Disney princesses rebooted as women of color

african kings

Disney has been accused of historically not portraying minorities in a positive light. Examples of insensitivity include Sunflower the servant centaur in Fantasia to the sly siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp. Since  the introduction of Snow White in 1937, four of the ten princesses have been young women of color; Pocahontas, Jasmin, Mulan and Tiana. But critics point out that this might not necessarily mean an end to Disney’s stereotyping. For instance, Tiana, the studio’s first African-American princess appeared on a watermelon candy wrapper.

One 22-year-old female, Lauren, published on her Tumblr page reinterpretations the race of some of Disney’s princesses. Using Azalea’s dolls, a doll dress-up website, Lauren changed the skin color of the princesses. “So I made a bunch of white Disney characters into WOC,” Lauren wrote on her Tumblr page. “Just for funzies :D”

Disney princesses undoubtedly have had an influence on the meaning of beauty and the role of women.  “As a woman, you can either be a princess awaiting her prince or an evil stepmother/witch; as a man, you get all the action (in many senses of the word,)” Natalie Wilson wrote in an AlterNet article published last year . “And beauty, of course, equals white, blonde, thin and young.”

While Lauren changed the color of these women she left the hair texture the same, leaving critics to further discuss hair as a standard of beauty in the African American community.

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