with “the princess and the frog” disney has finally given the public its first african-american princess.
im sorry, was that not enthusiastic enough for you? [shrug] im just tired of society patting ppl on the back and praising them for making sputtering attempts at humanity and being touted as making progress. especially when it has been proven that said person/entity can do better.
lets just look at “frog” for a second. why is she the only disney princess with an accent? mulan didnt have one. pocahontas didnt have one. belle is french. she didnt have one. cinderella is german. she didnt have one. jasmine is from some amorphous pseudo-middle eastern kingdom. she didnt have one. so not sure whats going on there.
also, she’s not a princess. she’s just a random girl in new orleans who marries rich. in fact, she’s just a glorified maid. i suppose everyone now will say “no she’s a cook! and wasnt cinderella a maid? there was no problem THERE.” um no, cinderella wasnt a “maid”. one, she was from the aristocracy [her family got invited to the royal ball, remember?] two, she technically legally owned the house she was a “maid” in. she just happened to have some f*cked up relatives. neither is the case for tiana [that’s our princess’ name, btw].
really disney? thats the best you can give us? a random spunky new orleans chef girl? when everyone else has gotten a genuine princess? [with the exceptions of mulan and pocahontas, which are historical tales]. there arent any african fairy tales you couldve adapted ala aladdin? you couldnt have made up a kingdom [like you did with agrabah] or a completely new story [like you did with lion king]? nope, sorry black ppl. you get random new orleans chef girl.
also, sure, yay great, we have an african american “princess”….soooo…how long till we get an african american prince? or do we not rank as prince material? is that what this movie is saying? that sure black women can achieve their dreams and become princesses, but black men cant? that to succeed you need to leave your race behind? [after all tiana’s parents are both black, and sure they’re happy, but they dont seem to have “made it” or escaped their circumstances right?] also, the prince dude naveen isnt “white” or “creole” or anything [which would make sense seeing as how they’re in new orleans and all]. he’s whatever the fictional ethnicity is in the fictional country of maldonia. so forget a black prince existing for black women, real princes PERIOD dont exist for black women.
third, disney made a “mistake” here that they clearly know how to avoid since they did it in aladdin. see, in aladdin, there are no such things as “arab” stereotypes, b/c everyone is arabic. sure there’s the stock “cutthroat arab” character, but next to him is the very heroic and also very arabic aladdin. so instead of being the “cutthroat arab” the character becomes just the “cutthroat character”. in “princess” the villian is the big bad voodoo black dude. who tiana and naveen have to fight together. so listen little black girls, to save the day and accomplish ur dreams, ur gonna have to beat down black guys, most often teaming up with non-black guys to do so, b/c non-black guys are good, and black guys are evil.
i suppose now ppl will start saying “why are you projecting all these ideas of race onto the little kids that are watching this movie? little kids dont see race! theyre just watching a movie!” true. kids dont think about race. because this is the age that theyre LEARNING about it. much like the reason why you plunk these same kids in front of sesame street to learn their numbers and alphabet. they dont turn their learning switch off just b/c theyre watching a non-educational cartoon. or do you really think that issues of self-esteem and self-perception occur b/c one day someone says “ok. right now im gonna sit down and consciously absorb the concept of race and race relations.”
please stop being so disingenuous. or at the very least, if ur one of the women praising “princess” for raising the self-esteem and image of black girls and how it can do no wrong, please do not be the same women who lament and decry the lack of “good” black men.
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