This new Disney movie -- along with grossing millions, I'm sure -- has the ability to break down some serious color lines in our society. All I can say is, finally.
Ashlee Holland: Tuesday evening, I had the absolute pleasure of joining the NAACP and my son, Joseph, to screen Walt Disney's new animated film, "The Princess and the Frog." The El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., was the venue, and suspense was running wild through the theater seats. Looking around at the crowd of mostly moms with their wide-eyed children, I could feel that this was NOT just another kids' movie. It was the first time in 17 years -- since Jasmine in Aladdin -- that a princess has been the focal point of an animated Disney movie. This was also the VERY first time in history that a Disney princess was black.
The movie did not disappoint in any way. It was absolutely breathtaking. The attention to detail and to the culture of New Orleans was phenomenal, to say the least. The music was originally delightful, and the supporting characters held their own wonderfully. Like Cinderella's glass slipper, the story line was a perfect fit. I don't want to spoil it, so ... moving on.
Princess Tiana finally came into the light, and what a radiant light she had! Then again, what else would you expect a Disney princess to be?
Tiana was undeniably stunning -- but many people would have never imagined that, finally, a princess can be undeniably BLACK. Tiana dolls are flying off the shelves. Little girls from all different backgrounds and races are in love with Tiana! Why? "Tiana is a beautiful princess!" shouted one little girl in the theater, who also happened to be white. Again, our children are the ones teaching us about being "color-blind." Beauty is Beauty.
Does this mean we will see Caucasian little girls carrying around little African-American dolls? I hope so, but what will be the reaction from the rest of the world? Ethnic girls have always dressed up as mostly Caucasian princesses. Will we find moms looking for more textured wigs so that their daughters can dress up to look like Tiana? Again ... I HOPE SO! This is another way we can start breaking down stereotypes of what is considered beautiful. Our little girls just want to be princesses, so let's let them spin around and dream in color!
Elisabeth Hasselbeck of "The View" recently bought her daughter the Tiana doll, and went on to say it was her daughter's "favorite doll right now." She continued to say that while some people were excited about the new movie, she also was the recipient of weird looks while her "white" daughter played with a "black" doll. "I saw a couple of looks that made me uncomfortable ..." Elisabeth stated. She shared her experience with Whoopi Goldberg, and admitted she finally understood the "weirdness that follows the look" that minorities often express feeling.
I am sure that Elisabeth will not be the only parent getting these reactions, good and bad. I can only hope that these small steps we are taking in our culture will continue to allow people to openly express their concerns about and views on race and racism.
After seeing this film, I hope that EVERY parent of a little girl will go out and buy a Tiana doll. This princess is worth aspiring to. Let your daughter carry her around proudly because she is not only gorgeous, she is also intelligent, hard-working, and focused. She has a dream and a vision that is NOT handed to her because she is beautiful. Tiana is a fighter -- and THAT is how she gets her Happily Ever After!
|Ashlee Holland, single mom of one and former actress on "Days of Our Lives," brings money and timesaving advice to momlogic.com. Ashlee's range of frugal and fabulous expertise helps moms find efficient and affordable ways to cut costs and stretch a buck. Ashlee's resourceful and innovative tips, combined with her infectious enthusiasm and tenacity, motivate anyone to survive and thrive.|