Yes, I know that the news about casting singer/actress Halle Bailey as the new Ariel in the upcoming live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” is practically a month old, but I’ve been saving this as a blog post idea ever since and think it’s really important to talk about. For so many reasons
I was 8 years old when “The Little Mermaid” first came out. When I saw Ariel, I thought “Look, it’s a Disney princess who has red hair just like me!” I was so happy because it was the first time we had a Disney princess with red hair; we had blonde-haired and black-haired princesses, but never a redhead. For the first time in my young, Disney-obsessed life, I…felt…included. I felt scene in a way that I never had before, and that, as you can probably imagine, is a very powerful thing. It’s no coincidence, then, that “The Little Mermaid” remains my favorite Disney film to this day.
That’s precisely why I’m so glad to see Disney advocating for better representation with Halle Bailey’s casting. Young Black girls need to see themselves onscreen and feel that happiness too! They need to be able to say “Look, she’s just like me!” Everyone screaming needs to JUST STOP. She’s not your Ariel. She’s an Ariel for a new generation and they deserve to have representation be a part of their world — see what I did there?
Have you seen these awesome illustrations that fans made in honor of Ariel?
“As black creators, we know how isolating this industry can be,” Nilah Magruder, a Los Angeles–based illustrator and animator, told BuzzFeed News. “To see a black Ariel now is particularly inspiring.”
So many beautiful interpretations of such a beautiful, beloved Disney princess!!!
And, one more thing about Ariel and The Little Mermaid (something I wish I would have learned when I was younger): The most problematic aspect of the whole movie was Ariel giving up her voice for Prince Eric. Changing yourself to get some guy’s attention? What kind of dangerous message is that??
No! Thank! You! Ladies, if a dude tries to silence you/thinks you should be quiet…R-U-N…
Anyway, are you excited about seeing a live-action version of “The Little Mermaid” I’m also interested to see who plays Prince Eric…suggestions as to who would be the best actor?? So many possibilities!! xoxo