow I just don't see the mcdonald's tie-ins take off on this one. Unhappily, I can't even imagine what the story would be...anyone have enough imagination to make this work. Then again, I should not beat myself up since Disney's Imagineers could not come up with a workable story for a Black princess or heroine.

fistfullofnappies Fri 08-Sep-06 20:51:26

oh come on twoboysmum, there must be loads of stories. Africa is full of stories.
Yes, it probably would be a Beyonce lookalike - she is very pretty after all! Snow White doesnt look like an average white woman either though.
there are ways to play down skin colour so that everyone, whatever their skin colour identifies with the picture. I dont see a problem with a hero/heroine. honestly, I think it is just politics that they dont have a black lead character - not very nice.

FlipFloppinRubyRioja Fri 08-Sep-06 21:05:04

A whitey brit contributing here, but my dds (also white) have noticed this and commented. Their godmother has Jamaican roots with two beautiful daughters who would make fab princesses.

I mentioned that Pocahontus was not white (local heroine) and they had not really considered her. Not sure if a 'Cosby' Black princess would make much progress, but might be a start.

Katymac Fri 08-Sep-06 21:09:23

My dd has suffered from bullying wrt her colour

She was told at about4/5 that you can't be a princess/fairy/ballerina if you are brown

This has caused her significant distress and I wish that writers/artists/disney would consider this

FlipFloppinRubyRioja Fri 08-Sep-06 21:11:34

That is so horrible, I am amazed that Disney don't see the marketing opportunities if nothing else. Does Princess Jasmine (Aladdin) have any impact - I guess she is not white.

Katymac Fri 08-Sep-06 21:18:22

Not really (for DD)

She is mixed race with afro hair - I think Jasmine is quite "white" looking as are Pochahantus (sp- sorry) but Mulan is slightly more ethnically accurate (but I could be completely wrong about that) - but she doesn't identify with any of them

As she gets older she is relating to "Raven" atm which is OK (but a bit old for her & way too american iyswim - but that's another argument)

FlipFloppinRubyRioja Fri 08-Sep-06 21:22:52

Must admit, it does drive me nuts how formulaic the Disney princess are.

Mind you, we have a super PC Disney Princess game where you configure yourself as a princess choosing, build (skinny right thorugh to stocky), hair, eye and skin colour and you can create a convincing (as any cartoon can be ) princess. I think even the eye shapes (inc specs!) vary.

TinyGang Fri 08-Sep-06 21:40:47

Ooh we've got that game FlipFlop. We were doing it yesterday

I kept wanting to get 'over-involved' and dd was shoving me aside 'this is my princess, mummy!'

FlipFloppinRubyRioja Fri 08-Sep-06 21:44:18

I love the game, but was not impressed by my dds trying to make an ugly princess - and competing at it.

I did like the way, one of their little friends did make a podgy wee me princess who looked really sweet.

I suppose you have to see there hsa only ever been one make hero with facial hair to see how limited all Disney characters are!

zdl Fri 08-Sep-06 21:47:41

WE have a Barbie doll which is a glorious dark skinned woman with heaps of long kinky hair. We call her Mulan because of her slightly oriental dress. I got her in a charity shop so I don't know what movie she's from. DD is blue-eyes with blonde hair but it's obviously our most magnificent Barbie with the best dress, so DD's clear favourite. I don't think she's noticed skin colour, really. DS didn't until he was 6.

Blu Fri 08-Sep-06 21:52:57

The princess could just BE black! Wouldn't have to be a story set in Africa, or any special story at all!

Personally, I'd like some of the princes to be black, too. Ds, very proud of his new 'Prince hat' ,was told by some children on a campsite that he couldn't be a prince, and when DS said he could, one sneering 8 year old said he could be 'prince chocolate face'.

Katymac Fri 08-Sep-06 21:56:17

Oh Blu - I know just how you feel DD got told she had a baboon face

ScummyMummy Fri 08-Sep-06 21:56:41

I now hate an unknown 8 year old, blu.

TinyGang Fri 08-Sep-06 21:58:07

pinkchampagne Fri 08-Sep-06 22:00:13

What a horrible little boy.

fistfullofnappies Fri 08-Sep-06 22:01:49

the Africa idea was just because Disney have done some films based on local legends, blu.

FlipFloppinRubyRioja Fri 08-Sep-06 22:04:50

I sometimes feel totally out of depth on matters like this. Our friends are quite a mixed bunch and and when we talk there always seems to be examples like this that shock me rigid. I assume racism is soemthing historical rather than real in the UK today and I am clearly wrong.

Obv my children are charming and global in their outlook , I hope they don't assume any stupid attitudes.

twoboysmom Sat 09-Sep-06 14:36:04

I know I'm going to spell the name wrong, but there is the story of Sonjata. A real life black prince/king with lots of adventures that can be toned down into a workable story. Kathymac's story strenghtens my resolve to find more stories with people of colour in the center. So when someone says you can't be a princess/ prince, the boys will at least not draw a blank to come up with examples of black heroes.

I noticed that my son's second year history curriculum will be teaching about Florence Nightgale. I will right in there Monday asking about Mary Seacole and whether books and lesson time will be given to this afro caribbean women who dedicated her life to saving crimean soldiers too. Hey...maybe a cartoon about Mary!!!

tissy Sat 09-Sep-06 14:43:45

It wouldn't make a Disney film, obviously, but "A Balloon for Grandad" is a lovely story with a boy of North African extraction at the centre

His grandad lives far away over the sea in a little house in a desert looking after his goats (IIRC). Dd loves this story, and the illustrations are beautiful

gothicmama Sat 09-Sep-06 14:43:51

katymac although we are white a similar thing happenned todd so you can tell your dd it's not just her, my dd also got told she couldn't be a princess, fairy , ballerina because she had brown hair!!!. Dh told dd that she could be a warrior princess like mulan and we did find some very good stories from all different cultures in the library ( dd now thinks anyone blond is a tweevil (from Bratz movie))

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