Disney Ladies

Disney has never been accused of being very good at cultural sensitivity.  A look at the Disney ‘Princesses’ shows a pretty telling idea.  In order of appearance you have…

Snow White (Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs, 1937): Black Hair, brown eyes, pale skin.

Cinderella (Cinderella, 1950): Blonde hair, blue eyes, pale skin.

Aurora (Sleeping Beauty, 1959): Blonde hair, blue eyes, pale skin.

Ariel (The Little Mermaid, 1989): Red hair, green eyes, pale skin.

Belle (Beauty and The Beast, 1991): Brown hair, brown eyes, Caucasian.

Jasmine (Aladdin, 1992): Black hair, brown eyes, tanned Caucasian at best in shots, theoretically brown skin.

Jasmine is fairly whitewashed in a lot of scenes, but at least they tried in that one.

Now into the 90’s Disney made a few additions…Pocahontas (Pocahontas, 1995), Hua Mulan (Mulan), Tiana (Princess and he Frog, 2009), and Rapunzel (Tangled, 2010).

Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Pocohontas is the daughter of a Native American Chief, not really a king, but pretty close, so we’ll count her.  Mulan is the daughter of a middle-class veteran, not even a low-class nobleman, so she’s not a princess at all.  Tiana is a poor black girl who is friends with a wealthy girl who buys her a dress to attend the rich girl’s father’s Mardi Gras party; ‘cause y’know, black girls can’t be princesses in Disneyland.

Finally we’re back to a blonde hair, green eyed, and pale-skinned girl who is a real princess.

Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, and Rapunzel are legitimate princesses…daughters of kings, or girls who marry princes.  Jasmine is the daughter of a Sultan which is closer to a European Duke than a King, so she barely qualifies, much like Pocahontas who is the daughter of a Native American tribal Chieftain.  Mulan and Tiana aren’t even nobility…so all of the non-Caucasian Disney Princesses are not actually princesses.

My fiancé and I were walking through Walmart the other day (we’ve finished our Christmas Shopping for 2012, BTW; yay after Christmas sales!) and we saw a bunch of Disney Princess Dolls.  They had Aurora, Belle, Snow White, and Mulan.  They all looked the same, except for their dresses: Aurora and Snow White were in their film dresses, Belle was in the golden ball gown from the film, and Mulan was wearing Chinese peasant clothes.  They were all the same, facially, except for the size and point of their noses, the color and arrangement of their hair, and the color of their eyes.

Aside from that Aurora and Snow White were pale white, Belle was a pale flesh color, and Mulan was a dark brown skin tone.  The funniest part was that the pictures on the box showed Mulan as the palest of the group.

Umm…what the hell was I getting at with this?  Got rambly and ranty…

Random picture to save face:

Oh right, some guy’s making art based on if the Disney women were real people.  Here’s the Yahoo! article about it.  Pretty cool stuff, I have to admit.

~RCS

Ramblin’, ramblin’, ramblin’…

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