- Category: Commentaries
- Written by Mo Walters
I love Disney. Who doesn’t? And like most little girls, I had visions of marrying royalty and becoming a princess. This, however, did not seem likely as there really weren’t any Black princesses or so I concluded from watching numerous Disney fairytales. Year after year I waited in total anticipation to identify with one of the princesses that were animated in Disney’s newest feature movie. And year after year I became less surprised when the princess was American, Arabian, Native American, Asian and let’s not forget Princess Nala – of feline decent. After a recent visit to Disney’s website, I’m happy to report that 2009’s The Princess and the Frog will be based on a princess of African American decent. Allow me to introduce you all to Princess Tiana.
The story is set in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The prince and the princess are cosmically drawn to each other, despite the fact that he is a frog and she is human. What happens next? Your guess is as good as mine, but I sure hope it ends with a happily ever after. Some of the cast members of The Princess and the Frog include: Anika Noni Rose (Princess Tiana), Jennifer Lewis (Mama Odie, The Fairy Godmother), Terrence Howard (James, Tiana’s father) and Oprah Winfrey (Eudora, Tiana’s mother). The best part about this princess is she rocks a fro.
Ok, not a total afro but she is a fellow curly girl. Told you all that afro textured is making a comeback!
My belief and hope is that by illustrating a Black female as a princess will aid in instilling healthy self-esteem in young Black girls and educating all Black females about self acceptance. I hope that doesn’t sound too revolutionary, but many of us started chemically straightening our hair because that was our idea of beauty. I’m optimistic that this movie will contribute to including kinky/curly-haired individuals in the universal standard of beauty.
I also think that young and old Black lads alike can benefit from a new visual of what a classically beautiful, natural sister looks like. I think this is a great story to ‘urbanize’ as there is something that both sisters and brothers can take from it. So many Black women complain about the quality of men out there, but this movie may give something to consider. The underlying message of this story, in part, is to look past someone’s exterior and let the beauty of their soul shine through.
So, I urge all my single ladies – as my homegirl would say – to go out and ‘start kissing frogs’. And by kissing frogs, I mean getting to know someone who does not instantly meet all the criteria on your wish list (you know we all have one). Who knows, one of these ‘frogs’ might just be your Prince Charming.
Wow, I’m sure Walt’s predecessors had no clue this film would hit such a political cord.