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  • Writer's pictureNazanine Laupua

Why Should Skin Color Determine Who Can Be A Princess?

The Little Mermaid, a Disney classic made in 1989, is a film that unfolds the story of a young mermaid who’s curious about life on land. The movie follows the journey of the teenage mermaid, Ariel, as she struggles to choose between two different types of love: the love from her soulmate or the love from her father.

In the original The Little Mermaid, Ariel’s character is originally white-skinned, which is the main reason why the live action, being released later this year, has caused much commotion around the world. Like multiple movies, Disney has decided to release a live action version of The Little Mermaid. Except there's just one difference: the actress who plays Ariel is Halle Bailey, a young black woman. Despite everything else being the same, people just can’t seem to get over the fact that Ariel is going to be played by a black woman.

Many people on social media have been expressing their feelings and sharing their reactions and the reactions from people have been very heartfelt, but there’s also been an extreme multitude of hurtful ones. There’s been millions of comments expressing backlash online, with almost all of the critics zoning in on the young actress’s skin color. Some people don’t agree with the fact that Ariel is being played by a black woman, since she’s been portrayed as white woman-- at least, up until now.

However, despite all the negative reactions, there have also been insanely touching moments birthed from this casting. Many parents on Tik Tok have been posting their children’s reactions to the new trailer. Watching the kids' eyes light up with joy because they see a princess that “looks like them” brings back the hope I had in our society.


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